Exploring Manufacturing CareersMillwright
In our educational series, we explore different careers in manufacturing.
Manufacturing companies rely on millwrights to install, disassemble, fix and reassemble industrial machinery and heavy equipment. This involves a wide variety of skills and proficiency in the use of various tools and equipment like hammers, levels, micrometers, welding equipment and precision-measuring devices. Repairing defective parts is one of the tasks that millwrights do. This may entail making adjustments on the equipment’s nuts and bolts, inserting washers or shims to align parts or completely replace defective parts with new ones.
Millwrights may also be asked to completely disassemble antiquated machinery to make room for new ones. To do this, they may have to use crowbars, wrenches and other tools to take the equipment apart, sorted and repacked before transporting the various parts for storage. They will then put the new machinery in its place with the use of rollers and trucks.
When installing new equipment, millwrights may need to assemble the different parts together on the site. This may be done using hoists, cranes and power and hand tools to align the machines and connect moving parts and various subassemblies to a main unit. When putting together large materials, they may need to work with crane operators who will be tasked with lowering each part to a bedplate before the entire unit is straightened following a centerline. Millwrights also see to it that all the smaller parts are attached to their respective places in the unit.
Quality control is part and parcel of the job of all millwrights. Thus, they review the blueprints before and after the unit is assembled. This is to ensure that they know what needs to be done and that all the bolts and screws are accounted for after the assembly has been completed. Once everything has been assembled, millwrights then test the equipment to ensure that it works as it should.
Why Become a Millwright
A career as a millwright is best suited for those who are interested in working with large pieces of equipment and machinery. It is well-suited for those who have a keen interest in putting together and disassembling parts of a whole. Individuals who know about building and construction as well as those who possess mechanical skills will find this work to be quite satisfying. Those who can read diagrams and blueprints and readily comprehend how things work will also like being millwrights.
Millwright Work Environment
Millwrights are found in the factories and power plants of manufacturing firms. They work during regular hours but may be called on to do overtime work if necessary. Unlike industrial mechanics who are employed fulltime, millwrights are usually hired on a contract basis and can only expect to work in a particular location for a few weeks or days at a time. Thus, they may have to contend with periods of unemployment after a contract ends. Millwrights have to wear protective clothing and equipment to minimize the risk of injury while they are on the job. The gear includes safety goggles, ear plugs and steel-toed shoes.
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