You're a programmer, and your company is trying to **** you.
I need to verify the title the company i work for is giving me. I receive CAD files (sometimes edit the files) and import them into my CAM software where I create the tool paths (set feeds,speeds...). However my company says I'm a operator only because the files are already drawn and designed by the CAD people. But i cannot take these drawings and ask the machine nicely to cut them! I've tried, it doesn't work... Anyone? This is for wage research purposes.
You're a programmer, and your company is trying to **** you.
Yes you are a NC programmer, depending on what area of the country you reside and type of machines you program and are responsiable for.
I import CAD parts into our CAM software.
8 years experiance and job title is Senior CNC programmer.
CAD without Code is just a drawing. So what it is already drawn if there is no code and tool path there is no part. A operator chucks up stock and runs code produced by the CAM guy using the drawings from the Designers.
sounds like your company is using you to their advantage in a dubious way.
thanks for the feedback! also can i say i'm a progammer/operator? is that an official title? i appreciate any help/feedback. I operate a Multicam 3000 (mostly plywood, mdf, plastics...) and Flow StoneCrafter WaterJet. Also minimal experience on a Kuka Robotic Arm (7 Axis- rotary table)
The drawings or models are done by CAD drafters, NC-code is run by the operators
then who is programming.....?
They do not recognise that a CAM stage exists.
Note that.... CAD-CAM is programming
If you are programming for the machine then setting/running that code, you are as you say a "Programmer / Setter / Operator"
Even more $$ than a Programmer/Operator ( yes, it can be termed as a position )
In my experience, the only 'official titles' are 'HR' related titles. They are not related to anything in the 'real universe'. They are defined for determining pay scales. Sometimes they use 'official titles' because they can find 'official job descriptions' in various industries. But often they are inconsistent in implementation at best.
One time I had a title of 'DBA' because that is the only position they had the job requisition open for, but the boss wanted me so they made me an official 'dba'. I still don't know the SQL language well, and never will. -- I performed completely different functions.
Years ago before before humans became 'resources', there were 'employee relations' department. But moving to the HR title it allowed a psychological change in the relationship from the management side that allowed more view of employees as staplers. Functionally replaceable units. ... I guess I could whine on this for days. ...
In this case, if your current management describes your position as 'operator', that is what should go on your resume, but include a 'description of duties' that should make it clear you were a 'CNC Programmer / Operator'.
- Design Engineer: Designs the parts and might build the solid models and/or drawings.
- Draftsman (not so common anymore): builds a CAD model without any real design decisions (builds what the engineer tells them to). This can still be a pretty technical skill depending on the complexity of the model. I guess some shops have people who do this with customer prints. Draftsman also know the drawing conventions and standards and use them to communicate the design intent.
- Manufacturing Engineer: takes a CAD model and makes all the manufacturing decisions. Chooses the brand and types of cutters, the holding methods, the sequence of operations and does the programming using a variety of tools (code at the machine, CAM software, CAD software, etc). They may also help with first article production and design of the workholding (custom jigs, tooling plates, etc).
- Machinist: a person skilled in the setup of a modern CNC machine to get it to achieve and maintain tolerance. This will include following setup sheets (from the manufacturing engineer), squaring-up tooling, loading cutters, setting all the relative lengths and diameters, monitoring feeds & speeds and giving that feedback back to the Manufacturing Engineer to optimize production. The machinist will also produce, prepare and assemble any custom workholding that will be used in the job.
- Operator: a beer-fed meat servo that is paid to stand in front of a machine, open the door when the light starts going blinky-blinky, remove the finished part, load another blank, close the workholding, close the door and push the big green GO button, without cutting their hand off. This person might make minor adjustments to work offsets to maintain tolerance throughout a part run, may run two or three machines simultaneously and may deburr parts while cycles are running. These are the lowest paid people on this ladder but they also don't do much in technical terms.
This subject is something very near and dear to my heart. Right now, I am trying to get this message across to the huge company I work for. They are trying to dumb those five jobs down to two: Engineer and Machinist. They want to pay the Machinists $20/hour but they also wonder why they can't get talented / skilled Mastercam programmers for that price. Manufacturing Engineers don't do anything but coordinate shop floor paperwork and the selection and delivery of the materials.
Management and HR naively think that CAM is somehow simpler than CAD. I can teach any computer-talented 13 year old how to make and export IGES or STEP blobs in Solidworks. It takes a lot of different, but interrelated skills to instruct a 30 HP machine on how to turn that computer blob into a real part.
The problem is that most management walks out into the shop and assumes that everybody out there does the same job, including the Manufacturing Engineer who happens to be wearing a t-shirt and is protecting their uber-expensive Mazak 5-axis Integrex from destruction by an inexperienced hand.
You're definately more than an operator. An operator just presses the big green button or occasionaly the big red button if things start going pear shaped.
Ask yourself this question: how long would it take for the person who done the drawing to actualy get it to make something on the machine. I'll bet you a pound to a penny that it'd be a damn sight longer than it would take for you to do their job
Adopt a title for yourself, stick it on everything you send out including E-Mails- you'll be amazed how quickly peoples' attitudes change. Something along the lines of "Head of CNC Machining".
You're actually controlling the whole manufacturing process- from importing the design and changing it as needed to setting the machine up, fixturing, detailing which tools/coolant, speeds and feeds, measuring critical dimensions, monitoring all production variables whilst ensuring that the job goes out the door correct, on time, every time at a cost value that ensures your company's profitablility.
Don't take no bu*****t, anyone can take a pen and a bit of paper and scribble some lines. It takes quite a bit more to actually physicaly make something out of a lump of steel.
Sorry for the rant, but It does get my back up when folk think that all we do is press the big green button and a perfect part spits out of the machine with all dimensions correct, finish perfect, profile exact, nobody killed or injured and quickly enough that you've made the company lots of pennies.
I love deadlines- I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.
Thanks for the definitions. I am going to take "Imancarrot's" suggestion, and start signing my emails as Manufacturing Engineer and/or Head of CNC Lathe Programming. Wonder if using both would get me a raise?
It's amazing how owners think. Hire an illegal at minimum wages, and let the 2/3 knowledgeable persons do their job while babysitting. Trouble is babysitters make more than some operators.
In a smaller company, lots of those roles get intermingled and people have to cover more.
The Manufacturing Engineer may do the CAD work as well or may do some machining.
The Machinist may be the only person to run the machines so they may also serve as 'operator.'
Some machinists will program basic parts at the control, may also do Mastercam work or design & build their own work holding fixtures.
The biggest question comes down to how much time you're doing each of the jobs. If you're the go-to guy who does the CAM programming, sets up the machines AND runs them, it's pretty hard to just call you an operator.
Of course your only choice to change it might be to quit.
you're working right? That's the most important thing; employed