Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Operator
- CNC operators set up, program and operate one or more woodworking machines to fabricate or repair wooden parts for furniture, fixtures or other wood products.
- CNC Operators perform some or all of the following duties:
- Set up, program and operate one or more computer numerically controlled (CNC) or manual woodworking machines such as saws, moulders, lathes, routers, planers, edgers, pressing machines, shapers, drills and sanders to fabricate or repair wooden parts for furniture, fixtures and other wood products
- Operate gluing machines to glue pieces of wood together or press and affix wood veneer to wood surfaces
- Operate preset special-purpose woodworking machines to fabricate wood products such as coat hangers, mop handles, clothes pins, cabinet doors, ornate carvings, and other products
- Read and interpret specifications or follow verbal instructions
- May clean and lubricate equipment, and replace parts as necessary
CNC Operators work in a plant environment. The noise level varies from one organization to the next depending on plant set-up. CNC Operators are required to move material and parts to and from the machine manually. They must also manipulate tooling, and move machine parts for maintenance or troubleshooting issues and therefore may use more or less physical strength depending on the type of machine and operation required.
Personal characteristics suitable for the CNC Operator include:
- Communication skills
- Be a team player
- Deal with heavy workloads under time sensitive schedules
- Comfortable using computers
- Willingness to learn
- Physically fit
- Problem-solving skills
- Health and safety conscious
The CNC Operator typically has a high school degree and has successfully completed Grade 12 math. Colleges and universities offer basic courses in CNC operation while equipment vendors offer more specific training for their machines. Organizations offer Health and Safety training specifically related to safe machine and tooling use, personal safety and workplace cleanliness and maintenance.
The CNC Operator will often be selected for mathematical abilities and/or programming skills. In cases where there is little programming involved, regular woodworking machine operators with an average of 3 years of experience are typically recruited. They must possess computer skills, basic knowledge of parametric programming language and be able to work with others.