Opinon Machinist or Machine Operator? You decide..

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Thread: Machinist or Machine Operator? You decide..

  1. #1
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    Default Machinist or Machine Operator? You decide..



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    Member machinehop5's Avatar
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    Default Re: Machinist or Machine Operator? You decide..

    Under paid and Over worked. Thanks chet470 for the laughs.



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    Default Re: Machinist or Machine Operator? You decide..

    I'm retired tool & die maker. To me, machinist is someone who can make complete part, it does not matter what operation and machine setup is involved on multiple machines, from turning, milling, grinding, forming your own cutting tools, machinist does all.. The rest are machine operators..

    My 2¢


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    Default Re: Machinist or Machine Operator? You decide..

    Not necessarily. A machinist would be someone that creates a part or an assembly of parts and does everything from programming/setting the machine through running it .
    Where as a machine operator simply presses the button to make it go.



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    Default Re: Machinist or Machine Operator? You decide..

    My job involves meeting people and interviewing them about certain things. Employment is a key thing to know. One woman told me she was a machinist so I was interested in what she actually does on her job.

    She said she puts a part in the machine and pushes the two green buttons one with each hand.

    That is an operator not a machinist ...



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    Default Re: Machinist or Machine Operator? You decide..

    I say if I had you a print and you can go make the part to the print your a Machinist. Weather it be your a manual, cnc, or all around machinist is up to you. I have worked my tail off for the past 10 years learning everything I could from guys, and learning every type of machine or machine controller. I busted my rear to get better at CAD/CAM and to grow everyday. So, when guys come to my work or even talk to me saying yeah I'm a machinist i run this and that. Yet all your really doing is pushing buttons so your a Operator, and I do my setups, and run a machine your a Setup Operator. When you get a print or reverse engineer a part, do the CAD/CAM, manual, lathe, or, mill whatever it may be your not a Full Blown Machinist.

    And I know the older gentlemen will also say Surface Grind, and Weld.



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    Default Re: Machinist or Machine Operator? You decide..

    the machinist title goes way back in the world of machining and today doesn't have the same meaning as it once did
    the meaning that a machinist can make a part for a wide variety of machines may not be true today as there are specialized fields that exist more frequently than in the past
    The machinist may have all the titles, machine operator,set up person ( manual or cnc ) or even the programmer
    machine operator= push the green button to start, push the red one to stop
    set up person=set up some or all of the machines in the machine shop. walk away and let the operators run the machine.Some will set up lathes 2 axis, or 3+ axis,vtl's,some vmc's/hmc's,some manual machines,grinders(surface, center-less blanchard) ect.

    A machinist in my eyes these days is the person that people go to to get the answers to their machining problem ( similar to a chief petty officer in the navy ) or can solve their own problems with little supervision within the shop that they are employed in


    i agree with minitech as i had the same thing happen years ago interviewing a couple of people because the union at a manufacturer said if you push the green button you are a machinist (this mind set devalued the term machinist )

    "She said she puts a part in the machine and pushes the two green buttons one with each hand".



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    Default Re: Machinist or Machine Operator? You decide..

    the manual guy who stood in the corner for 20 years drilling a hole in the same parts over and over again is no different from a vise loading button pusher . Those aren't machinists . I've seen it said many times over that the machinist trade is pretty much dead , which usually comes from manual guys .

    The trade has evolved with technology and the same expectations lay on the machinist as they always have . What I find interesting is the amount of manual guys who I have worked with , or , I have talked to who are so fast to shoot down "cnc machinists" , I've jokingly been called a premadonna many times from the manual guys .
    Most cnc "machinists" can walk up to a manual machine and easily have it doing it's job , it's not so quick and easy going the other way from manual to cnc . Who's less of a machinist under those circumstances ? I have great respect for both ends of the trade but there are many reasons for cnc to exist . I've seen seasoned manual guys absolutely s*^%ing themselves when they had to stand in and operate a cnc. A lot of that fear is due to the lack of hands on control , either way they came to respect whats involved with cnc machining .

    Production shops tend to have a few key guys who are well rounded to oversee the operation . Then the rest is up to operators to keep the machines fed . Jobbing shops on the other hand are very hands on and are usually run by heavily skilled machinists , with very few operators in that scene . This stands in most manual or cnc run shops
    I have no less personal respect for a machine operate than I do a machinist , each persons job is important to the company . But , on a professional level a machinist is a machinist , and a button pusher is nothing more than a machine operator , cnc technician or what ever label a company may want to put on them



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    Default Re: Machinist or Machine Operator? You decide..

    Quote Originally Posted by mjones86 View Post
    I say if I had you a print and you can go make the part to the print your a Machinist. Weather it be your a manual, cnc, or all around machinist is up to you. I have worked my tail off for the past 10 years learning everything I could from guys, and learning every type of machine or machine controller. I busted my rear to get better at CAD/CAM and to grow everyday. So, when guys come to my work or even talk to me saying yeah I'm a machinist i run this and that. Yet all your really doing is pushing buttons so your a Operator, and I do my setups, and run a machine your a Setup Operator. When you get a print or reverse engineer a part, do the CAD/CAM, manual, lathe, or, mill whatever it may be your not a Full Blown Machinist.

    And I know the older gentlemen will also say Surface Grind, and Weld.
    More specifically ...at least in my day...….you were a machinist if you had that bit of paper that said you've spent 5 years learning your trade...….without that piece of paper you're only as good as Joe Blow who came in on the broom and learned a few tricks or two by watching others do it.

    Even if you've spent 20 years practicing what you've picked up on the sly, without the correct basic learning curve you miss the fundamentals of trade discipline and procedure.....that's why I could always ask for the money and get it.

    I'm a fully qualified Fitter and Turner and have the papers to prove it...…..started in 1957, retired 20 years now.
    Ian.



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    Default Re: Machinist or Machine Operator? You decide..

    Quote Originally Posted by metalmayhem View Post
    the manual guy who stood in the corner for 20 years drilling a hole in the same parts over and over again is no different from a vise loading button pusher . Those aren't machinists . I've seen it said many times over that the machinist trade is pretty much dead , which usually comes from manual guys .

    The trade has evolved with technology and the same expectations lay on the machinist as they always have . What I find interesting is the amount of manual guys who I have worked with , or , I have talked to who are so fast to shoot down "cnc machinists" , I've jokingly been called a premadonna many times from the manual guys .
    Most cnc "machinists" can walk up to a manual machine and easily have it doing it's job , it's not so quick and easy going the other way from manual to cnc . Who's less of a machinist under those circumstances ? I have great respect for both ends of the trade but there are many reasons for cnc to exist . I've seen seasoned manual guys absolutely s*^%ing themselves when they had to stand in and operate a cnc. A lot of that fear is due to the lack of hands on control , either way they came to respect whats involved with cnc machining .

    Production shops tend to have a few key guys who are well rounded to oversee the operation . Then the rest is up to operators to keep the machines fed . Jobbing shops on the other hand are very hands on and are usually run by heavily skilled machinists , with very few operators in that scene . This stands in most manual or cnc run shops
    I have no less personal respect for a machine operate than I do a machinist , each persons job is important to the company . But , on a professional level a machinist is a machinist , and a button pusher is nothing more than a machine operator , cnc technician or what ever label a company may want to put on them
    To put your reply into it's proper perspective.....in my mind...…..nowadays the engineering trade has deskilled the process of manufacture.

    In my day the manual machinist was taught from his inception as a machinist to read the drawing, make the part and or fit it too...…..that was how it was done...…...now, due to the need to have the part yesterday, and more of them at a tenth of the price, the process of manufacture has gone to making the machine the skilled manufacturing component and the person the operator of that machine.

    This does not take away the fact that a person skilled at pushing the right buttons and interpreting the tooling path is also a skilled person......but within a different job description...... the term operator in reality means as long as you push the right buttons as you've been shown, you still have a job...…...just don't grow old and forgetful......they never had computers or calculators until 1973 when I was machining, and today I would not be able to compete even with a start out hopeful operator in the engineering scene, probably push a few buttons occasionally but to earn my crust......no.

    I do have a CNC mill at home with all the bells and whistles, but writing G code and messing with it is just for fun and would never be a competitive money earner this side of Hades.

    LOL…..as the cookie crumbles, I now have an interest in 3D printing.....for fun.
    Ian.



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    Default Re: Machinist or Machine Operator? You decide..

    I get the impression that you look at cnc as nothing but pumping out millions of little parts at a time , where there is nothing else to it other than pushing a green button . While thats the case in many production outfits , it's far from the case in the jobbing shops where a guy is only putting out 1-10 parts . The setups are still old school methods down and dirty get it done . A 200k gearbox for example would have multiple setups on it and they usually consist of multiple high tolerance bores . Those types of things take multiple runs because it would be foolish to run a boring head through expecting that the bore will be perfect in one shot , no different than the old days . You should take a walk through one of those types of shops and you may appreciate what is still involved in making high tolerance high end parts
    At the end of the day , You can't screw up one of those big parts and tell the boss " hey it's the machines fault I did my job and pressed the green button "



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    Default Re: Machinist or Machine Operator? You decide..

    Hi, What you say is true in many respects and I've been out of the work force for the last 20 years etc so practices in current day workplaces are as much a foreign land as the other side of the World.

    Having a CNC mill in my own workshop, purely for the fun thing aspect, also gives me an insight that it's less labour intensive to make a single part with a number of dimensions that otherwise would have to be marked off with some marking fluid and then have the lines and pitches scribed to give me a starting point for the subsequent end product......even a one off part can be/will be more accurate with CNC when it comes to positioning etc.

    It's a whole new skill approach where man and machine come together for the greater good...…..I think on that score the man and machine part has always been a factor in any manufacturing except now it's taken a right angled turn in the methodology...…..for the better I would hasten to add.

    One thing I've found, and this is something that CNC scores heavily in the plus factor, and that is, if you do a job and decided to change it in some way or...... shock horror …..make a mistake it is simple to do a change to the program and bang out another part in a few minutes where previously to do the part all over again would take a few hours.....that is one thing I love about having my machine buddy to "just go and do it again mate."

    I'm taking the condition of the machinery out of the equation as this applies across the board in any situation, but old school machinists learned to cater for worn machines by applying their hands on ability to do the job.

    BTW, even if the job, as you said, was a 100K gearbox with multiple tolerances that just had to be bang on, a single slip up in a vital sector, be it with CNC or manual manufacture, could make it scrap in any situation...…..nowadays if we want to go from A to B it's a motorised transport thing instead of hitching up your four legged sturdy steed for a day's travel along dirt roads etc.....you can't stop progress.
    Ian.



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    Default Re: Machinist or Machine Operator? You decide..

    I'll definitely agree that cnc has taken a lot of the labor out of the fraction but the old principles still remain . I've had times where I cut compound angles on 3 axis mills with stacked angle plates and a part mounted on top , I'd look at the drawing then look back at the machine with my head tilted to make sure I'm looking at things right lol . I'm sure your no stranger to that sort of thing on the manuals . Luckily I didn't have to do that too many times , It can still get ugly but it's just different .
    Speaking of worn machines . I worked with a woman who was wicked on the manual lathe and the thing was shot , for the most part she always had that thing humming . The maintenance guy one day pulled the lathe apart with the intention of rebuilding it . The screw on the cross slide was shaped like an hour glass , and she still kept serious tolerances on big parts , she just knew her machine



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    Default Re: Machinist or Machine Operator? You decide..

    LOL....I can really understand what you are saying....my main machine in my garage is a 1932 Colchester Bantam lathe that I brought over from UK in 1981 when I emigrated to OZ...…..the bed had .013" wear down near the chuck end making saddle adjustment well nigh impossible, so I recut the 3 Vee's and 2 flats top and bottom on the bed with a hand planer device I made and scraped the saddle in to fit.....took about 3 weeks of evening work but now it works.

    I'm still very new to CNC work, and have barely scratched the surface with my CNC mill, but it helps to keep the interest in engineering alive and at 80 I need lots of incentive to make anything now, but embracing new technology is a challenge and I intend to live forever.....LOL.
    Ian.



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    Default Re: Machinist or Machine Operator? You decide..

    80 seems to have become the new 50 so you likely have a long time yet to play with you cnc , my mother inlaw turned 81 yesterday and still does 18 holes a couple times a week



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    Default Re: Machinist or Machine Operator? You decide..

    One thing's for sure, I couldn't do an 8 hour shift now no matter what they paid me....there's talk here that the retirement age could be extended to 70......talk about getting blood out of a stone.....when I was retrenched at age 64 and had to look for another job to satisfy the Social Security people, the various and many work places I applied at told me I was far too old even at 50.....so the Social people put me on a mature age pension and told me not to bother looking anymore......That was probably to get the unemployment statistics down and many others younger than me were doing the same.
    Ian.



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    Default Re: Machinist or Machine Operator? You decide..

    I don't think anyone so far has mentioned another vital difference between a machinist (or tool maker) and a machine operator:
    The former can also design and make jigs which work.

    I spend a lot of time making jigs for my CNC rather than making parts, but it is the jigs which hold the tolerances.

    Cheers
    Roger



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    Default Re: Machinist or Machine Operator? You decide..

    oau, what a conversation i am so full of wisdom-ready-2-share :
    ... once an operator, maybe always an operator; once a machinist, never again an operator
    ... women are the best machinists; god is a woman
    ... you can graduate and get a diploma of engineer, or operator; you can't get a machinist diploma, but maybe a machinist T-shirt
    ... operators have patience & endurance; machinists don't, and especially they don't listen to bul**** for more then 2-3 seconds or words
    ... machinists need operators, because someone has to work operators needs machinists, because otherwise they will have nothing to work
    ... a 3-4 month operator knows more then a 30y machinist
    ... an operator knows that math works; a machinist knows that math may work
    ... an operator is pushing the green button; a machinist is pushing the cycle-start
    ... an operator works harder; a machinist works smarter
    ... operators believe that machinist are the one to blame; and vice-versa : this keeps the world spinning
    ... operators try to get that girl; machinists allready lost it
    ... an operator can measure; a machinist can calibrate the measurement
    ... an operator that respects the machine, the tool, the fixture, and the process, will deliver good parts by default, and may become a machinist
    ... if you fall over an oil stain, you are an operator; if you crash a cnc, you are a machinist
    ... an operator uses the recomanded specs from the insert package label; a machinist can hear & feel the machine
    ... operator skill < machinist skill < mechatronist skill

    that's it, my inspiration is gone, because i type slower than i think / kindly

    ps : i wish to change my vote on this poll

    the human body has enough iron to make a nail ... i can also make the hammer :) i mean a plastic hammer


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    Member Mecanix's Avatar
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    Default Re: Machinist or Machine Operator? You decide..

    Put in a modern context (cnc) the machine is the machinist, the operator operates (or control) the machinist.

    e.g I'm not a machinist, anymore, my automated machine-tools are. I am therefore an operator/programmer.



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    Default Re: Machinist or Machine Operator? You decide..

    My question is. Who cares anyway?

    The point is that there are many steps in the process of designing and building an assembly. At no point is there a person who is MORE important or better than anyone else. It takes the entire team to be successful. If you think otherwise, I don't want you working with me.

    This is the position that you have to have if you want to be successful building something that is bigger than what a single person can do. Over the years I have met/employed lots of people who were just amazing at what they did. But when you ask them to work with other people and coordinate on a large project, they can't. That type of person is no better or worse than others when properly applied. I have met some very smart people who have absolutely no common sense whatsoever. Some people who where great at doing a task they understood, but had much difficulty working tasks that were new. All of these people had great value to their company and accomplishing the mission. What everyone has to understand is that tackling a big project requires a structured workforce where all of the tasks are covered by staff that can do the job. Mind you, I am not knocking the guy that can only work by himself, but he will never get to Mars. Likewise, a Machinist or Machine Operator will not get there alone either.

    Often, companies today don't have well defined goals. They don't state up front "This is what we are trying to do". I bet that most people if asked, "What is the goal of your company", would not be able to give a consistent answer. This is a problem of leadership. Since the overall goals define the makeup of the company, how can anyone be effective if they don't know what is a priority? An example: If a company wants to become the leader in electric vehicles, should they higher a bunch of auto mechanics? No. Should they hire lots of sales staff? No. They have to have the right mix of Leadership, Scientists, Engineers, Technicians, Assembly workers, Software programmers, Marketing, Finance, and the list goes on and on. A big harry ass goal often requires lots of skilled people.

    A company always must improve productivity. The effect of this is that they will be able to do more with less staff. This, most often, eliminates the middle and lower tier workers. An Engineer now is expected to do their own design, and much of the documentation and test of their product. With simulation and CADD/CAM software there is less need for a Draftsman and Test Technician staff. As this process continues with virtualization, AI, and additive manufacturing, the workforce will get thinner and thinner. At some point there won't be button pushers. This is progress at work. For anyone being displaced, take the opportunity to learn something new and stay in demand.

    Bob
    Read the book "Good to Great" by Jim Collins



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