Drop forging hammer workers utilise forging machinery and equipment, specifically machined hammers, in order to form ferrous and non-ferrous metal workpieces to their desired shape. They tend the forging hammers that are dropped onto the workpiece in order to reshape it after the form of the die, which can be closed or open, fully enclosing the workpiece or not.
The following job titles also refer to drop forging hammer worker:
drop forge operative
drop forge operator
forging press operator
forging roll technician
drop forge hand
drop forge set up operator
forging roll operator
A high school diploma is generally required to work as a drop forging hammer worker.
ISCO skill level
ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:
- the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
- the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
- the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.
Drop forging hammer worker is a Skill level 2 occupation.
Drop forging hammer worker career path
These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to drop forging hammer worker.
Long term prospects
These occupations require some skills and knowledge of drop forging hammer worker. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of drop forging hammer worker with a significant experience and/or extensive training.
Essential knowledge and skills
This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of drop forging hammer worker.
- Drop hammer types: The various types of hammers used in the forging process, such as a counterblow hammer, friction drop hammer, board drop hammer, belt drop hammer, power drop hammer, and others.
- Types of metal: Qualities, specifications, applications and reactions to different fabricating processes of various types of metal, such as steel, aluminium, brass, copper and others.
- Quality standards: The national and international requirements, specifications and guidelines to ensure that products, services and processes are of good quality and fit for purpose.
- Forging processes: The various processes in the metalforming practices of forging, such as swaging, open-die forging, automatic hot forging, cogging, impression-die forging, roll forging, upsetting, press forging, and others.
Essential skills and competences
These skills are necessary for the role of drop forging hammer worker.
- Monitor gauge: Oversee the data presented by a gauge concerning the measurement of pressure, temperature, thickness of a material, and others.
- Remove inadequate workpieces: Evaluate which deficient processed workpieces do not meet the set-up standard and should be removed and sort the waste according to regulations.
- Troubleshoot: Identify operating problems, decide what to do about it and report accordingly.
- Remove processed workpiece: Remove individual workpieces after processing, from the manufacturing machine or the machine tool. In case of a conveyor belt this involves quick, continuous movement.
- Monitor moving workpiece in a machine: Monitor the processing of a workpiece in motion, such as a piece of metal or wood moved linearly over a static manufacturing machine.
- Perform test run: Perform tests putting a system, machine, tool or other equipment through a series of actions under actual operating conditions in order to assess its reliability and suitability to realise its tasks, and adjust settings accordingly.
- Tend drop forging hammer: Tend a drop forging hammer, designed for forming hot or cold metal by use of a high energy force, monitor and operate it, according to regulations.
- Wear appropriate protective gear: Wear relevant and necessary protective gear, such as protective goggles or other eye protection, hard hats, safety gloves.
- Ensure equipment availability: Ensure that the necessary equipment is provided, ready and available for use before start of procedures.
- Operate forging tongs: Operate the appropriate forging tools and equipment safely, including forging tongs for handling and moving hot metal workpieces during forging processes.
- Monitor automated machines: Continuously check up on the automated machine’s set-up and execution or make regular control rounds. If necessary, record and interpret data on the operating conditions of installations and equipment in order to identify abnormalities.
- Supply machine: Ensure the machine is fed the necessary and adequate materials and control the placement or automatic feed and retrieval of work pieces in the machines or machine tools on the production line.
- Ensure correct metal temperature: Ensure the necessary, usually constant, temperature of processed metal workpieces during metal fabrication processes.
- Remove scale from metal workpiece: Remove the accumulated scale, or metal ‘flakes’, on the surface of the metal workpiece caused by oxidation after removal from the furnace by spraying it with an oil-based liquid that will cause it to flake off during the forging process.
Optional knowledge and skills
This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of drop forging hammer worker. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.
- Non-ferrous metal processing: Various processing methods on non-ferrous metals and alloys such as copper, zinc and aluminium.
- Manufacturing of metal structures: The production of metal structures for construction.
- Ferrous metal processing: Various processing methods on iron and iron-containing alloys such as steel, stainless steel and pig iron.
- Metal forming technologies: The variety of technologies and techniques, such as forging, pressing, stamping, rolling and others, used for the forming processes of metal product manufacturing.
- Manufacturing of metal containers: The manufacture of reservoirs, tanks and similar containers of metal, of types normally installed as fixtures for storage or manufacturing use. The manufacture of metal containers for compressed or liquefied gas.
- Dies: The qualities and applications of various kinds of dies, the different components of a die (such as the die block, punch plate, pierce punch and others) and the types of die used in specialised manufacturing processes ( such as extrusion dies, drawing dies, forming dies, cutting dies, compound dies, and others).
- Manufacturing of steel drums and similar containers: The manufacture of pails, cans, drums, buckets, boxes, through metalworking processes.
- Cold forging: The metalworking process of forging whilst hot metal is right below its recrystallisation temperature, being cooled and solidified after casting.
- Dust usage for forging: The qualities and applications of frit dust, sawdust, coal dust, and others, in the process of hot forging when strewn into dies to ensure the metal workpiece does not stick to the die.
- Manufacturing of heating equipment: The manufacture of electrical ovens and water heaters by metalworking processes.
- Types of metal manufacturing processes: Metal processes linked to the different types of metal, such as casting processes, heat treatment processes, repair processes and other metal manufacturing processes.
- Manufacturing of doors from metal: The manufacture of metal doors, windows and their frames, shutters and gates, and the metal room partitions for floor attachment.
- Hot forging: The metalworking process of forging whilst the hot metal is right above its recrystallisation temperature after casting and being solidified.
- Manufacturing of tools: The manufacture of knives and cutting blades for machines or for mechanical appliances, hand tools such as pliers, screwdrivers etc. The manufacture of non-power-driven agricultural hand tools, saws and saw blades, including circular saw blades and chainsaw blades. The manufacture of interchangeable tools for hand tools, whether or not power-operated, or for machine tools: drills, punches, milling cutters etc. The manufacture of press tools, moulding boxes and moulds (except ingot moulds), vices and clamps, and blacksmiths’ tools: forges, anvils etc.
- Manufacturing of steam generators: The manufacture of steam or other vapour generators, the manufacture of auxiliary plant for use with steam generators: condensers, economisers, superheaters, steam collectors and accumulators. The manufacture of nuclear reactors, parts for marine or power boilers. Also the production of pipe system construction comprising further processing of tubes generally to make pressure pipes or pipe systems together with the associated design and construction work.
Optional skills and competences
These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of drop forging hammer worker. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.
- Work ergonomically: Apply ergonomy principles in the organisation of the workplace while manually handling equipment and materials.
- Record production data for quality control: Keep records of the machine’s faults, interventions and irregularities for quality control.
- Perform product testing: Test processed workpieces or products for basic faults.
- Hold metal work piece in machine: Manually position and hold a, potentially heated, metal work piece for the machine to perform the necessary metalworking processes on it. Take the forming character of the machine into account in order to optimally place and maintain the processed work piece.
- Operate furnace: Operate or tend furnaces, such as gas, oil, coal, electric-arc or electric induction, open-hearth, or oxygen furnaces, to melt and refine metal before casting, to produce specified types of steel, or to finish other materials such as cokes. Set furnace controls to regulate temperatures and heating time.
- Work as a team in a hazardous environment: Work together with others in a dangerous, sometimes noisy, environment, such as a building on fire or metal forging facilities, in order to achieve a higher degree of efficiency while heeding the co-workers’ safety.
- Monitor conveyor belt: Monitor the flow of the work pieces on the conveyor belt as they are processed by the machine to ensure optimal productivity.
- Perform machine maintenance: Perform regular maintenance, possibly including corrections and alterations, on a machine or machine tool to ensure it remains in a proper productive state.
- Provide advice to technicians: Offer help and advice to service technicians in case of machine malfunctions and other repair tasks.
- Consult technical resources: Read and interpret such technical resources such as digital or paper drawings and adjustment data in order to properly set up a machine or working tool, or to assemble mechanical equipment.
- Operate lifting equipment: Transport heavy objects using lifting equipment such as cranes, forklifts etc.
- Keep records of work progress: Maintain records of the progress of the work including time, defects, malfunctions, etc.
- Set up the controller of a machine: Set up and give commands to a machine by dispatching the appropriate data and input into the (computer) controller corresponding with the desired processed product.
- Tend counterblow machine: Tend an extrusion machine, also known as impactor, designed for forming hot or cold metal and compensating for potential shortcoming of the drop hammer by having both the hammer and anvil move. Monitor and operate the machine according to regulations.
- Replace die: Evaluate if a replacement of the die of a machine is deemed beneficial and take the necessary actions for replacing it either manually (depending on its size, by the use of a manual lifting tackle) or mechanically.
ISCO group and title
7221 – Blacksmiths, hammersmiths and forging press workers
- Drop forging hammer worker – ESCO