How to Be Fabrication Machinist - Job Description, Skills, and Interview Questions
Fabrication machinists play an important role in the manufacturing industry by creating parts used in the production of various products. They use a variety of machine tools and equipment to shape, cut, and form metal into parts that are then used in the assembly of products. This process requires knowledge and skill in order to ensure accuracy and consistency in the finished product.
The cause of this is that fabrication machinists must be able to read and interpret blueprints, set-up and operate machines, understand materials, and measure and inspect parts. The effect of this is that their work is critical to the success of many products, as accuracy and precision are essential. their skills are also important for safety, as any errors in the fabrication process may have disastrous results.
Fabrication machinists therefore require a deep understanding of materials, machinery, processes, and product specifications in order to produce quality parts that meet the customer's needs.
Steps How to Become
- Obtain a High School Diploma or GED. Most employers will require a high school diploma or GED to work as a Fabrication Machinist.
- Pursue Vocational Training. Completion of a vocational program in machining and/or welding is necessary to work as a Fabrication Machinist. There are a variety of programs available, ranging from short-term certificate programs to two-year associate degree programs.
- Get Certified. Many employers prefer to hire workers who have obtained certification from the National Institute for Metalworking Skills, or NIMS. This certification is available for machinists, welders, and other metalworking professionals. Additionally, many states require machinists to have a journeymans license or other type of certification.
- Obtain Work Experience. Many employers prefer to hire workers who have obtained some experience in the field. This can be obtained through an apprenticeship program, on-the-job training, or by working as a helper or assistant for an experienced Fabrication Machinist.
- Consider Specialization. Fabrication Machinists often specialize in certain types of machinery or materials. Specializing in one area can make you more competitive in the job market.
- Operate machine tools such as lathes, milling machines, and grinders to produce precision metal parts.
- Read and interpret blueprints, engineering drawings, and other technical documents to determine the required materials, tools, and sequence of operations.
- Measure, mark, and scribe dimensions and reference points on material or work pieces for subsequent machining.
- Position and secure work pieces on machines using clamps or fixtures.
- Calculate dimensions and tolerances using measuring instruments such as micrometers, calipers, and gauges.
- Monitor machine operations to detect malfunctions or out-of-tolerance machining and adjust machine settings as necessary.
- Select and align cutting tools in tool holders on machines.
- Feed stock into machines and adjust machines to ensure proper processing of parts.
- Verify completed work pieces for accuracy and conformance to specifications using measuring instruments such as micrometers, calipers, and gauges.
- Fabricate parts and components according to specifications using welding, brazing, soldering, and other metalworking techniques.
Skills and Competencies to Have
- Precision measurement and inspection techniques
- Blueprint reading and interpretation
- Computer numerical control (CNC) programming
- Manual machining techniques
- Working knowledge of mechanical systems
- Welding and soldering techniques
- Knowledge of proper operation and maintenance of machine shop tools
- Knowledge of safety procedures in a machine shop
- Ability to lift and move heavy objects
- Problem solving and critical thinking skills
Being a successful fabrication machinist requires a combination of knowledge, experience, and skills. Having knowledge of the various types of materials and techniques used in the fabrication process is a must. Experienced machinists know the best ways to cut, shape, and join materials to create a finished product.
In addition, being able to read and interpret blueprints, schematics, and other technical drawings is essential for success in this field. The ability to use precision measuring tools and equipment accurately is another key skill. Attention to detail and problem-solving abilities are also important qualities that machinists need to be successful.
By having these skills, a fabrication machinist can produce high-quality products safely and efficiently while meeting customer expectations.
Frequent Interview Questions
- What experience do you have as a Fabrication Machinist?
- How do you stay up to date on the latest technology and machining techniques?
- What safety protocols do you follow when operating machinery?
- How do you ensure accuracy when fabricating parts?
- Describe your experience troubleshooting and repairing machinery.
- What strategies do you use to ensure efficient machining operations?
- How do you prioritize tasks and manage time when working with multiple machines?
- How do you communicate effectively with other team members?
- What challenges have you faced as a Fabrication Machinist?
- What suggestions do you have for improving the efficiency of the machining process?
Common Tools in Industry
- Lathe. A machine tool used to shape metal, wood, or other material with a rotating cutting tool. (eg: Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) Lathe)
- Milling Machine. A machine tool used to shape metal, wood, or other material by moving a cutting tool across the surface. (eg: CNC Vertical Milling Machine)
- Drill Press. A machine used to drill holes in material. (eg: Benchtop Drill Press)
- Grinder. A machine used to shape and finish material with rotating grinding wheels. (eg: Surface Grinder)
- Saw. A machine used to cut material into various shapes and sizes. (eg: Band Saw)
- Press Brake. A machine used to bend sheet metal into various shapes. (eg: Hydraulic Press Brake)
- Sheet Metal Shear. A machine used to cut sheet metal into various shapes and sizes. (eg: Hydraulic Sheet Metal Shear)
- Welding Machine. A machine used to join two pieces of material through the use of heat and/or pressure. (eg: MIG Welder)
- CNC Router. A computer-controlled machine used to cut various materials into shapes and sizes. (eg: 3-Axis CNC Router)
Professional Organizations to Know
- The Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, International (FMA): A trade association that offers education, technical resources and networking opportunities to metal fabricators and manufacturers.
- Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME): A professional society that provides resources and educational opportunities for manufacturing professionals.
- National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS): A professional organization that sets and maintains standards for the metalworking industry.
- American Welding Society (AWS): A professional organization that promotes the science, technology and application of welding and related joining technologies.
- Society of Tooling and Manufacturing Technology (STMT): An international professional organization that provides education and resources for tooling and manufacturing professionals.
- International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW): A labor union that represents workers in the aerospace and machining industries.
- American Machine Tool Distributors Association (AMTDA): A professional trade association that promotes the interests of machine tool distributors and manufacturers.
Common Important Terms
- Lathe. A machine that rotates a workpiece about an axis of rotation to perform various operations such as cutting, sanding, drilling, and grinding.
- Milling Machine. A machine tool used to shape solid materials by cutting, drilling, or grinding.
- Drill Press. A machine tool for drilling holes in various materials using a rotating cutting tool.
- CNC (Computer Numerical Control). A system that uses computers to control machine tools such as lathes, mills, and grinders. It enables machinists to produce parts more quickly and accurately than manual methods.
- Die Casting. A manufacturing process in which molten metal is forced into a die cavity under pressure to create a desired shape.
- EDM (Electrical Discharge Machining). A machining process that uses electrical sparks to cut or shape metal.
- Jig. A device used to guide and secure a tool or workpiece in place during machining operations.
- Fixture. A device used to secure and position a workpiece during machining operations.
- Grinder. A machine tool used to grind the surface of a workpiece.
- Tapping. The process of cutting threads on the inside of a hole using a special cutting tool called a tap.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Fabrication Machinist?
A Fabrication Machinist is a skilled tradesperson who operates machine tools to cut, shape, and form metal components for use in a variety of products and structures.
What types of tools are used by Fabrication Machinists?
Fabrication Machinists typically use a variety of machine tools including lathes, milling machines, drill presses, grinders, and saws to cut, shape, and form metal components.
What qualifications are required to become a Fabrication Machinist?
To become a Fabrication Machinist, individuals typically need to complete an apprenticeship program or vocational training, as well as obtain a Journeyman certification from the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS).
What type of environment do Fabrication Machinists work in?
Fabrication Machinists typically work in workshops and factories, operating machine tools to create metal components. The environment can be noisy, and safety precautions must be taken at all times.
What kind of salary can Fabrication Machinists expect to earn?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for Fabrication Machinists in 2019 was $43,390. Salaries can vary depending on experience and location.
What are jobs related with Fabrication Machinist?
- Assembly Machinist
- Grinder Machinist
- Prototype Machinist
- Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Machinist
- Quality Control Machinist
- Tool and Die Machinist
- Mill Machinist
- Fabrication and Machining | Information Services and Technology dotcio.rpi.edu
- Fabrication Machine Shop | DEPARTMENT OF PHYSICS www.physics.harvard.edu
- Machining & Fabrication | LSU Mechanical & Industrial www.lsu.edu