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Production Machine Shops are machine shops that produce parts for the company itself Mercury Marine would be an example. They have a large production shop to produce parts for their own products - marine engines. These types of shops are quite often large shops. The machinist in this type of shop might only operate one type of machine, such as lathes or mills. The machinist in this type of shop usually produces large numbers of identical parts. A skilled worker may be able to bid on other jobs within the shop to gain experience on other types of machines and processes. A dedicated worker can also work his/her way up to management or technical jobs within the company. Management jobs would include foreman, supervisor and even plant manager. Technical jobs would include quality control, CAD design, CNC programmer, and so on.
Larger production shops may also have a tool room operation. The tool room would make jigs and fixtures, gages, and other tools and equipment for use in the production shop. The tool room may have machinists and/or tool & die makers to do the work. Production machinists may be able to bid into the tool room or apply for an apprenticeship if the tool room employs journeyman machinists and/or tool & die makers.
Job shops often have a wide variety of machine tools. They usually do not have a product of their own. They take in work for other manufacturers. A large company such as a Kimberly Clark subcontracts parts to be made in job shops- Many large companies subcontract parts so there are many job shops in our area. Machinist in job shops may run one type of machine tool such as a lathe or mill but are often skilled on several types of machines. Machinists in a job shop are given blue prints to work with. They may have to make one or several parts. They generally have to figure out how to set up, program the machine, and make and inspect the parts. Job shops are probably the fastest growing types of shops. Many job shops also offer apprenticeships in machining or tool & die making,
Tool & die shops are quite common in our area. A tool & die shop is a shop that makes tools that are used to produce parts. A tool & Die shop may make stamping dies, molds for plastic or metal, jigs and fixtures, gages and other high quality and accuracy types of tooling. Tool & Die shops often offer apprenticeships. The tool & die maker is usually making one-of-a-kind parts. The tool & die maker is normally programming and operating state-of-the-art CNC equipment.
Wisconsin has enjoyed a very strong apprenticeship history. An apprenticeship is a training program. Only employers can offer apprenticeships. You cannot get an apprenticeship at a school. Your training will take place at a school, but an employer is the only one who can put you on an apprenticeship. A person who is chosen for an apprenticeship signs a contract called an indenture. It is a contract between the employer, apprentice and State of Wisconsin. It sets the rules and regulations that govern the apprentice and company. The indenture is meant to ensure that the apprentice gets the experience and schooling appropriate to the trade. Apprenticeships for machinists are four years long and apprenticeships for tool & die makers are five years long. During the apprenticeship the apprentice works for four days and goes to school for one day each week. A machinist apprentice must complete 432 hours of school and a tool & die maker must complete 576 hours. An apprentice studies under the watchful eye of skilled journeymen, An apprentice must learn all of the common machine tools. At the completion of the apprenticeship the apprentice is given his/her Wisconsin Journeyman's card. This certifies that you have successfully completed your apprenticeship.
Your completion of the Machine Tool Program will get you credit towards an apprenticeship, so that you can complete it more rapidly. It is a large benefit for an employer to have an apprentice complete the apprenticeship more quickly so schooling is a large factor in their choice of who to put on an apprenticeship.
How You Can Get an Apprenticeship
How Do Employers choose whom to put on an Apprenticeship Employers utilize the same criteria you would if you had your own company. Employers look at the workers they have and decide which one they have the most confidence in. An employer looks at attitude and work ethic. Attitude is reflected in dress, language, commitment, positive or negative outlook, quality of work, ability to work with others, and many other characteristics. Work ethic is reflected in attendance, tardiness, attention to detail, quality, independence, motivation, whether the employee works overtime and many other characteristics. School is very important to an employer. Is the employee taking classes in machining or other related topics? This shows interest to an employer. An employer is betting 4-5 years on the employee they choose so they need to be quite careful, If you want to be an apprentice some day, start developing these characteristics now!
A tool & die maker builds high-class, high precision tooling such as gaging and production jigs & fixtures, stamping dies, molds, and special purpose tooling. A tool & die maker usually builds all of the parts for the tooling. The tool & die maker takes the job from beginning to end. They will be given a print and then make all the parts, assemble them and then test the tooling to make sure that the tooling does what it was supposed to do.
What is a Machinist?
A machinist is an employee who is capable of running various machine tools. Machinists are able to read blueprints, set up and operate machine tools, and produce and inspect parts. They may machine large quantities of parts or make one-of-a-kind parts. There is a huge demand for machinists.
What Does an Employer Expect From You When You Start?
An employer knows you are just beginning. The first thing an employer looks for is attitude, work ethic and attendance. An employer will start you on simple jobs first. You may begin by cutting stock that will be used by other machinists to produce parts. You may be asked to deburr parts that were made by other machinists, You may be asked to assemble parts. Remember that all jobs are important. Quality and time is important. As you prove yourself you will be given additional responsibility. You should not be afraid of your new job. As you and the employer gain confidence in your abilities you will begin to machine your own parts. Quality and time are important. You must do quality work in a timely manner.
Costs of the Employer
Assume that the shop bids on jobs based on $50. 00 per hour. Further assume that they pay a beginning worker $ 10 ~ 00 per hour and pay another $4 per hour in benefits such as heath insurance and other benefits. That adds up to $14 per hour. Where does the other $36 go? There are many expenses that need to be paid. Below are some of the things that need to be paid for:
Material Machines Benefit costs (insurance, retirement, social security, workman's compensation, etc. Building Tooling Energy Costs (heating, electrical, etc.) Telephone Parking maintenance and snow removal Management, maintenance, engineering, secretarial, and other personnel costs Scrap costs Shipping costs Profit And many other costs. At times we have heard employees say "what does the employer care if I take a day off. He doesn't have to pay me when I'm not there." Well, as you can see, the employer has planned on generating $50.00 per hour/per employee to cover costs and generate a profit to reinvest in the company in new machines and tooling. If you are not there they are not paying you your 10$ wage but are still paying your $4 in benefits and the other $40 in costs are still there. So, They are losing $40 every hour that they could have made if you had been there. That is one reason employers often tell us they would rather have an employee of average skills who is there every day than a hot-shot who misses work regularly. They cannot afford a hotshot who isn't there. Likewise we have heard students say "what do they care if I take a day off. I'm paying for my class time." We do care! There is a large list of students waiting to get into the program. Every extra day you take prevents their entry for another day. You will be the most successful if you consider school to be just like employment. The more you put in -the more you get out!
The Machine Tool Program has enjoyed many years of success. Graduates have been very successful. Virtually all of the graduates are employed in machining. A great many have served apprenticeships and are journeyman machinists and tool & die makers. Many graduates have moved into management roles in their companies. Some have started their own very successful machine shops and now employ graduates of the program. The last few years there have been many more jobs than graduates. The outlook is very positive for graduates. The shortage of machinists has raised pay and benefits.
Self Paced Learning
The program is based on a methodology called self-paced, individualized-instruction. You will use curriculum that has been developed to help you work your way through the whole program. The materials and projects were developed to meet the National Machine Tool Standards. This is one of the only machine tool programs in the nation that meets all of the standards.
You will work at your won pace, as long as you have your work done in the required time. You can work faster. If you are able to work at a faster pace, you will finish the program in less time and be able to be employed full time more quickly. The machine tool program is an intensive program that requires that the student be self-disciplined and make a specific amount of progress in an allotted timeframe. If a student does not make specific progress in the program, he/she will be asked to meet with the program instructor as well as the academic counselor. It will be at this time that the student will receive an "F" letter grade and will be asked to reenroll in the course. Upon completion of the course, the student's grade will be adjusted to reflect the work that was done, and the student will proceed into the next course. This can possibly give the student time to get ahead in his/her studies. However, if the student does not complete this repeat course or any other machine tool repeat course in the allotted time, he (she may be withdrawn from training for a period of nine weeks. The student will then be placed at the top of the waiting list and, as an opening occurs, he/she will be asked to reenroll in the course. Upon reentering the program, if the student does not make the necessary progress, he/she will be asked to not reenter the program. If you have any question regarding this policy, please see one of the machine tool instructors or your academic counselor. Again, we in the machine tool staff look forward to working with you to make this learning experience a very positive and prosperous one.
You will work with modules of instruction. Each module of instruction will have the following information.
A sample of student objectives can be found below in Figure 1.
Just as time is money to an employer, time is money to you. You are paying for every hour you are in school. You are also paying an opportunity cost. Every extra week that it takes you to complete the Machine Tool Program is one week you could have been working full time and being paid. So apply yourself in a quality, time conscious manner. You should also study outside of class. Remember you pay for every hour you are in the classroom or lab. You can study at home for free and use your class time to make more rapid progress.
There are only two places you are allowed to be while lab is in session. You must either be in the lab/classroom or in the library. If you go to the library you must sign out. These are the only places you can be. Failure to follow this rule will result in a letter in your file on the first infraction, time off the second time and expulsion on the third.
Written projects are graded on a percentage basis. Unless otherwise stated, 70% is required to pass a written project. Sometimes we feel that a grade exceeding 70% should be required to pass certain projects because a person working in a machine shop should be able to do things at a higher proficiency. As an example, "Measuring with a Fractional Steel Rule to 1/64 of an Inch" requires 80% to pass.
Shop projects are graded as an A, when they have been completed to the satisfaction of an instructor.
Tests, formerly called inventories, are graded similar to written projects. They also use percentage as a base. Again, as with written projects, a grade of 70% is required to pass unless a higher grade is specified. The same reasoning discussed under written projects is used to determine what percentage to require on a particular test.
Change in dimension will result in the loss of one letter grade.
Lower than a C, entire part will be done over. A complete does over of the project.
If a project meets all the specifications or requirements, it should receive an A.
The student has the option at the end of the block to repeat a project to raise the grade for that project, if time allows within that block.
Attitude is defined in The American Heritage Dictionary as "a posture or manner of carrying oneself, indicative of a mood or condition," as well as "a state of mind or feeling." In the Machine Tool program, we look on attitude as an extremely important component in how successful you will be-not only in our program, but also in industry. Attitude is so important that in a recent publication it was stated that "the most important thing we look for in employees is attitude."
One exhibits a good attitude by being punctual and using time in the best possible capacity. The willingness to learn and not become discouraged when a project must be repeated. Verbally expressing oneself in a professional manner. Respecting and complying with all school policies. Remember that you are always under the watchful eye of your instructors. We will be watching you for attitude, attendance and work ethic. We will be evaluating you as an employer would. Do you follow the rules or are you constantly pushing or breaking them? How are you dressed? Do you wear clothing that makes you look clean-cut and professional or like a gang member? Is your language appropriate or spiced with constant obscenity. Do you use your time wisely and productively? Is your work done to specifications and in a timely manner? Please think about these questions and evaluate yourself. We will be evaluating you on these qualities while you are in the program. Your employer will be evaluating you on these and other qualities when you are employed. These are the types of qualities that employers look at when they choose who to put on apprenticeships, who gets raises, how much they get, and who gets promoted. Exhibiting cooperation in working in a team environment. In order to establish and reinforce a good attitude, the following guidelines will be laid down for noncompliance.
Machine Shop Attendance Policy
Employment generally represents forty (40) hours per week of attendance. It is our contention to adhere to a form of attendance policy that is compatible to industrial procedures.
NO WORK-NO PAY-NO CREDIT
The attendance policy for all Machine Shop classes is as follows:
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