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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%
Page 2 of 5 1234
Results 13 to 24 of 49
  1. #13

    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

  2. #14
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    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.

  3. #15

    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

  4. #16
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    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.

  5. #17
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    3855

    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

  6. #18
    Member
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    Jun 2015
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    2796

    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
    Ladyhawke - My Delirium, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_bFO1SNRZg

  7. #19

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    Aug 2019
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    216

    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.

  8. #20
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    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

  9. #21
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    Re: Machinist or Machine Operator? You decide..

    What you say is very true Bob, the big defining difference is when you have no tangible competition you will ultimately fail mainly due to complacency and losing the need to diversify.

    It's a bit like pulling an apple out of a barrel full of apples that got there when the season was good.....eventually the barrel will be empty and now you have to look for other sources of nourishment and be more clever in your endeavours.

    In this day and age going into business is a very battle plan scenario...…..equipped with the wrong weapons and you can be beaten by a 10 year old child with a catapult and a walnut.....ask Goliath what he thinks of David now.

    Every time I see adverts for exotic tooling and machines that cost more than the 60's space program and you will understand that the other guy will be doing what you hesitate to do and win every time...…..it's a race to the end to be the most productive for the least cost...…..quality is a by word for reality waiting to happen...…..equip with the wrong tooling and they will sell off your assets at 10 cents in the dollar when you close the doors for the last time.

    It would be great to have a product that nobody thought of and cannot make because only you understand the concept and don't have an infrastructure that needs to continue to expand just to be competitive...…..the car industry is an example of this...…….how many times have I read of very successful car companies that were once totally ahead of the race and then drown in the field of competitive production...….that is because the fickle public like the shine of a coat of paint and choose to change their likes and dislikes at the drop of a hat.

    But.....when your game plan is set on a level playing field and you have to compete on an unlevel playing field you will fail every time, that is evolution at it's most supreme example.

    What I'm driving at is if you want to play hard ball with the other guy you will need to be better in the rules if they exist or make the rules to suit your needs...…...for example the system of unilaterally applying tariffs to exports is one way to level the playing field......sauce for the Goose is also sauce for the Gander.

    BTW….the goal of any company, be it a one man show or a large corporation is to make money.....that and nothing else...….anything else is a recipe for bankruptcy.
    Ian.

  10. #22
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    Re: Machinist or Machine Operator? You decide..

    Quote Originally Posted by Mecanix View Post
    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.
    Correction, if you set the tooling and operate a machine with you are a setter operator.....if someone else sets the tooling you are just an operator per se......if you program and operate a machine with preset tooling you could be a machinist or a programmer operator it just depends on how much you get paid to stand there and punch the green button all day long.

    As an operator you would want to be on a production bonus, but as a setter or programmer you would want to get a production override bonus for the number of machines you set or program.
    Ian.

  11. #23
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    Re: Machinist or Machine Operator? You decide..

    Quote Originally Posted by RCaffin View Post
    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
    Hi, correct me if I'm wrong, been a long time away from the coal face...…..a jig is a device with prepositioned hardened guide bushes to guide a tool whereas a fixture has entities to hold and position a workpiece that "could' be used on a CNC machine such as a mill......a jig would never be used on a CNC machine.

    You cannot use a jig on a mill due to the fact that the mill is inflexible with it's tool holding and therefore defeats the object of positioning the tool, but you can use a jig on a drilling machine as it is the prime reason to use one when the drilling machine has no ability to position the tool.
    Ian.

  12. #24

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    Re: Machinist or Machine Operator? You decide..

    Quote Originally Posted by handlewanker View Post
    Correction, if you set the tooling and operate a machine with you are a setter operator.....if someone else sets the tooling you are just an operator per se......if you program and operate a machine with preset tooling you could be a machinist or a programmer operator it just depends on how much you get paid to stand there and punch the green button all day long.

    As an operator you would want to be on a production bonus, but as a setter or programmer you would want to get a production override bonus for the number of machines you set or program.
    Ian.
    Can't say its like that everywhere but where I work we have a staff rotation system; the engineer occasionally becomes an operator and the operator shadowing the engineer. Same for the designers, programmers and the technicians, we swap-shadow each others routinely so to 1) learn what others are doing, 2) see how things works, 3) understand why decisions are made as such. Not a unique HR model to my company at all, in fact quite a few of the design/manufacturing companies I've visited had similar if not identical practices. All that to say I think its unfair for anyone to claim or believe that there is only one available position/avenue within a modern company.

    As for what my personal home shop goes, I am indeed a "operator". I'm not even half joking; I seriously can't recall when I had to manually take a finish cut to bring that part to its drawing dims/tols. Its all CNC, computerized this and networked that. All I have to do is send that *.NC file over the share drive, load it into the control, press green, and un-clamp the finish part - and repeat. Feels more or less like the "machinists" are the machine-tools as opposed to myself ;-)

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