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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 Operators and Inspectors, Electrical Apparatus Manufacturing(9527)

Machine operators in this unit group operate machinery or equipment to fabricate complete products or parts for use in the assembly of electrical appliances and equipment, and electrical apparatus, such as batteries, fuses and plugs. Inspectors in this unit group inspect and test completed parts and production items. Workers in this unit group are employed by electrical appliance and electrical equipment manufacturing companies.

Reading Help - Reading
  • Read notices from supervisors about changes to procedures. (1)
  • Read memos and bulletins or notices issued by the company about health and safety. (2)
  • Read technical information. For example, they may read a technical bulletin about the lamination process to ensure that a photoelectric cell conducts enough electricity. (2)
  • Read the standards associated with each product. (2)
  • Read Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) on new products. (3)
  • Read manuals. For example, they may read transportation of dangerous goods (TDG) manual to get information about how to deal with an acid spill. (3)
  • Read the national electrical code. (4)
  • Synthesize information from a measuring machine manual and a laser cutter manual to learn how to complete a job. Both manuals are highly technical, lengthy and deal with computer-controlled equipment. (4)
Document use Help - Document use
  • Read log entries recording battery pickups to check that they match the numbers received. (1)
  • Read identification labels on boxes of screws, panels and final products. (1)
  • Read lists of suppliers and equipment manufacturers. (1)
  • Check off items on the work order. (1)
  • Read schedules for the various ovens. (2)
  • Read invoices and delivery sheets from suppliers to verify that numbers received match the numbers billed. (2)
  • Read test sheet forms for dry core transformers. (2)
  • Read tables showing product specifications. (2)
  • Complete production data sheets showing the quantity and quality of products coming off the line. (every half hour) (2)
  • Read lists of temperatures for different types of coating materials. (2)
  • Read and interpret graphs when evaluating and testing electrical components such as breakers and transformers. (3)
  • Read assembly drawings in manuals in order to carry out repairs to equipment. (3)
  • Read schematic diagrams of equipment in engineering reports. (3)
Writing Help - Writing
  • Write comments on production forms to describe a problem. (1)
  • Write notes to co-workers about production processes and use of equipment. (2)
  • Write letters to clients about the results of electrical equipment evaluations. (2)
  • Write non-conformity reports to describe defects and rejections. (2)
  • May write reports to record the status of major activities. At the end of the year they may compile the notes into a progress report. (3)
Numeracy Help - Numeracy Measurement and Calculation Math
  • Take lamination temperatures and pressure readings from digital meters and computer screens. (1)
  • Read temperature gauges on ovens to maintain specified constant temperatures. (1)
  • May calculate the surface area of a solar cell to determine the voltage output. (2)
  • Measure electrical power and currents using precise equipment. (3)
  • Measure the dimensions of electrical components using vernier callipers or micrometers. (3)
Data Analysis Math
  • Calculate the differential between metered power and that actually available for use. This calculation indicates the efficiency of electrical equipment and its power consumption. (2)
  • Interpret histograms showing product specifications across time to locate deviations from the norm. They make adjustments to procedures if necessary. (3)
Numerical Estimation
  • Estimate the size of a complete transformer box by viewing one piece of the box. (1)
  • Estimate the total weight of batteries to be placed on a truck to ensure compliance with weight restrictions. (2)
Oral communication Help - Oral communication
  • Interact with suppliers regarding battery pickup schedules. (1)
  • May interact with customers to sell batteries, explain warranties or point out where products are stored in the yard. (1)
  • Instruct other workers on how to use production equipment such as the lamination machine or saw. (2)
  • Take directions from supervisors and discuss with them problems encountered. (2)
  • Brief electrical engineers on survey and test results. (2)
  • Participate in early morning meetings with managers and co-workers to discuss the daily work plan. (2)
Thinking Help - Thinking Problem Solving
  • May receive shipments with bad parts. They notify the purchasing department so that it can resolve the matter with suppliers. (1)
  • May find that some of the completed solar panels do not meet design standards. They examine the production process, employee fabrication skills and machine settings to pinpoint the problem. (2)
  • May find, when checking a product template against blueprint specifications, that the sizing is not accurate enough. They consult with co-workers and supervisors to determine what adjustments are necessary. (2)
  • May encounter a large amount of wastage when many products have been rejected. They examine the pieces to see if they can be corrected through remanufacturing, whether they can be used for a less exacting purpose or whether they should be scrapped. (2)
  • May find that tolerances are so narrow that it is difficult to make adjustments on a transformer. They proceed with caution, using a trial and error approach. (3)
Decision Making
  • Decide whether to recondition a battery, based on initial testing. (1)
  • Decide when to adjust the speed of a cutting blade or the depth of the cut on a solar cell. (1)
  • Decide whether to accept or reject products that come off the production line. (1)
  • Decide what type of repair is required on a product. (2)
  • Decide when to recommend to management that a problem machine be shut down for repairs. (2)
Critical Thinking

Critical Thinking information was not collected for this profile.

Job Task Planning and Organizing

Machine operators and inspectors in electrical apparatus manufacturing are assigned jobs by their supervisors. The work is generally routine and repetitive, although there is some variation in the specifications of jobs. Operators and inspectors generally plan the sequence of their work tasks, taking into account customer deadlines and other scheduling factors. Planning is short term, focussing on the work of each day, although the daily work plan may be adjusted to take into consideration unexpected rush jobs. (2)

Significant Use of Memory
  • Remember for a brief period of time what is in the oven, what temperature it is at and when it has to be removed.
  • Remember what specific repairs were carried out on various machines in the past.
  • Remember the specifications of the many different models of products which are fabricated by the company.
Finding Information
  • Clarify production schedules by consulting managers. (1)
  • Look up technical information in reference manuals. (2)
  • Refer to a number of specification sheets to review and compare the standards and tolerances of a wide range of transformers. (3)
Digital technology Help - Digital technology
  • They may enter cutting data into the microprocessor of the dicing saw which is a computer numeric control (CNC) machine. (1)
  • They may write reports and letters to customers. (2)
  • They may access production records and inventory information. (2)
  • They may create tables. (3)
Additional information Help - Additional information Other Essential Skills:

Working with Others

Machine operators and inspectors in electrical apparatus manufacturing generally work independently, co-ordinating their tasks with co-workers as needed. In very small shops, they may work alone on a project. They may work with a partner to perform certain functions, such as moving large pieces. They are usually part of a production team and, as such, they are prepared to help others if a production bottleneck occurs.

Continuous Learning

Machine operators and inspectors in electrical apparatus manufacturing learn shop procedures on the job. They take a variety of safety related courses such as transportation of dangerous goods (TDG) and Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS). They may also take training in various elements of continuous quality improvement and ISO 9000. Some may take computer courses or qualify for forklift licensing.

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