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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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Motor Vehicle Assemblers, Inspectors and Testers (9522)

Motor vehicle assemblers assemble and install prefabricated motor vehicle parts and components to form subassemblies and finished motor vehicles. Motor vehicle inspectors and testers inspect and test parts, subassemblies and finished products to ensure proper performance and conformity to quality standards. They are employed in plants which manufacture automobiles, vans and light trucks.

Reading Help - Reading
  • Read notes from previous shifts describing problems or defects encountered, and notes from customers or supervisors, giving instructions. (1)
  • Read memos and bulletins from manufacturers, explaining engineering or design changes to parts of the assembly and giving details about various models. (2)
  • Read inspection standards and test procedure updates from the company's head office. (2)
  • Read booklets which give descriptions of parts. (2)
  • Read a variety of manuals to understand such subjects as installation procedures and troubleshooting guidelines and to find information about electrical systems. (3)
Document use Help - Document use
  • Read signs and labels, such as caution signs and Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) labels. (1)
  • Read supplier lists and lists of bin numbers, parts numbers and colours. (1)
  • Read job rotation schedules. (2)
  • Read information on television screens in the plant to keep up to date on production goals and how well they are being met. (2)
  • Read work orders and repair estimates. (2)
  • Read forms, such as final inspection forms, parts order forms and material return forms. (2)
  • Refer to tables showing specifications of various parts. (2)
  • Complete forms, such as inspection forms, order forms and travel sheets which record engine serial numbers for specific installations. (2)
  • Refer to graphs to compare the number of defects from week to week. (3)
  • Read schematic diagrams showing the routing of wiring in a vehicle. (3)
  • Read assembly drawings showing the correct placement of parts. (3)
Writing Help - Writing
  • Write notes to co-workers on the next shift, explaining changes to procedures or problems encountered. (1)
  • Write letters to suppliers to describe a problem or inquire about delivery dates of parts. (2)
  • Write amendments to work orders if they find that parts need to be replaced or refitted. (2)
  • Complete inspection reports. (2)
  • Write reports to explain customized assembly requirements, such as the need for different fittings when assembling a vehicle for a handicapped person. (3)
  • May write recommended changes to procedures and suggestions to team leaders. (3)
Numeracy Help - Numeracy Scheduling, Budgeting & Accounting Math
  • Keep track of the amount of time taken to complete tasks. (1)
  • Schedule the ordering of supplies, taking into account distance from the supplier and the time needed for delivery. (2)
Measurement and Calculation Math
  • Measure materials for assembly on vehicles and the distance between parts to establish clearances. (1)
  • Measure panels to determine the space between drill holes. (1)
  • Take readings of voltage, amperage and ohms and ensure they are within the specified range. (1)
Data Analysis Math
  • Calculate the average defects per unit of parts per supplier to record on supplier information sheets. (2)
Numerical Estimation
  • Estimate the length of carpeting remaining in a roll or the dimensions of plastic remaining in a sheet when determining how much to cut. (1)
  • Estimate the type and number of parts that will be needed during a shift. (2)
Oral communication Help - Oral communication
  • Communicate with suppliers and drivers delivering stock to clarify the order. (1)
  • Interact with co-workers to exchange information about installation procedures and the sequencing of the assembly. (2)
  • Interact with supervisors to receive instructions and to discuss changes in assembly procedures or specific problems encountered. (2)
  • May consult with team leaders before beginning their shifts. (2)
Thinking Help - Thinking Problem Solving
  • May find that a wire harness has one wire missing. They determine the colour and rating of the wire from wiring schematics, then add it. (1)
  • May find that some parts do not fit even though they meet specifications. They look beyond the immediate problem to see why the part does not fit. They may find that it is due to a slight twist to the frame. They take action to ensure that the defective work will be repaired before further assembly takes place. (2)
  • May encounter a defect in the electrical system of the vehicle which is causing a short circuit. They test several wires and connections until they find the one causing the problem. (2)
  • May find that some workers are not using an effective method to install parts, causing problems with some vehicles. They assess the methods being used and give advice. For instance, they may suggest using a rubber mallet to install a roof rack rather than simply installing it by hand. (2)
Decision Making
  • Make quality decisions, such as whether to send a piece of trim back to be straightened. (1)
  • Decide whether a cosmetic flaw is within acceptable standards. (1)
  • Decide on the most effective way to ensure continuity in the line when stock is getting low. (2)
  • Decide whether the repair of a defective part has been adequately performed or whether it should be rejected again. (2)
  • Decide what tests to conduct when a vehicle is not working properly when test driven. (3)
Critical Thinking

Critical Thinking information was not collected for this profile.

Job Task Planning and Organizing

Motor vehicle assemblers follow instructions set by their supervisors. Their daily task planning is limited, for the most part, to ensuring that all necessary parts are available. (1)

Inspectors and testers plan and organize at a higher level than motor vehicle assemblers. They determine their priorities based on special instructions given by the team leader before the shift starts. They co-ordinate activities with other parts of the organization, such as the repair shop and the supply depot. Their planning takes into consideration the need to ensure continuous operation of the assembly line. (1)

Significant Use of Memory
  • Remember identification numbers of all major parts in order to make the retrieval of parts easier.
  • Remember letter codes for particular errors and flaws.
  • Memorize specifications for various parts so that they don't have to refer to manuals while conducting a check.
Finding Information
  • Consult team leaders and suppliers to get information on scheduling or on the delivery dates of parts. (1)
  • Use a computer tracking system or a parts book to locate parts in the plant. (2)
  • Refer to schematic diagrams to find information on electrical circuitry. (2)
Digital technology Help - Digital technology
  • Use other computer applications. For example, they may use computer-controlled machinery which measures and adjusts the torque on bolts and provides feedback on whether the transmission is ready to move to the next station. (1)
  • They search a database to locate parts. (2)
  • They may also use specialized technical software packages for testing. (2)
Additional information Help - Additional information Other Essential Skills:

Working with Others

Motor vehicle assemblers work with a partner when installing heavy units or when working on a task which requires one person to position a part while the other installs it. Inspectors and testers mainly work independently, co-ordinating their activities as needed with assemblers and repair personnel. They may partner to carry out some testing procedures. Motor vehicle assemblers, inspectors and testers work as a team to consider technical problems and to address quality concerns.

Continuous Learning

Motor vehicle assemblers, inspectors and testers receive on-the-job training when new equipment, procedures or product lines are introduced. They take a variety of safety courses, including training on the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) and training in lock-out of machinery. They keep up-to-date by reading manufacturers' bulletins and other workplace materials describing new processes and techniques.

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