A CNC Operator controls computer numerical control (CNC) tools. These tools are commonly used to drill, cut and shape highly precise items as part of the manufacturing process in various industries. CNC Operators drive machines including laser cutting equipment, drill presses, milling machines and lathes. Materials they may operate on include metals, and plastics.
Once the CNC Programmer has entered the specific commands for the machine to follow, the CNC Operator prepares the equipment, downloads the program, and ensures that the metal or plastic that is to be shaped is correctly placed. The CNC Operator supervises the process to make sure that any problems are automatically dealt with and that the machine does not overheat.
CNC Operator learn the necessary skills through an apprenticeship program, vocational college or on the job. Many will have advanced to this position through other roles in manufacturing, including as machinists or tenders.
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