Ferrous metal processing

Description

Various processing methods on iron and iron-containing alloys such as steel, stainless steel and pig iron.

Alternative labels

ferrous metal processing methods
methods for processing ferrous metal
processing of ferrous metal
production of stainless steel
production of steel
processing ferrous metal
production of pig iron

Skill type

knowledge

Skill reusability level

sector-specific

Relationships with occupations

Essential knowledge

Ferrous metal processing is an essential knowledge of the following occupations:

Metallurgical technician: Metallurgical technicians provide technical support in researching and performing experiments on minerals, metals, alloys, oil and gas. They also assist in improving the methods of extraction.
Casting machine operator: Casting machine operators operate casting machines to manipulate metal substances into shape. They set up and tend casting machines to process molten ferrous and non-ferrous metals to manufacture metal materials. They conduct the flow of molten metals into casts, taking care to create the exact right circumstances to obtain the highest quality metal. They observe the flow of metal to identify faults. In case of a fault, they notify the authorised personnel and participate in the removal of the fault.
Chemical metallurgist: Chemical metallurgists are involved in the extraction of useable metals from ores and recycleable material. They study the properties of metal, such as corrosion and fatigue.
Process metallurgist: Process metallurgists study the characteristics of ores including copper, nickel and iron ores and the performance of various metals and alloys. 
Metallurgist: Metallurgists specialise in the extraction and processing of metals such as iron, steel, zinc, copper and aluminium. They work to mold or combine both pure and mixed metals (alloys) into new shapes and properties. Metallurgists handle the extraction of metal ores and develop their use in metal processing techniques. They may work in both manufacturing or do scientific research about the performance of metals.

Optional knowledge

Ferrous metal processing is optional for these occupations. This means knowing this knowledge may be an asset for career advancement if you are in one of these occupations.

Metal drawing machine operator: Metal drawing machine operators set up and operate drawing machines for ferrous and non-ferrous metal products, designed to provide wires, bars, pipes, hollow profiles and tubes with their specific form by reducing its cross-section and by pulling the working materials through a series of drawing dies.
Coating machine operator: Coating machine operators set up and tend coating machines that coat metal products with a thin layer of covering of materials such as lacquer, enamel, copper, nickel, zinc, cadmium, chromium or other metal layering in order to protect or decorate the metal products’ surfaces. They run all coating machine stations on multiple coaters.
Metal production manager: Metal production managers organise and manage the day-to-day and long-term project work in a metal fabrication factory, to process basic metals into fabricated metals. They create and schedule production plans, recruit new staff, enforce safety and company policies, and strive for customer satisfaction through guaranteeing the product’s quality.

Foundry manager: Foundry managers coordinate and implement short and medium term casting production schedules, and coordinate the development, support and improvement of casting processes, and the reliability efforts of the maintenance and engineering departments. They also partner with ongoing remediation initiatives.
Riveter: Riveters assemble several metal parts together by riveting guns, rivet set and hammers, or by operating a riveting machine that all perform the purpose of drilling holes on the rivet shank of the metal part and of inserting rivets, bolts, into these holes in order to fasten them together.
Hydraulic forging press worker: Hydraulic forging press workers set up and tend hydraulic forging presses, designed to shape ferrous and non-ferrous metal workpieces including pipes, tubes and hollow profiles and other products of the first processing of steel in their desired form by use of compressive forces generated by a piston and fluid pressure.
Boring machine operator: Boring machine operators prepare, operate, and maintain single or multiple spindle machines using a boring bar with a hardened, rotary, multipointed cutting tool in order to enlarge an existing hole in a fabricated workpiece. 
Coquille casting worker: Coquille casting workers manufacture castings, including pipes, tubes, hollow profiles and other products of the first processing of steel, by operating hand-controlled equipment in a foundry. They conduct the flow of molten ferrous and non-ferrous metals into coquilles, taking care to create the exact right circumstances to obtain the highest quality metal. They observe the flow of metal to identify faults. In case of a fault, they notify the authorised personnel and participate in the removal of the fault.
Plasma cutting machine operator: Plasma cutting machine operators set up and operate plasma cutting machines designed to cut and shape excess material from a metal workpiece using a plasma torch at a temperature hot enough to melt and cut the metal by burning it and works at a speed that blows away the molten metal from the clear cut.
Welding engineer: Welding engineers research and develop optimal effective welding techniques and design the corresponding, equally efficient equipment to aid in the welding process. They also conduct quality control and evaluate inspection procedures for welding activities. Welding engineers have advanced knowledge and critical understanding of welding technology application. They are able to manage high complex technical and professional activities or projects related to welding applications, while also taking responsibility for the decision making process.
Solderer: Solderers operate various equipment and machinery such as gas torches, soldering irons, welding machines, or electric-ultrasonic equipment in order to solder together two or more items (usually metals), by melting and forming a metal filler in between the joints, the filler metal has a lower melting point than the adjoining metal. 
Engraving machine operator: Engraving machine operators set up, programme, and tend engraving machines designed to precisely carve a design in the surface of a metal workpiece by a diamond stylus on the mechanical cutting machine that creates small, separate printing dots existing from cut cells. They read engraving machine blueprints and tooling instructions, perform regular machine maintenance, and make adjustments to the precise engraving controls, such as the depth of the incisions and the engraving speed.
Spark erosion machine operator: Spark erosion machine operators set up and tend spark erosion machines designed to cut excess material from a metal workpiece by the use of electrical discharges, or sparks, caused by electric voltage and separated by a dielectric liquid, which removes pieces of metal from the electrodes These applications can involve transmission and optical microscopy.
Tumbling machine operator: Tumbling machine operators set up and operate tumbling machines, often wet or drie tumbling barrels, designed to remove excess material and burrs of heavy metal workpieces and precious metals and to improve surface appearance, by rotating the metal pieces in a barrel together with grit and potentially water, allowing for the friction between the pieces mutually and with the grit to cause a rounding, smooth effect.
Grinding machine operator: Grinding machine operators set up, program and control grinding machines, designed to apply abrasive processes in order to remove small amounts of excess material and smoothen metal workpieces by using an abrasive wheel with diamond teeth as a cutting device for very precise and light cuts. They read grinding machine blueprints and tooling instructions, perform regular machine maintenance, and make adjustments to the grinding controls, such as the depth of cuts and the rotation speed.
Production plant crane operator: Production plant crane operators operate the basic technologic cranes during the production process at the given unit by lifting and moving loads (bales, containers, buckets and other facilities) with raw and other materials.
Water jet cutter operator: Water jet cutter operators set up and operate a water jet cutter, designed to cut excess material from a metal workpiece by using a high-pressure jet of water, or an abrasive substance mixed with water.
Casting mould maker: Casting mould makers create metal, wooden or plastic models of the finished product to be cast. The patterns are then used to create moulds, eventually leading to the casting of the product of the same shape as the pattern.
Screw machine operator: Screw machine operators set up and tend mechanical screw machines designed to manufacture (threaded) screws out of processed metal workpieces, specifically small- to medium-sized ones that have been turned by a lathe and turn machine.
Metal sawing machine operator: Metal sawing machine operators set up and operate metal sawing machines designed to cut excess metal from a metal workpiece by the use of a (or several) large toothed-edges blade(s). They also trim clean finished shapes out of metal using tin snips, metal shears or wire cutters.  They also smoothen and trim sharp or rough edges using various tools.
Abrasive blasting operator: Abrasive blasting operators use the proper equipment and machinery to smoothen rough surfaces by abrasive blasting. Abrasive blasting is commonly used in the finishing process of metal workpieces and for blasting building materials used in masonry such as bricks, stones and concrete. They operate blasters or sand cabinets which forcibly thrust a stream of abrasive material such sand, soda or water, under high pressure, propelled by a centrifigal wheel, in order to shape and smoothen surfaces.
Surface grinding machine operator: Surface grinding machine operators set up and tend surface grinding machines designed to apply abrasive processes in order to remove small amounts of excess material and smoothen metal workpieces by an abrasive grinding wheel, or wash grinder, rotating on a horizontal or vertical axis.
Cylindrical grinder operator: Cylindrical grinding operators set up and tend cylindrical grinding machines designed to apply abrasive processes in order to remove small amounts of excess material and smoothen metal workpieces by multiple abrasive grinding wheels with diamond teeth as a cutting device for very precise and light cuts, as the workpiece is fed past it and formed into a cylinder.
Filing machine operator: Filing machine operators set up and tend filing machines such as band files, reciprocating files and bench filing machines in order to smoothen metal, wood or plastic surfaces by precisely cutting and removing small amounts of excess material.
Mouldmaker: Mouldmakers manually create moulds for the production of metal products. They mix sand and hardening materials to obtain a specialised mixture. They then use a pattern and one or more cores to produce the right shape impression in this material. The shaped material is then left to set, later to be used as a mould in the production of ferrous and non-ferrous metal castings.
Industrial engineer: Industrial engineers design a vast array of production systems aiming to present efficient and effective solutions. They integrate a varied number of variables such as workers, technology, ergonomics, production flows, and product specifications for the design and implementation of production systems. They can specify and design for microsystems as well.
Computer numerical control machine operator: Computer numerical control machine operators set-up, maintain and control a computer numerical control machine in order to execute the product orders. They are responsible for programming the machines, ensuring the required parameters and measurements are met while maintaining the quality and safety standards.
Oxy fuel burning machine operator: Oxy fuel burning machine operators set up and tend machines designed to cut, or rather burn off, excess material from the metal workpiece using a torch that heats the metal workpiece to its kindling temperature and subsequently burns it into a metal oxide upon its reaction with an emitted stream of oxygen, flowing out of the workpiece’s created kerf as slag.
Boilermaker: Boilermakers operate a variety of equipment and machinery to create, repipe and retube hot water and steam boilers, producing them in all steps of the production process. They cut, gouge and shape the metal sheets and tubes for the boilers to size, using oxy-acetylene gas torches, assemble them by shielded metal arc welding, gas metal arc welding or gas tungsten arc welding, and finish them by the approprate machine tools, power tools and coating.
Stamping press operator: Stamping press operators set up and tend stamping presses designed to form metal workpieces in their desired shape by applying pressure through the up and down movement of a bolster plate and a die attached to a stamping ram on the metal, resulting in the die producing smaller metal parts of the workpiece fed to the press.
Lathe and turning machine operator: Lathe and turning machine operators set up, program and tend lathe and turning machines designed to cut excess metal from a metal workpiece using a hardened cutting tool moved by computer-controlled motors. They read lathe and turning machine blueprints and tooling instructions, perform regular machine maintenance, and make adjustments to the lathe controls, such as the depth of cuts and the rotation speed.
Manufacturing manager: Manufacturing managers plan, oversee and direct the manufacturing process in an organisation. They ensure products and services are efficiently produced within the timeframe and budget given.
Metal nibbling operator: Metal nibbling operators cut detailed patterns from metal surfaces by using manual or powered metal nibblers, such as a handheld nibbling drill or a nibbling machine.
Brazier: Braziers operate various equipment and machinery such as torches, soldering irons, fluxes and welding machines in order to join two metal pieces together, by heating, melting and forming a metal filler inbetween them, often brass or copper. Brazing can join metals such as aluminum, silver, copper, gold, and nickel. Brazing is a similar process to soldering but requires higher temperatures. 

 
Metal rolling mill operator: Metal rolling mill operators set up and tend metal rolling mills designed to form metal workpieces into their desired shape by passing them through one or several pairs of rolls in order to decrease the metal’s thickness and to make it homogeneous. They also take into account the proper temperature for this rolling process.
Laser marking machine operator: Laser marking machine operators set up and tend laser marking or engraving machines designed to precisely carve a design in the surface of a metal workpiece by use of a moving controller and an engraving laser beam point attached to it that traces patterns on the metal workpiece’s surface. They make adjustments to the machine in terms of laser beam intensity, direction and speed of movement. They also ensure the laser table, used to perform laser machine engravings on and guides the laser beam, is properly set up.
Lacquer spray gun operator: Lacquer spray gun operators operate lacquer spray guns designed to provide otherwise finished metal, wooden or plastic workpieces with a hard, durable finishing coat, through lacquer coating or paint that is either matte, sheen or highly glossy, but is always meant for hard surfaces.
Wire weaving machine operator: Wire weaving machine operators set up and tend wire weaving machines, designed to produce woven metal wire cloth out of the alloys or ductile metal that can be drawn into wire.
Thread rolling machine operator: Thread rolling machine operators set up and tend thread rolling machines designed to form metal workpieces into external and internal screw threads by pressing a thread rolling die against metal blank rods, creating a larger diameter than those of the original blank workpieces.
Welder:
Welders operate welding equipment in order to join metal workpieces together. They can use fusion welding processes based on different techniques and materials. They also perform simple visual inspection of welds.
Metalworking lathe operator: Metalworking lathe operators set up and tend a metalworking lathe manually, which is responsible for cutting metal to its desired size and shape by usage of a gear train or a swapping gear that propels the main lead-screw at a variable speed ratio, thus rotating the metal workpiece on its axis, facilitating the cutting process. They check the lathe equipment for wear and handle the metal workpieces as they have been cut by the lathe.
Metal production supervisor: Metal production supervisors oversee the day-to-day working process and activities of the labourers in a metal fabrication factory. They supervise staff, create work schedules, maintain a safe work environment and serve as the first, most accessible management representative for the workers to contact when there is need.
Deburring machine operator: Deburring machine operators set up and tend mechanical deburring machines designed to strip metal workpieces of their rough edges, or burrs, by hammering over their surfaces in order to smoothen them or to roll over their edges in case of uneven slits or sheers in order to flatten them into the surface.
Metal engraver: Metal engravers make incisions of a design onto a metal surface by carving grooves into it, usually for decorative purposes, including metal weaponry. To cut the design into the surface they use tools such as gravers or burins.

 
Upsetting machine operator: Upsetting machine operators set up and tend upsetting machines, primarily crank presses, designed to form through forging processes metal workpieces, usually wires, rods, or bars, into their desired shape by having split dies with mulitiple cavities compress the workpieces’ length and hereby increasing their diameter.
Drop forging hammer worker: 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.
Spot welder: Spot welders set up and tend spot welding machines designed to press and join metal workpieces together. The metal resistance to the passage of electrical current and the subsequent heat created in the process allows for the local melting and joining of the parts.  
Extrusion machine operator: Extrusion machine operators set up, monitor and maintain machines which heat or melt raw materials, and pull or push the heated material through a shaped die to form it into a continuous profile with a preset cross section such as tubes, pipes and sheeting. They may also clean and maintain the equipment.
Milling machine operator: Milling machine operators set up, program and control milling machines, designed to cut excess material from metal workpieces using a computer-controlled rotary-cutting, milling cutter. They read milling machine blueprints and tooling instructions, perform regular machine maintenance, and make adjustments to the milling controls, such as the depth of cuts or the rotation speed.
Metal planer operator: Metal planer operators set up and operate a planer, which is a metalworking machine designed to cut excess material from a metal workpiece using linear relative motion between the planer’s cutting tool and the workpiece in order to create a linear toolpath and cut.
Straightening machine operator: Straightening machine operators set up and tend straightening machines designed to form metal workpieces into their desired shape using pressing practices. They adjust the angle and the height of the straightening rolls and select the settings for the pressing force required to straighten the workpiece, taking into account the end product’s yield strenght and size, without excess work hardening.
Drill press operator: Drill press operators set up and operate drill presses designed to cut excess material from or enlarge a hole in a fabricated workpiece using a hardened, rotary, multipointed cutting tool that inserts the drill into the workpiece axially.
Chain making machine operator: Chain making machine operators tend and operate the proper equipment and machinery for the creation of metal chains, including precious metal chains such as for jewellery, and produce these in all steps of the production process. They feed the wire into the chainmaking machine, use pliers to hook the ends of the chain formed by the machine together and finish and trim the edges by soldering them to a smooth surface.
Rustproofer: Rustproofers use the proper equipment and machinery to provide metal workpieces with a hard, durable finishing coat, composed of specific chemical formulas, that prevents or delays iron and steel pieces from rusting and protects against corrosion.
Electroplating machine operator: Electroplating machine operators set up and tend electroplating machines designed to finish and coat the metal workpieces’ (such as future pennies and jewelry) surface by using electric current to dissolve metal cations and to bond a thin layer of another metal, such as zinc, copper or silver, to produce a coherent metal coating to the workpiece’s surface.
Mechanical forging press worker: Mechanical forging press workers set up and tend mechanical forging presses, designed to shape ferrous and non-ferrous metal workpieces including pipes, tubes and hollow profiles and other products of the first processing of steel in their desired form by use of preset, compressive forces provided by cranks, cams and toggles at reproducible strokes.
Laser cutting machine operator: Laser cutting machine operators set up, program and tend laser cutting machines, designed to cut, or rather burn off and melt, excess material from a metal workpiece by directing a computer-motion-controlled powerful laser beam through laser optics. They read laser cutting machine blueprints and tooling instructions, perform regular machine maintenance, and make adjustments to the milling controls, such as the intensity of the laser beam and its positioning.
Metal product quality control inspector: Metal product quality control inspectors perform preventive and operational quality control on the metal products. They examine the materials at various stages to make sure it conforms to the desired standard, test the products, and send them back for repair if necessary.
Spring maker: Spring makers operate a variety of equipment and machinery designed to manufacture different types of spring, including leaf, coil, torsion, clock, tension, and extension spring.
Ornamental metal worker: Ornamental metal workers use finishing equipment and machinery to shape and finish fabricated ornamental metal workpieces, often used for the installation process in construction, such as railings, staircases, open steel flooring, fences and gates, and others.
Foundry moulder: Foundry moulders manufacture cores for metal moulds, which are used to fill a space in the mould that must remain unfilled during casting. They use wood, plastic or other materials to create the core, selected to withstand the extreme environment of a metal mould.
Laser beam welder: Laser beam welders set up and tend laser beam welding machines designed to join separate metal workpieces together through the use of a laser beam radiating a concentrated heat source that allows for precise welding.
Welding coordinator: Welding coordinators supervise the workflow of welding applications. They monitor welding processes performed by other welders, supervise the staff, being sometimes responsible for vocational training. They also weld particularly demanding parts. Welding coordinators ensure that the necessary welding equipment is ready for usage. They mostly coordinate welding applications and related professional activities.
Dip tank operator: Dip tank operators set up and tend dip tanks, which are coating machines, designed to provide otherwise finished work pieces with durable coating by dipping them in a tank of a specific sort of paint, preservative or molten zinc.
Metal polisher: Metal polishers use metal working equipment and machinery to polish and buff almost finished metal workpieces in order to enhance their smoothness and appearance and to remove oxidisation, tarnishing the metal after the other fabrication processes. They may operate equipment using diamond solutions, silicon-made polishing pads, or working wheels with a leather polishing strop, and tend to these materials ensuring their effectiveness.
Swaging machine operator: Swaging machine operators set up and tend rotary swaging machines, designed to alter round ferrous and non-ferrous metal workpieces into their desired shape by first hammering them into a smaller diameter through the compressive force of two or more dies and then tagging them using a rotary swager, a process through which no excess material is lost.
Foundry operative: Foundry operative manufacture castings, including pipes, tubes, hollow profiles and other products of the first processing of steel, by operating hand-controlled equipment in a foundry. They conduct the flow of molten ferrous and non-ferrous metals into moulds, taking care to create the exact right circumstances to obtain the highest quality metal. They observe the flow of metal to identify faults. In case of a fault, they notify the authorised personnel and participate in the removal of the fault.
Surface engineer: Surface engineers research and develop technologies for manufacturing processes that assist in altering the properties of the surface of bulk material, such as metal, in order to reduce degradation by corrosion or wear. They explore and design how to protect surfaces of (metal) workpieces and products utilising sustainable materials and testing with a minimum of waste.
Electron beam welder: Electron beam welders set up and tend machines designed to join separate metal workpieces together through the use of a high-velocity electron beam. They monitor the machining processes providing an alteration in the kinetic energy of the electrons that allows for them to transform into heat for the metal to melt and join together in a process of precise welding.
Anodising machine operator: Anodising machine operators set up and tend anodising machines designed to provide otherwise finished metal workpieces, usually aluminum-based, with a durable, anodic oxide, corrosion-resistant finishing coat, by a electrolyctic passiviation process that increases the thickness of the natural oxide layer of the metal workpieces’ surface.
Drilling machine operator: Drilling machine operators set up, program and control drilling machines, designed to drill holes in workpieces using a computer-controlled, rotary-cutting, multipointed cutting tool, inserted into the workpiece axially. They read drilling machine blueprints and tooling instructions, perform regular machine maintenance, and make adjustments to the drilling controls, such as the depth of drills or the rotation speed.
Tool and die maker: Tool and die makers operate a variety of equipment and machinery designed to create metal tools and dies, which are both needed in several areas of manufacturing, and produce these tools in all steps of the production process. They design the tools and dies, then cut and shape them to size and finish them by manually operated machine tools, power tools, hand tools, or programming and tending CNC tool and die making machines.
Welding inspector: Welding inspectors examine the connections and bonds between metals. They utilise visual tools and electrical instruments to inspect and ensure the quality and safety of connections. Welding inspectors ensure that all related welding activities, plans and materials follow the appropriate guidelines, in accordance with safety regulations. In addition to working in the field completing their examinations of welding projects, inspectors spend time in an office setting compiling their reports.
Blacksmith: Blacksmiths heat metal, usually steel, in a forge and shape it with a hammer, chisel, and an anvil. Contemporarily, they predominantly create artisanal metal products, including ornamental work, as well as horse shoes, one of the sole metal fabricating processes that has not been industrialised.
Punch press operator: Punch press operators set up and tend punch presses designed to cut workpieces into their desired shape by propelling a hydraulic ram to punch holes into them with a single die set that pushes through the top dead centre, through the surface, and to the bottom dead centre of the workpiece.

 


 

References

  1. Ferrous metal processing – ESCO

 

Last updated on September 20, 2022

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