Skills Operator, Polishing Machine - Metal Products Manufacturing near Lévis (QC)

Find out what skills you typically need to work as an operator, polishing machine - metal products manufacturing in Canada. These skills are applicable to all Other metal products machine operators (NOC 9418).


People working in this occupation usually apply the following skill set.

  • Operate or tend automatic or multi-purpose machines to produce metal parts and metal products
  • Clean, polish, file or otherwise finish products
  • Check products for quality and other specifications
  • Fit and assemble components using hand and power tools
  • Clean and lubricate machinery and equipment

Skills and knowledge

The following skills and knowledge are usually required in this occupation.

Essential skills

See how the 9 essential skills apply to this occupation.

  • May read notes or e-mail messages from other workers in the plant. (1)
  • May read memos from management about safety standards and changes in procedures. (2)
  • May read instruction sheets about machine operation. (2)
  • May read lockout procedures in the Standard Operating Procedures Manual. (2)
  • May read maintenance manuals to learn how to maintain and repair a variety of machines. (3)
Document use
  • Read lists of metal parts to check on their availability for a repair. (1)
  • Read labels on products such as wire coils. (1)
  • Read Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) labels. (2)
  • Read work orders and specification sheets to find out the number of pieces to be produced and their dimensions. (2)
  • Recognize common angles such as a 45 degrees bevel on the end of a piece. (2)
  • Read production schedules. (2)
  • Read charts such as the drill chart which shows the number and sizes of drills. (2)
  • Complete forms such as scrap reports. (2)
  • May read statistical process control (SPC) graphs in order to adjust machines. (3)
  • Take measurements from blueprints and interpret scale drawings to form pieces such as brackets. (3)
  • Refer to assembly drawings to carry out maintenance operations. (3)
  • Write comments in the operators' log to note production problems and to record repairs done on machines. (1)
  • Write lists of maintenance requirements for upcoming shutdowns. (1)
  • Write reminder notes to themselves about tasks to be carried out. (1)
  • Write notes to workers on the next shift to inform them of problems such as a broken die. (1)
  • May complete reports to account for lost production time. (2)
NumeracyMeasurement and Calculation Math
  • Measure pieces of metal in order to cut them to sizes specified in the layout. (1)
  • Measure the angles of metal with a protractor when putting bends in the metal and check blueprints for accuracy. (2)
  • Calculate tolerances of manufacturing equipment to thousandths of an inch. (3)
Data Analysis Math
  • Monitor shank inspection records to compare actual measurements to required measurements. (1)
  • May perform statistical process control (SPC) calculations and plot them on a graph every hour. (2)
  • Analyze a variety of charts and graphs displaying average production downtimes and material usage. They make process changes based on the results. (3)
Numerical Estimation
  • May estimate when to reload a machine with material such as steel rods. (1)
  • Estimate the length of time a machine will operate before adjustments are needed. (2)
Oral communication
  • Signal or yell to other operators to stand aside when they are operating forklifts. (1)
  • Listen for signals from the forklift operators when working with them to load a wire coil onto the machine. (1)
  • Exchange information with co-workers concerning progress in production. (1)
  • May interact with co-workers as a lead hand to provide instructions at the beginning of the shift. (2)
  • Communicate with supervisors to discuss production problems or clarify orders. (2)
  • Communicate with mechanics about machine repairs. (2)
  • May interact with quality assurance managers to discuss process improvements. (2)
ThinkingProblem Solving
  • May find that a tool has not been tooled to the right tolerance. They call on the toolmaker to make corrections. (1)
  • May have a machine overheat. They verify the levels of liquids and check passages to see whether pieces of metal are stuck in the machine. They may have to take the machine apart to unblock it. (2)
  • May encounter faulty wire in the middle of a coil. They check the coil to see if there is good wire further down. They return the coil to the manufacturer if they consider the problem serious. (2)
  • May have intermittent problems with a machine. They try to diagnose the malfunction using computer equipment and apply step-by-step troubleshooting until they locate the source of the problem. (3)
Decision Making
  • Decide when to take quality spot checks which must occur twice during a shift. (1)
  • Decide what materials to order and when the orders should be placed. (2)
  • Decide whether to continue to make products which are only slightly off specifications or whether to scrap them. (2)
  • Decide when to shut down a machine which is operating erratically, such as spewing out metal. (2)
  • May decide when a machine needs to be replaced. (3)
Critical Thinking

Critical Thinking information was not collected for this profile.

Job Task Planning and Organizing

Metal products machine operators in this group generally receive their schedule from supervisors but prioritize their own tasks within that schedule. Work is often varied because of the uniqueness of many orders. They plan their work days to take into account that co-workers may need to use the same machines and that machines should be running at all times to stay productive. They also organize their work in relation to the needs of other departments, which may be waiting for their production in order to carry out their tasks. (2)

Significant Use of Memory
  • Remember the specifications and tolerances of large jobs so that they can set up later jobs in the same way.
  • Remember the appearance of jigs so that they can obtain the right kind from storage.
  • May memorize alphanumeric codes which correspond to the dimensions of pieces.
Finding Information
  • Use a drafting book to look up by the product code number the draft record for that product. (1)
  • May use on-line production information systems to check production volume and error codes. (1)
  • Find machine repair information in technical manuals. (2)
  • May take pieces or drawings to co-workers or supervisors to consult with them about why the pieces do not fit. (2)
Digital technology
  • Use computer-operated machinery. For example, they may respond to prompts on the screens of computer-controlled machines. (1)
Additional informationOther Essential Skills:

Working with Others

Metal products machine operators in this group mainly work independently. They sometimes work with partners to lift heavy pieces or to assist one another in machine maintenance functions. They form part of a team, co-operating closely with toolmakers, engineers, other operators and quality assurance personnel to complete an order.

Continuous Learning

Metal products machine operators in this group learn on the job and through courses. They may attend machinist and blueprint reading courses. They may attend manufacturers' seminars to learn about equipment operation and sessions with statistical process control (SPC) personnel to ensure that they understand sampling and measuring techniques.

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