Industrial mechanics (millwrights) work on industrial machinery and mechanical equipment. This equipment may include mechanical, pneumatic, hydraulic, fuel, lubrication, cooling and exhaust systems and equipment. Some components worked on include pumps, fans, tanks, conveyors, presses, generators, and pneumatic and hydraulic controls.
Industrial mechanics (millwrights) are responsible for assembling, installing, aligning, maintaining, repairing, troubleshooting, inspecting, dismantling and moving this machinery and equipment. Troubleshooting may include diagnosing irregularities and malfunctions, making adjustments, and repairing or replacing parts. Cleaning, adjusting and lubricating machinery are also important maintenance tasks of the trade.
Other tasks that are performed in this trade may include welding, cutting and machining as required. Industrial mechanics (millwrights) may prepare bases for equipment. Blueprints, diagrams, schematic drawings and manuals assist industrial mechanics (millwrights) in determining work procedures.
Industrial mechanics (millwrights) work with a wide variety of tools. They may use hand and power tools in installation and repair work. Larger machine tools such as lathes, drill presses and grinders may be used in fabrication of machine parts. Hoisting and lifting equipment such as cranes, jacks and forklifts is commonly used to position large machines or machine parts. Industrial mechanics (millwrights) are employed in industrial maintenance or construction sectors. Millwrights employed in the construction industry are generally engaged in the initial installation of machinery and equipment. Those working in the industrial sector are employed in manufacturing or processing plants, utilities or other industrial establishments and are involved with the installation, maintenance and repair of machinery and equipment. Industrial mechanics can also be employed in light industry sectors such as grain/wheat handling. The work environment for industrial mechanics (millwrights) is varied and may involve working in extreme or adverse conditions. They may work in confined spaces, at heights, with heavy equipment and around moving machinery. The work often requires considerable standing, kneeling and lifting of heavy materials.
Key skills for people in this trade are mechanical aptitude, problem-solving, communication, job planning and organizing and the ability to use trade-related calculations. They have the ability to detect malfunctions though sensory tests which are often confirmed by technical tests. Other important attributes include good coordination, manual dexterity and the ability to visualize a layout in 3 dimensions.
Industrial mechanics (millwrights) often possess overlapping skills with other trades such as steamfitter/pipefitter, industrial instrument mechanic, welder, machinist or industrial electrician. They may be certified in these other trades as well. Industrial mechanics (millwrights) may work in specialized areas of the trade such as fluid analysis, vibration analysis and laser alignment. With experience, they may advance to other positions such as mentor, supervisor, planner, superintendent or trainer.
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