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IndustryArena Forum > Community Club House > Machinist Hangout > Machinist or Machine Operator? You decide..

View Poll Results: Is a machine operator a machinist

Voters
16. You may not vote on this poll
  • Yes

    1 6.25%
  • No

    15 93.75%
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Results 1 to 12 of 49
  1. #1
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    Mar 2009
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    Machinist or Machine Operator? You decide..

    Seems like an interesting phenomenon. Definitely some truth to this.

    Please see the article in the link

    https://www.maiden-creek.com/blog/ma...the-dirty-word

  2. #2
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    177

    Re: Machinist or Machine Operator? You decide..

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

  3. #3
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    Nov 2008
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    396

    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..
    Forget about global warming...Visualize using your turn signal!

  4. #4
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    Nov 2013
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    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.

  5. #5
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    Apr 2005
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    23

    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 ...

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jun 2019
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    5

    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.

  7. #7
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    Feb 2011
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    248

    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".

  8. #8

    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

  9. #9
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    6297

    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.

  10. #10
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    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.

  11. #11

    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 "

  12. #12
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    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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