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Apprenticeship training program – Metal technician

For metal technicians, it’s all about metals, machines, and tools. Depending on the respective focus, the scope of work ranges from the working and processing of metals to components as well as semi-finished and finished products via the construction and production of machines and tools, through to the assembly, control and monitoring of automated production lines and machines.

Metal technicians process different ferrous and non-ferrous metals, but partly also plastics and other materials to produce machines and machine parts, steel components, facades, etc. For these purposes they employ techniques such as, e.g. forging, welding, soldering, bending, filing, bonding or also machining technologies.
Metal technicians manufacture individual components and assemble them in workshops or on construction sites. They work with hand tools and program and control computer-assisted machines. Within the framework of maintenance and service work they replace defective machine parts and components and manufacture spare parts.

Metal technicians work together with their workmates and superiors as well as with various other skilled and unskilled workers in industrial and commercial enterprises from all sectors.

Fields of activities:

In tool making, metal technicians manufacture individual components from metal or plastic and assemble them to functional tools and machine tools. They work according to the specifications given in work drawings and plans, not only applying conventional processing techniques (such as, for instance, bending and milling) but also programming and controlling computer-assisted machines. They manufacture production tools such as, e.g., pruning, punching, cutting and bending tools, forming dies as well as die casting molds and injection molding tools for the production of plastic products or precision measuring devices for tool processing. In addition, they assemble mechanical parts, modules and components, maintain and repair them and develop production programs for computer-assisted (CNC) machine tools. With these completed tools, test runs are carried out in order to verify the precision fit and faultlessness of the master samples.

Work equipment / working materials:

Metal technicians use various different hand tools such as drillers, soldering and welding equipment, hammers, files, forceps, screwdrivers and wrenches, wire brushes, cutting torches, hand-operated and machine-operated metal shears, and they work with different, often computer-operated machines and lines of commercial and industrial production, such as, for example, lathes, milling machines, punching machines, precision grinding machines, automatic welding machines, metal presses, power hammers, and CNC systems, but also with electronic control systems and measuring and testing devices.
They use auxiliaries such as welding and soldering wire, adhesives, lubricants, grinding and polishing agents, etc.

Metal technicians fill the machines and other equipment in regular intervals with lubricants and refrigerants, they adjust their functions and carry out test runs (e.g. following any machine retrofitting or adaptation work). In addition, they program and operate computer-assisted CNC machine tools.
They use technical documentation and construction plans, work drawings and parts lists, inspection, control and test data as well as service and maintenance records.

During their work, metal technicians often have to wear helmets, work gloves, safety goggles and ear protection; in welding a corresponding flame resistant clothing is required as a safeguard against sparks, as well as welding goggles and a welding shield in order to protect the wearer against eye injuries.

Work environment / places of work:

Metal technicians work in workshops and factory buildings of small and medium-sized enterprises of the metal construction, engineering, plant engineering, apparatus engineering, automobile and tool making industry, in industrial companies of all sectors and, depending on whether the company is particularly focusing on assembly works, also directly on the construction sites of the respective company’s private or commercial customers. Some of them also work in planning and construction offices as well as in test and development laboratories. They work in teams with workmates and other skilled workers, depending on their specific focus of activities.

Key activities and work tasks of a metal technician at one glance:

  • Manufactures, assembles, inspects, commissions and maintains cutting, punching, forming and injection molding tools
  • Manufactures and installs spare parts and tool components
  • Verifies the dimensions and the precision fit of the manufactured workpieces
  • Carries out finishing and refining work, and performs function tests
  • Detects, limits and remedies faults, defects and malfunctions in machines tools and tools.
  • Develops and modifies manufacturing programs for computer-assisted (NC and CNC) machine tools
  • Works with computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing programs

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