9416 Metalworking and forging machine operators

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Lead statement

Light metalworking machine operators operate metalworking machines which shape and form sheet or other light metal into parts or products. Heavy metalworking machine operators operate metalworking machines which shape and form steel or other heavy metal into parts or products. Forging machine operators operate forging machines to form and shape metal into various shapes and sizes and impart desired strength, hardness or other characteristics. Light metalworking machine operators are employed by sheet metal products manufacturing companies, sheet metal shops and other light metal products manufacturing establishments. Heavy metalworking machine operators are employed by structural steel fabrication, boiler and platework manufacturing companies, heavy machinery manufacturing companies and in the shipbuilding industry. Forging machine operators are employed primarily in the fabricated metal products, machinery and transportation equipment manufacturing industries.

Example Titles

  • bending press operator – metal fabrication
  • cold press operator – metal forging
  • disk flange operator – metal fabrication
  • drop hammer operator – metal forging
  • electric arc cutter – metal products manufacturing
  • forging press operator
  • metal-forming machine set-up operator
  • metalworking machine operator
  • power brake operator – metal fabrication
  • power press operator – metal fabrication
  • punch press setter – metalworking
  • roll operator – metal fabrication
  • saw operator – metal fabrication
  • shear setter – metal fabrication
  • sheet metal roll operator – metal fabrication

Main duties

This group performs some or all of the following duties:

Metalworking machine operators

  • Read specifications or follow verbal instructions
  • Lay out, set up and operate one or more light or heavy metalworking machines such as shears, power presses, saws, plate rolls, drills, brakes, slitters, punch presses, computer numerically controlled (CNC) equipment, and other hand tools to cut, bend, roll, ream, punch and drill, weld or otherwise shape and form metal stock into parts or products
  • Operate machines or equipment which weld, solder, bolt, screw or rivet metal parts together
  • Check products for correct shapes, dimensions and other specifications
  • Troubleshoot and perform corrective action or minor repairs
  • May select and transport material to work area manually or using crane or hoist
  • May document work completed
  • May build staging or erect scaffolding as required for heavy metalworking jobs
  • May clean or lubricate equipment and replace parts as required.

Forging machine operators

  • Operate gas or oil fired furnaces to heat metal to proper temperature prior to forging
  • Place metal pieces in furnace using hand tongs or overhead cranes and remove from furnace when colour of metal indicates proper forging temperature, or load and unload furnace with automatic conveyor
  • Position heated or cold metal pieces, on die of press or other forging machinery
  • Operate presses or other forging machines to perform hot or cold forging by flattening, straightening, twisting, forming, drawing, upsetting, splitting, cutting, punching, piercing, bending, coining, or other operations to shape or form metal
  • Position and adjust dies on anvil of forging machinery using overhead cranes or other hoisting devices and hand tools.

Employment requirements

  • Completion of secondary school education may be required.
  • Previous experience as a labourer or helper in the same company may be required.
  • On-the-job training is usually provided.

Additional information

  • There is little or no mobility between operators of light and heavy metalworking machines.
  • Progression to structural metal fabricator or supervisory positions is possible with experience for metalworking machine operators.
  • Progression to blacksmith, die setting, or supervisory positions is possible with experience for forging machine operators.

Exclusions