|Associate of Applied Science in Industrial Production|
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Industrial maintenance mechanics install, maintain and repair industrial machinery and keep production lines running. Problem solving, mechanical ability and manual dexterity are important in this job. Work varies daily.
Imagine an automobile assembly line: a large conveyor system moves unfinished automobiles down the line, giant robotic welding arms bond the different body panels together, hydraulic lifts move the motor into the body of the car, and giant presses stamp body parts from flat sheets of steel. All of these machines—the hydraulic lifts, the robotic welders, the conveyor system, and the giant presses—sometimes break down. When the assembly line stops because a machine breaks down, it costs the company money. Industrial machinery mechanics and machinery maintenance workers maintain and repair these very different, and often very expensive, machines.
The most basic tasks are performed by machinery maintenance workers. These employees are responsible for cleaning and lubricating machinery, performing basic diagnostic tests, checking performance, and testing damaged machine parts to determine whether major repairs are necessary. In carrying out these tasks, maintenance workers must follow machine specifications and adhere to maintenance schedules. Maintenance workers may perform minor repairs, but major repairs are generally left to machinery mechanics.
Industrial machinery mechanics, also called industrial machinery repairers or maintenance machinists, are highly skilled workers who maintain and repair machinery in a plant or factory. To do this effectively, they must be able to detect minor problems and correct them before they become major. Machinery mechanics use technical manuals, their understanding of the equipment, and careful observation to discover the cause of the problem. For example, after hearing a vibration from a machine, the mechanic must decide whether it is due to worn belts, weak motor bearings, or some other problem. Mechanics need years of training and experience to diagnose problems, but computerized diagnostic systems and vibration analysis techniques provide aid in determining the nature of the problem.
After diagnosing the problem, the industrial machinery mechanic disassembles the equipment to repair or replace the necessary parts. When repairing electronically controlled machinery, mechanics may work closely with electronic repairers or electricians who maintain the machine’s electronic parts. Increasingly, mechanics are expected to have the electrical, electronics, and computer programming skills to repair sophisticated equipment on their own. Once a repair is made, mechanics perform tests to ensure that the machine is running smoothly.
- Manufacturing companies
- Automotive industry
- Chemical production facilities
- Food processing plants
Service technicians may travel citywide to perform specialized maintenance.
Course Information: Howard College Catalog