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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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Textile Machinery Mechanics and Repairers (7311)

Textile machinery mechanics and repairers install, maintain, repair, overhaul and set up textile machinery such as looms, knitting machines, spinning frames and carding machines. They are employed by textile manufacturing companies.

Reading Help - Reading
  • Read handwritten notes from co-workers and text entries in forms. For example, they read entries in maintenance work orders which describe equipment malfunctions, repairs completed and set-ups for machines. They read entries in logbooks to learn about events on previous shifts. (1)
  • Read handling, storage and first aid procedures on the labels of products such as liquid degreasers, dyes, solvents, glues and lubricating oils. (2)
  • Read memos and notices from managers, supervisors and union representatives. For example, they may read memos from supervisors which describe new procedures for storing waste oils and remind workers of upcoming fire alarm practices. (2)
  • May read equipment catalogues, brochures and fact sheets from suppliers and industry organizations. For example, they may read brief descriptions of air filters for ventilation equipment in parts catalogues. They may skim fact sheets on workplace safety in textile plants. (2)
  • Read various manuals when setting up, operating, troubleshooting and repairing tools and equipment. For example, weaving machine mechanics may read operating manuals to verify procedures for replacing gearboxes on new weaving looms. Textile machine mechanics may scan service manuals to review guidelines for troubleshooting overheating dryers in textile finishing plants. (3)
Document use Help - Document use
  • Observe icons and signs. For example, they recognize icons on fire extinguishers and symbols for alarms on machine control panels. They scan alphanumerical codes on signs to identify part locations in storerooms and machine locations in manufacturing plants. (1)
  • Locate data on labels, digital counters, gauges and display panels. For example, they locate fabric style numbers, yields, yarn qualities and types on order tickets. They may obtain data such as machine speeds, machine faults and numbers of metres woven from computerized display panels and counters. (2)
  • Locate data in lists, tables and schedules. For example, they review part numbers, descriptions and quantities on packing lists for incoming supplies. They locate flange diameters, types of cams and sizes of gears for textile machines in specification tables. They obtain machine identifiers, components, maintenance tasks, scheduled dates and reference numbers for procedures to follow on preventive maintenance schedules. (2)
  • Locate data in daily production reports, work orders, incident forms, style specification sheets and other entry forms. For example, spinning machine mechanics obtain machine identification numbers, machine operators' names and short descriptions of malfunctions on incident forms completed by machine operators. Knitting machine mechanics obtain yarn types and numbers of spools, machine speeds and sizes of take down gears on specification sheets for machine set-ups. They may also locate types and placements of stitches on pattern sheets in order to place cylinders, cams and needles on looms and sewing machines. (3)
  • Complete entry forms such as work orders, calibration checklists, timesheets, maintenance logbooks and style specification sheets. For example, they enter diagnoses, repairs made and the names and numbers of parts replaced and modified into maintenance work orders. Maintenance mechanics in non-woven textile plants may enter measurements taken and check off equipment calibrated on set-up and maintenance checklists. When creating specifications for new patterns, knitting machine technicians enter data on yarn types, machine speeds, numbers of yarn spools, sinker adjustments, speeds of yarn feed devices, yarn tension measurements and sizes of take down gears into style specification sheets. (3)
  • Interpret assembly drawings. For example, they may review assembly drawings before disassembling, repairing and reassembling equipment such as weaving looms and automatic wrapping and shipping machines. (3)
  • Retrieve data from scale drawings. For example, maintenance mechanics in woven textile factories may take roller and shaft diameters and wear tolerances from scale drawings when carrying out repairs to textile frame dryers. (3)
  • Interpret schematic drawings of electrical, electronic, pneumatic and hydraulic systems. For example, they may study schematic drawings of hydraulic scissor lifts to determine directions of liquid flows and valve locations and functions. (3)
Writing Help - Writing
  • Write notes to co-workers, reminders and brief text entries in entry forms and logbooks. They write notes to co-workers and supervisors to describe the events of their shifts and suggest tasks that they still need to carry out. They may write comments in work orders and maintenance logbooks to describe equipment malfunctions, challenges encountered and repairs completed. (1)
Numeracy Help - Numeracy Measurement and Calculation Math
  • Measure various physical properties using common measuring tools such as rulers, tapes, scales, graduated containers and thermometers. For example, they may measure fabric samples with tape measures and weigh them on scales. (1)
  • Calculate numbers, sizes, totals and quantities required for set-ups, maintenance and special projects. For example, they calculate numbers of pattern repetitions by dividing total numbers of needles by the numbers of needles in one pattern width. They may count gear teeth in knitting machine variable drive units to obtain gear sizes and drive ratios. They may add measurements for lengths and widths of steel rods and plates to obtain quantities to build passageways and guard railings. (2)
  • Use specialized measuring tools such as vernier callipers, micrometers, feeler gauges, tension meters and dial indicators. For example, they may measure yarn tension in knitting machines during set-ups using tension meters. They may measure the spaces between wires of loom reeds, known as dents, with vernier callipers. (3)
  • Adjust and align machinery and equipment according to specifications. For example, they may align the heights of sinker caps on knitting machine cylinders using feeler gauges and shims to one thousandth of an inch. They may align parallel rollers by measuring circumferences, shortest distances and diagonals. (4)
Data Analysis Math
  • Compare measurements to specifications. For example, knitting machine mechanics compare fabric sample yields in ounces per yard and grams per metre to order specifications. Weaving machine mechanics may compare machine speeds in picks per minute and widths of fabric under production to specifications. (1)
  • May manage inventories of machine parts and repair supplies. For example, they may check stocks of belts, needles and cams and consider rates of use and desired stock levels to maintain inventories. (2)
Numerical Estimation
  • Estimate machine settings to obtain specific fabric qualities when determining sample specifications. For example, they may estimate the best settings to obtain desired stretch for fabric knits using ratios of revolutions to fabric weight obtained in first runs. (1)
  • Estimate time required to complete installations, set-ups and repair tasks. (2)
Oral communication Help - Oral communication
  • Exchange information about ongoing job tasks with co-workers and suppliers. For example, knitting technicians may give machine operators suggestions to ensure yarns run smoothly. They may share opinions on fabric defects with quality inspectors. Spinning technicians may ask operators for descriptions of equipment malfunctions before starting repairs. Textile mechanics may give estimates of repair times to production forepersons and place replacement part orders with suppliers. (1)
  • Discuss the technical aspects of maintenance and repair procedures with co-workers and suppliers. For example, they may discuss different methods of changing gearboxes on weaving looms with other mechanics. They may recommend repairs to specific machines to maintenance supervisors after completing regular maintenance and inspection. During work unit meetings, they may discuss improving the procedures for locating and ordering repair parts in inventories. They may exchange opinions with co-workers and suppliers about temporary modifications to machine components such as servomechanisms. (2)
  • Teach equipment operations and repair procedures to co-workers. For example, textile repairers may demonstrate the operation of finishing machines to new operators. Knitting machine adjusters may instruct other mechanics on best methods to change knitting machine cylinders. (3)
Thinking Help - Thinking Problem Solving
  • Are unable to complete set-ups, maintenance and repair jobs within expected time frames. They inform maintenance and plant supervisors and negotiate extensions to production stoppages. They request and obtain additional resources when possible. For example, knitting machine mechanics sometimes encounter difficulties in getting patterns to perform as expected. They consult maintenance supervisors and obtain help from co-workers. They may ask other mechanics to set up yarn feeds while they continue to set needles and adjust yarn tensions and machine speeds. (2)
  • Discover some parts are unavailable for set-ups, maintenance and repairs. They discuss options to place rush orders, adapt existing parts or fabricate replacements with other mechanics and supervisors. (2)
Decision Making
  • Select materials and methods to repair and maintain equipment. For example, maintenance mechanics choose types of finishes to use on metal patches for rollers on finishing machines. They consider the moisture content of fabrics and types of chemical products used in finishing processes. Knitting technicians decide to adjust sinker caps and change feeder tension on single-knit knitting machines to eliminate barring in fabric. They look at fabric samples, discuss samples with quality inspectors and use their knowledge and experience to make the appropriate adjustments. (2)
  • May select yarn types and weights, yarn feed speeds and tensions, machine speeds, takedown heights and speeds for new patterns. They use their experience and trial and error to choose the best combinations. (2)
Critical Thinking
  • Evaluate the condition of parts and equipment. They inspect parts for signs of wear and damage such as cracks and discoloration. They compare test results and measurements to specifications. They observe machines in operation and assess operating variables such as machine speeds, dryer temperatures and flow rates. (2)
  • Assess the quality of product samples. They make observations, take measurements and consult supervisors and quality assurance inspectors. For example, knitting technicians verify fabric sample weights and stretch test results and use their experience to judge the tightness of weave and the look and feel of knitted fabrics. (2)
  • May judge the suitability of modifications to equipment and machinery. They ensure modifications meet technical specifications, safety regulations and performance requirements. For example, weaving mechanics assess the suitability of modifying beam warping machines to hold larger than usual spool flanges. They consider machine and spool specifications and operators' comments on ease of use. (3)
Job Task Planning and Organizing

Textile mechanics and repairers receive work assignments from their supervisors. They plan job tasks to carry out this work effectively. Their job task plans may be interrupted by emergency repairs. They provide supervisors with time estimates so they can reschedule production runs. (2)

Significant Use of Memory
  • Remember disassembly and reassembly steps for equipment. They remember the orientation and sequences of parts in larger assemblies.
  • Remember details of past repair jobs. For example, repairers in textile plants may remember adjustments made to finishing machines to eliminate fabric defects such as slight biases.
Finding Information
  • Find information about textile machines and their operation. They take measurements, inspect fabric samples and check data in maintenance forms. They consult diagnostic procedures, review specification tables and study technical drawings in operating and maintenance manuals. They also ask co-workers and suppliers for technical information, opinions on modifications and repair suggestions. (3)
Digital technology Help - Digital technology
  • Use computer-assisted design, manufacturing and machining. For example, knitting machine mechanics may enter data codes for fabric types, stitch numbers and machine speeds into computerized knitting machines. Weaving machine mechanics may obtain diagnostic data such as numbers of errors and manual stops from process control software on weaving machines. (2)
Additional information Help - Additional information Other Essential Skills:

Working with Others

Textile machinery mechanics and repairers coordinate job tasks with other mechanics when carrying out complex repairs and moving heavy equipment. They also coordinate their tasks with co-workers such as machine operators to produce textiles which meet quality standards. (2)

Continuous Learning

Textile machine mechanics and repairers engage in ongoing learning so they can perform new work procedures, operate new equipment and troubleshoot unusual equipment malfunctions. On a day-to-day basis, they learn through discussions with co-workers and suppliers and by trial-and-error repairs to machines. They read equipment catalogues, brochures, fact sheets and operating manuals. They receive training from their employers, suppliers and regulatory organizations. (2)

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