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Essential skills profile

This profile contains a list of example tasks that illustrate how each of the 9 essential skills is generally performed by most workers in this occupation. The levels of complexity estimated for each task are ranked between 1 (basic) and 5 (advanced).

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Machine Fitters(7316)

Machine fitters fit, assemble and otherwise build heavy industrial machinery and transportation equipment, including aircraft engines. They are employed in industrial machinery and transportation equipment manufacturing industries.

Reading Help - Reading
  • Read logbook entries and short notes from supervisors and other assemblers. For example, they read comments in the daily logbooks about assembly progress, outstanding work, equipment malfunctions and other matters that arose during previous shifts. They read notes from supervisors about job tasks and priorities. (1)
  • Read short text on labels and tags. For example, they read repair and assembly instructions on service tags and details of incomplete assemblies on shortage tags. (1)
  • Read assembly instructions, testing procedures and explanations on a variety of forms and reports. For example, they read sequence of operation instructions on assembly floor sheets. They read temporary assembly and test procedure reports indicating what assembly specifications to override for specific cases such as modifications to engine hoses. They scan troubleshooting procedures for specific error codes. (2)
  • Read memos, notices and bulletins to learn about upcoming events at their companies, changes to policies and procedures and new product information. (2)
  • Read procedure manuals to get information for specific situations. For example, they refer to overhaul and hydraulic system manuals to determine how systems work and to understand specific components and their functions before beginning assembly of new equipment. (3)
  • Read about new technologies, troubleshooting tips and industry highlights from trade publications to improve their assembly efficiency and to stay current on industry trends. (3)
Document use Help - Document use
  • Review a variety of labels and tags to get specific information such as part numbers, completion dates, assembly modifications, assembly codes and product types. (1)
  • Observe hazard, warning and caution signs and labels on equipment, walls, components and containers. (1)
  • Complete quality control tags and labels. For example, they complete shortage, 'hold' and defective part tags by entering dates, part numbers, brief descriptions of malfunctions and reasons for holding parts back. (2)
  • Complete tracking and quality control forms. For example, they enter parts and serial numbers onto parts tables when starting new assembly jobs. They enter their name and test results and check off items on in-process and final inspection forms and sign off sheets. They complete non-conformance forms to indicate part and equipment inconsistencies and malfunctions, to describe the repairs and to outline further recommended action. (2)
  • Verify and take information from a variety of tracking and quality control forms, which may include tables, lists and text boxes. For example, they scan job code lists, employee numbers and corrective action details on job travelers before beginning their section of an assembly job. They review part numbers, descriptions and quantities required for assembling parts and units on material lists. They compare hydraulic pressures and engine speeds to specifications on checklists and tables when making equipment adjustments. (2)
  • Scan schematics to complete operations. There may be numerous schematics per component. For example, they review pneumatic drawings to understand how systems operate and to connect components such as brake cylinders. They review circuit drawings to locate the source of electrical malfunctions in machinery. (3)
  • Review assembly drawings to determine assembly sequences and to build sub-assembly units and components such as power packs, ploughs, cranes, turbines, edgers and transfer decks. (3)
  • Review photographs to understand the overall design of equipment, to follow lifting procedures for assembly units such as air compressors and assembly procedures for bearing units, motors and shafts. (3)
  • Take location measurements from scale drawings before placing sub-assembly units such as hydraulic power packs, gears and shafts onto equipment. (3)
Writing Help - Writing
  • Write notes on timesheets to explain why the assembly of machines took longer than expected and why sections of assemblies were not completed. (1)
  • Write brief notes to co-workers and supervisors to request and provide information. For example, they write messages to draftspersons and engineers requesting modifications to assembly drawings. (1)
  • Write assembly details in logbooks and on quality control forms to create records and to keep supervisors and other assemblers informed during assembly processes. For example, they may provide details about two joining parts having positive measurement tolerances or detail modifications to machine parts and assemblies on service tags and non-conformance reports. They write comments in the daily logbook to track concerns, problems and changes that occurred during their shift. (2)
Numeracy Help - Numeracy Measurement and Calculation Math
  • Take measurements using rulers, tapes, meters and digital displays on instruments . For example, they measure the dimensions of parts and the distance between them. They measure the quantity of oil they add to machines and use gauges to measure the hydraulic pressure in pumps when testing equipment. (1)
  • Calculate acceptable ranges for measurement parameters by adding and subtracting tolerances from ideal dimensions or values. For example, they may add and subtract half a volt to specified charging voltage to determine the operational voltage range for charging systems. (2)
  • Calculate the dimensions and placement of sub-assembly units and parts using measurements from scale drawings when additional dimensions are required to complete assembly. They verify that the dimensions conform to specifications by measuring depth, height, width and angles from manufacturing drawings using instruments such as rulers and protractors. (3)
  • Use specialized measuring tools and techniques to obtain precise measurements. For example, they set up and use vernier callipers and depth verniers to obtain depth, width and distance measurements such as the distance between the inner ring of an air sleeve to the flange to a thousandth of an inch. They set-up, connect, and select appropriate scales on multimeters to measure the amperage and resistance of fuses, switches and relays in motors. (3)
  • Use trigonometry and geometry to determine height, depth and length. For example, they use geometry to create equations to calculate the length to cut a sheet of metal. They use the thickness of the material, the number of bends and the angle of the bends as factors in their equations. They use trigonometry formulae to determine the travel distance required to achieve the correct arc angle in bends. (4)
Data Analysis Math
  • Compare readings for variables such as temperature, pressure, amperage and rotations per minute to specifications. For example, when they set-up equipment, they adjust it so that measurements match specifications or fall within acceptable tolerances. (1)
  • Calculate average test readings such as quantity of water per hour going through pumps. They compare these calculated values to specifications to ensure levels are within acceptable ranges and to draw conclusions about the functioning of equipment. (3)
Numerical Estimation
  • Estimate distances and angles to check placement and orientation of parts when exact measurements are not required. (1)
  • Estimate the weight of machinery and equipment to determine what lifting devices and procedures to use to move them. (1)
  • Estimate the time required for assembly jobs. They consider factors such as the number of components, parts and sub-assemblies to be put together, the complexity of assembly jobs and sequences and their previous experience with particular equipment and machines. (2)
Oral communication Help - Oral communication
  • Request services and supplies. For example, they request parts from parts runners. They seek troubleshooting support from co-workers in various departments. (1)
  • Receive instructions and work assignments from co-workers, lead hands and supervisors. For example, they receive reassignment instructions from lead hands when there are assembly stoppages. They are given instructions from co-workers when assembling unfamiliar equipment or when assisting them in troubleshooting equipment malfunctions. (2)
  • Provide instructions, directions and explanations to helpers and apprentices. For example, they give helpers instructions for assembling machinery and equipment. They provide apprentices with directions for setting up their workstations. (2)
  • Coordinate work and discuss assembly procedures with assembly team members and supervisors. For example, they maintain ongoing communications with co-workers during the moving and installation of large sub-assemblies. They talk about alternative installation procedures with supervisors when parts are not fitting correctly. They share troubleshooting options when test readings and dimensions are out of range. They speak with other assemblers during shift changes to discuss work progress and concerns. (2)
  • May share information about new technologies and assembly techniques and procedures with colleagues during trade shows and manufacturers' training sessions. (2)
  • May interact with clients when performing maintenance and repair work on equipment and machinery. For example, they receive instructions about what components to change and seek approval to replace worn parts that were not on original work orders. (2)
Thinking Help - Thinking Problem Solving
  • Encounter defects and missing and poorly assembled parts. They may tag the pieces, request supervisors' feedback and repair faults. For example, they find that parts such as hoses and belts are missing or defective. They speak with their supervisors to locate the missing parts and to determine if they can substitute other parts before beginning the assembly of equipment. (1)
  • Discover discrepancies between design specification and tool capacities. For example, they discover that the torque required for bolts is beyond the maximum listed on Assembly Floor Sheets. They speak with co-workers from the engineering department who decide whether to allow variances to assembly and test procedures. (2)
  • Find that there are faulty designs and assembly procedures and inconsistencies between parts and drawings, which result in parts not fitting. They work with their supervisors to locate alternative parts, different assembly procedures and design modifications, which will make them fit better. For example, a machine fitter is unable to use specified screws because weld modifications make a deeper weld depth. The fitter uses alternative screws or attachment methods approved by the engineering department. (2)
Decision Making
  • Decide when to place 'hold' and 'do not use' tags onto assembled equipment. For example, they place hold and do not use tags onto parts and components when they consider them faulty. This ensures that supervisors and quality assurance examiners are aware of the faults. (2)
  • Decide what tasks to assign to helpers. They consider their helpers' skills and experience, the complexity of tasks and their own ability to monitor the work. (2)
  • Decide to repair defective parts. They consider the cost of the repair, their workloads, their ability to complete the repair and what work the next assembler is completing. They may request approval from their supervisors, depending on the complexity of the tasks and cost of the parts. (2)
  • Decide to perform assembly and fabrication tasks not specific to their station or function. Most assembly requirements are listed but new and modified equipment may be missing assembly steps. They may need to reassemble equipment if they make the wrong decisions. For example, they decide to paint specific parts or components before sending them to the next station. They consider whether the parts have been machined and the difficulty of painting them after assembly. (3)
  • May decide the order in which to assemble parts and equipment when working on new product lines and modified equipment. They consider the individual tasks, what parts need to have operations performed by co-workers, what parts will interfere with the installation of others and what tasks can be streamlined to avoid repetition of activities. (3)
Critical Thinking
  • Evaluate the efficiency of assembly sequences and the set-up of workstations to complete specific tasks. They use occupational knowledge to identify criteria such as the type and repetition of motions and the frequency of tool usage. (2)
  • Judge the quality and condition of products using their knowledge of established quality control criteria. They use established evaluation criteria such as acceptable test readings, accurate fit between parts and the overall neatness and finish of assemblies. (2)
  • Evaluate the safety of workstations, tools and equipment operations. They consider criteria such as potential hazards, safety precautions and procedures used and the condition of equipment and tools. (2)
Job Task Planning and Organizing

Machine fitters receive their job tasks and priorities from their supervisors. They may determine the order of assembly within a general framework. Although the types of machinery they assemble change, their tasks are repetitive and do not need to be re-sequenced when interruptions occur. (2)

Significant Use of Memory
  • Remember colour, assembly, pneumatic and error codes and symbols on technical drawings, parts and material labels to complete repair and assembly procedures more efficiently.
  • Remember assembly adjustments particular to each equipment model.
  • Remember assembly sequences and the parts and tools required for regularly assembled components or equipment to improve their efficiency when assembling.
  • Remember specifications that are difficult or time consuming to find to improve job efficiency.
  • Remember the toxic properties of hazardous materials and the related safety procedures to ensure they use the appropriate precautionary steps when working with chemicals.
Finding Information
  • Locate assembly information such as measurement and testing specifications, equipment readings, operational tolerances, material composition and troubleshooting procedures in technical data sheets and in troubleshooting checklists, flowcharts and decision trees. (2)
  • Draw on information from troubleshooting flowcharts, manuals, assembly drawings, co-workers, engineering staff and supervisors to find solutions for difficult equipment and part assemblies and malfunctions. (3)
Digital technology Help - Digital technology
  • Use databases. For example, they use databases to record and retrieve job information. (2)
  • Use Internet. For example, they may use browsers such as Internet Explorer to locate assembly manuals and troubleshooting procedures from manufacturers' online databases. They may use their companies' intranets to locate information such as procedures for handling hazardous spills. (2)
Additional information Help - Additional information Other Essential Skills:

Working with Others

Machine fitters work independently, with helpers and as members of teams. They demonstrate and assign tasks to helpers and apprentices. They work independently when working on single person assembly units. They work with machine fitters and other coworkers to coordinate and integrate tasks such as moving, positioning and fitting large assemblies. (2)

Continuous Learning

Machine fitters are generally provided with the training they need for new equipment, tools and procedures. They learn from talking with other assemblers, technical support staff and engineers and by reading equipment manuals. They participate in training programs provided by their employer covering topics such as Workplace Hazardous Material Information System and safe crane operation. They may take skill development courses such as welding and machining offered by community colleges and other training providers. In addition, they may read trade publications and attend manufacturers' training sessions to stay current on new technologies and industry highlights and for troubleshooting tips. (2)

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