Develops programs to control machining or processing of metal or plastic parts by automatic machine tools, equipment, or systems.
This career is part of the Manufacturing cluster Production pathway.
A person in this career:
- Writes programs in the language of a machine's controller and stores programs on media such as punch tapes, magnetic tapes, or disks.
- Determines the sequence of machine operations, and selects the proper cutting tools needed to machine workpieces into the desired shapes.
- Writes instruction sheets and cutter lists for a machine's controller to guide setup and encode numerical control tapes.
- Revises programs or tapes to eliminate errors, and retests programs to check that problems have been solved.
- Analyzes job orders, drawings, blueprints, specifications, printed circuit board pattern films, and design data to calculate dimensions, tool selection, machine speeds, and feed rates.
- Observes machines on trial runs or conducts computer simulations to ensure that programs and machinery will function properly and produce items that meet specifications.
- Enters computer commands to store or retrieve parts patterns, graphic displays, or programs that transfer data to other media.
- Modifies existing programs to enhance efficiency.
- Determines reference points, machine cutting paths, or hole locations, and computes angular and linear dimensions, radii, and curvatures.
- Sorts shop orders into groups to maximize materials utilization and minimize machine setup time.