Employers place a strong emphasis on essential skills in the workplace. Essential skills are used in nearly every occupation, and are seen as ¿building blocks¿ because people build on them to learn all other skills.
Each profile contains a list of example tasks that illustrate how each of the 9 essential skill is generally performed by the majority of workers in an occupation. The estimated complexity levels for each task, between 1 (basic) and 5 (advanced), may vary based on the requirements of the workplace.
Forging machine operators operate forging machines to form and shape metal into various shapes and sizes and impart desired strength, hardness or other characteristics. They are employed primarily in the fabricated metal products, machinery, and transportation equipment industries.
- May notice that metal "brightens up" when going by on the line, a sign of a particular problem. They address the problem, measuring edges and making welds. (1)
- May notice temperature fluctuations in the furnace which threaten the quality of the final product. They make temperature adjustments to the furnace at various intervals, drawing on their experience to time the adjustments so that an even temperature is consistently maintained. (2)
- May deal with defective materials, such as faulty pipe seams which break when bent. They identify whether they should modify the bending process to perform a more gradual bend or whether the pipe needs to be upgraded to a heavier type. (2)
- May observe that a machine was running too hot, scarring the eye nuts under production. They use their judgement in recommending whether the scarred pieces are in conformance with quality control standards and, if not, write a non-conformance report. They then identify the cause of the problem, using a process of elimination, and make the necessary corrections, such as removing a piece of metal stuck in the machine. (3)
- May be informed that stress tests show cracks in the weld. They collaborate with their foreperson to assess the probable cause of the problem, which may relate to whether the pipe was formed correctly. Together they decide on what corrective measures to take, such as changing the angle of a fin, and have a second stress test taken to determine the success of the actions taken. (3)
- Decide when the colour of metal indicates proper forging temperature. (1)
- Decide whether to obtain a new die or improvise with a similar die when it is worn out or missing, justifying their actions to their supervisor. (2)
- Decide what constitutes safe working practices at all times to protect the well being of themselves and others. (2)
- Decide whether the metal products that they have produced meet quality assurance standards. (3)
Critical Thinking information was not collected for this profile.
Job Task Planning and Organizing
Forging machine operators perform repetitive tasks but the content of the tasks may vary depending on the work at hand. Work priorities and related deadlines are tied to customer demand and forepersons provide most forging machine operators with work order assignments detailing this information. Forging machine operators whose companies have adopted team principles may allocate work as a team at the beginning of each shift. Most forging machine operators have wide scope to determine the order of tasks, sequencing multiple tasks for efficiency by, for example, ensuring that machines, equipment and supplies are available when needed. Some co-ordinate with the work plans of other machine operators to arrange shared access to machines and to arrange for assistance in performing heavy job tasks. (2)
Significant Use of Memory
- Remember procedures to operate heaters and forging machines and to troubleshoot minor problems.
- Memorize tool codes to identify when the use of various hand tools is specified.
- Refer to blueprint books to verify the product specifications for a particular job. (1)
- Speak with their supervisor to find information needed to troubleshoot process problems. (2)
- Refer to manuals to find information on how to set up forging machines for various jobs. This may be deemed mandatory as a quality assurance measure. (2)
- Speak with journeypersons working in the plant, such as electricians and millwrights, to seek electrical or mechanical information needed to troubleshoot quality control problems which may be equipment related. (3)
Other Essential Skills:
Working with Others
Most forging machine operators work independently to form and shape metal under the direction of a supervisor. Some forging machine operators, working for companies which have adopted team principles, work independently as a team under the direction of a group leader. They co-ordinate with: supervisors or group leaders to troubleshoot production problems; co-workers to exchange/arrange shared access to machines; quality control staff to ensure that products meet quality assurance standards; and, workers in other classifications, such as millwrights to provide information about machine problems. They may work with another forging machine operator or a helper to complete large or complex tasks.
Forging machine operators have a need for ongoing learning to acquire information about new products, machining procedures, quality assurance and to maintain safety skills and knowledge. Some forging machine operators may have an additional need for ongoing learning to operate computer-controlled forging machines. New learning is acquired through informal means as part of regular work activities and by participating in training sessions primarily offered in the workplace.