Nice to meet you all. I have been a CNC machinist (vert. and horiz. mills only, no lathes) for about 9 years now. When I started I knew nothing about machining at all. But a strong math background, the willingness to learn (and retain info), the ability to ask the right questions and a good imagination helped me advance very quickly within the shop. In about 3 1/2 years I became lead man on second shift working with and training 8-12 new operators at any given time. So I must have impressed someone! When I started we were still running punch tapes to load programs. Eventually we installed a DNC system. Here is my problem... Our company is experiencing a severe down sizing due to lack of work, I think it is from failure to keep up with new technology, but thats another story for another time. Needless to say I and about 75 people, 70% of the shop, have been laid off. The entire western NY area is suffering the same fate. So it is time for me to move on. I am extremely nervous about this move. I am planning a move to Florida where there seems to be a lot of machining work. ( The weather doesnt hurt either!) Buffalo is c-c-c-c-cold! I am afraid that what I know will not be enough in todays maching world. This is a link to the place I worked and the machines I operated.
Keep in mind all I ran were the mills. I did set up, offset changes, program edits, Z depths, X and Y edits for tight tolerance locatons and sizes, speeds and feeds worked closely with programers to proof new programs (crashes could be nasty!) and helped lower cycle times. The question I have (finally!) is how much of what I know will transfer to different machines and types of maching. Do I really know as much as I think I know or am I going to look like an idiot? I have to admit some of the people I advanced past werent the brightest bulbs on the tree! All I have run are SNK and OKK machines all with FANUC controls. I see a lot of MAZAK controls and conversational programming out there. Is this difficult and where can I go online to learn some of this before I have to actually use it? I really enjoy the maching industry and eventually would like to learn more about programming for a production shop. You know safe and easy on operators while still putting quality parts on the floor in the least amount of time. Any help you all can give will be appreciated!! Sorry about the really long post but I am really nervous about this change and it feels good to get it all of my chest. Thanks again, Jeff