In the manufacturing industry, machines operate for long hours in order to keep up with the production demands. The constant use will eventually take a toll on these machines and make them break down. When this happens, workers turn to maintenance machinists for help. They are the individuals who are responsible for conducting repairs when factory machinery and equipment malfunction. Whether the defect is due to faulty wiring or bad switches, maintenance machinists check them out and repair or replace them.
However, maintenance machinists don’t just come to the scene when machinery breaks. They also perform regular maintenance work so that the equipment remains in top condition and is prevented from breaking down in the first place. General maintenance may include lubricating parts, cleaning the various components and aligning motors. They also address minor issues right away to prevent them from blowing up into major repairs. Regular maintenance work is essential as it saves the company thousands of dollars to fix broken machinery, not to mention the opportunity cost that such an event would result to.
Maintenance machinists must be adept at handling various hand tools and power tools since they will be using these in the course of their duties. They also need to be very knowledgeable about the machines in the plant so that they can immediately spot what the problem is, fix it and get the equipment working again.
After conducting the necessary repairs of a particular machine, maintenance machinists must check that the machine is functioning as it should. They test it and may even have to run the initial batch of products themselves on the newly-repaired equipment to see for themselves that the defect has been sufficiently addressed. It is only when they are satisfied that it is that they will turn over the machine to its operator.
Why Become a Maintenance Machinist
A career as a maintenance machinist is the best fit for those who want to fuse their knowledge of problem solving and technical skills in one occupation. Maintenance machinists need to figure out what the problem is when a piece of equipment stops working in the middle of production. Thus, they should know how to determine where the problem lies by tracing the wirings, listening to the sound it produces and conducting other diagnostic procedures. Those who love to tinker with machines and get satisfaction in fixing the problem will find this work very ideal.
Maintenance Machinist Work Environment
Maintenance machinists work in the plants or factories of companies in the manufacturing industry. The work is typically fulltime and done during regular hours, although they may be called to perform overtime work if necessary. They may also need to work on holidays, weekends and evenings and be called upon any time if a machine breaks down. Compared to the national average for all job types, maintenance mechanics suffer a higher rate of injuries and illnesses. This is due to the fact that they are dealing with large industrial machinery and may have to perform repair and maintenance work in tight and difficult situations. However, they can reduce incidents of injuries by adhering to established safety protocols and wearing protective gear. The latter includes safety goggles, hardhats, gloves, ear plugs and steel-toed shoes.