In light of how difficult it is today to hire skilled machinists, we've been discussing building your own apprenticeship program. The topics and suggestions for the curriculum are based on our goal--developing skilled setup and operator staff.
Your goal may be different, and you may require a formal plan. For a nationally accredited program, I would suggest the National Institute for Metalworking Skills. NIMS is a leader in developing a nationwide system of instruction and accreditation for our industry.
Many trade schools also provide these services and help to develop students to nationally recognized standards. If your needs require a certified and accredited program, pursue this with NIMS.
Last month, we reviewed Skill Set No. 1. includes the skills of understanding shop math, the ability to read a print, understand the GD&T symbols, on the print, and fully inspect a sample part piece.
Our next skill set covers the knowledge of different machine types, focusing on CNC lathes and mills.
Skill Set No. 2
Lathe and Mill Design: This includes a discussion on the design of CNC lathes and mills and how they work. Machinists must understand the different types available at the work site with special emphasis on the specific axes of each type.
Lathe and Mill Workholding: For each type, there are a variety of workholding methods. The apprentice should understand the importance of chucks and collets on a lathe. A major skill requirement for setup people is how to bore chuck jaws.
Safety must be emphasized when boring jaws. We recommend that students understand how to perform this procedure manually and that they can also use a standard jaw-boring program.
The use of mill fixtures and vises must be explained in depth.
ANSI Tooling: In conjunction with machine tool awareness, we need an understanding of all types of cutting tools. This includes ANSI lathe tooling and inserts, high speed tools, drills, taps, and reamers. Milling tools include the various types of end mills and face mills with discussion of boring tools usage on the...