A variety of manufacturing machinery, from robotics to tools to automated processes, rely on accurate controls and gauges. An instrument repair technician helps ensure control and monitoring hardware functions properly through routine maintenance and repair. The technician is typically employed directly by the manufacturing company in larger companies; however, smaller organizations may subcontract this work to private repair companies that have dedicated technicians.
Instrument repair technicians' tasks include checking operator reports of malfunction or faults in remote operations and controls; they then shut down the machine, perform diagnostic testing to isolate the problem and repair or replace components and wiring within the instrument panels and controls as necessary. Because of the intricate nature of many automated machine controls, the repair technician must perform routine maintenance and testing when not involved in active repairs to ensure machinery performs at peak efficiency. Instrument repair technicians also monitor the functioning of all alert systems and monitoring gauges, repairing malfunctioning gauges as needed and performing tests to ensure these systems are properly calibrated and operating within acceptable parameters.
Most instrument repair technician positions require a strong educational foundation in electronics, potentially in computer component repair and diagnostics. This may include training from a vocational school or community college, although larger corporations may prefer persons with at least a bachelor's degree. Instrument repair technicians typically work in a plant or warehouse environment. Hours vary by employer and may include regular daytime hours or shift work that includes evenings and overnights.
Instrument Repair Technician Tasks
Inspect equipment and test current state to identify needed repairs, adjustments and parts.
Document calibration, repairs, and condition at intake and return.
Interact with customers and set expectations about schedule and eventual use of instruments.
Repair instruments, calibrating and ensuring performance is within acceptable limits.