A computer numerically controlled (CNC) operator and programmer holds a highly specialized position found principally in production companies. They handle computer-programmed machinery that perform a wide variety of functions, such as drilling, cutting, or shaping materials. The raw materials handled by CNC machines may be too strong or dense for workers to shape or work with by themselves.
A CNC operator and programmer is largely responsible for writing the commands for these machines, inputting them into the CNC program, and making sure that written commands lead to desired outcomes. These commands also must be efficient and cost-effective. In addition, CNC operator and programmers troubleshoot problems by CNC machine users and, if those problems can't be treated, reporting them to supervisors.
Many companies ask CNC operator and programmer applicants to have prior experience with CNC machines (typically around three years). In addition, a company may ask for the applicant to have prior knowledge of specific machines (such as a particular type of axe used on the machine). CNC operators and programmers also must have the ability to be self-directed and communicate effectively.
Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) Operator and Programmer Tasks
- Recognize, deploy and properly use inserts, fixtures and tooling.
- Read and interpret blueprints.
- Use gages and measuring instruments to meet tolerance requirements.
- Properly and safely load and unload castings and raw materials in CNC machinery.
- Perform daily and regular cleaning and light maintenance tasks on CNC machinery.