Filing machine operator

Description

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.

Working conditions

Work schedules

Filing machine operators are employed full time. Some work more than 40 hours per week. Because many manufacturers run their machinery for extended periods, evening and weekend work is also common.

Injuries and illnesses

These workers often operate powerful, high-speed machines that can be dangerous and must observe safety rules. Operators usually wear protective equipment, such as safety glasses, earplugs, and steel-toed boots, to guard against flying particles of metal or plastic, machine noise, and heavy objects, respectively.

Other required safety equipment varies by work setting and machine. For example, respirators are common for those who work near materials that emit dangerous fumes or dust.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to filing machine operator:

stapling machine operator
metal finishing machine tender
filing and stapling machine tender
filing plant operator
band filing machine operative
wood filer
wood filing machine operator
metal finishing machine operative
filing and stapling machine technician
bench filing machine operator
reciprocating filing machine operative
metal finishing machine setter
band filing machine tender
bench filing machine operative
filing and stapling machine operator
metal finishing machine operator
band filing machine operator
reciprocating filing machine setter
metal filer
plastic filing machine operator
metal filing machine operative
filing and stapling machine operative
reciprocating filing machine operator
reciprocating filing machine tender
stapling machine operative
filer
bench filing machine tender
filing plant operative
filing room operative
metal filing machine operator
metal filing machine tender
band filing machine setter
filing machine operative
filing machinist
filing machine worker
metal filing machine setter
filing and stapling machine apprentice
stapling machine tender
filing machine technician
reciprocating file operator
filing machine tender
bench filing machine setter
filing machine specialist
plastic filer
filing room operator

Minimum qualifications

No formal educational credential is generally required to work as filing machine operator.

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.

Filing machine operator is a Skill level 2 occupation.

Filing machine operator career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to filing machine operator.

cylindrical grinder operator
metal polisher
laser marking machine operator
deburring machine operator
tumbling machine operator

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of filing machine operator. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of filing machine operator with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

automated assembly line operator
pulp control operator
metal production supervisor
industrial robot controller
welding inspector

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of filing machine operator.

  • Quality and cycle time optimisation: The most optimal rotation or cycle time and over-all quality of a tool or a machine’s processes.
  • 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.
  • Type of file: Types of files used for filing metal, wood or plastic workpieces, such as mill files, barrette files, checkering files, coin pointed files, joint round edge files and others.
  • Filing machine parts: The various parts, their characteristics and applications, of a machine designed to file and finish metal, wood or plastic workpieces, such as a cone point file, set screw, centre plate, adapter, file band, upper guide, post, back-up support, and others.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of filing machine operator.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Dispose of cutting waste material: Dispose of possibly hazardous waste material created in the cutting process, such as swarf, scrap and slugs, sort according to regulations, and clean up workplace.
  • Wear appropriate protective gear: Wear relevant and necessary protective gear, such as protective goggles or other eye protection, hard hats, safety gloves.
  • Tend filing machine: Tend a filing machine designed to smoothen a metal, wood or plastic surface and remove rough edges by applying filing, abrasive machine processes, monitor and operate it according to regulations.
  • Ensure equipment availability: Ensure that the necessary equipment is provided, ready and available for use before start of procedures.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Smooth burred surfaces: Inspect and smooth burred surfaces of steel and metal parts.
  • 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.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of filing machine operator. 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.
  • Woodworking processes: Steps in the processing of wood for the manufacturing of wooden articles and types of machines used for these processes such as drying, shaping, assembling and surface finishing.
  • Cutting technologies: The variety of cutting technologies, such as software or mechanics, guiding cutting processes through lasering, sawing, milling etc.
  • Manufacturing of cutlery: The manufacture of different cutlery items, such as forks, spoons, knives, razors or scissors.
  • Ferrous metal processing: Various processing methods on iron and iron-containing alloys such as steel, stainless steel and pig iron.
  • Manufacturing of metal household articles: The manufacture of flatware , hollowware , dinnerware and other non-electrical utensils for use at the table or in the kitchen.
  • Manufacturing of small metal parts: The manufacture of metal cable, plaited bands and other articles of that type, uninsulated or insulated cable not capable of being used as a conductor of electricity, coated or cored wire as well as barbed wire, wire fencing, grill, netting, cloth etc. Manufacture of coated electrodes for electric arc-welding, nails and pins, chain and springs (except watch springs): as well as leaves for springs.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Manufacturing of metal assembly products: The manufacture of rivets, washers and similar non-threaded products, screw machine products, screws, nuts and similar threaded products.
  • 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).
  • Types of plastic: Types of plastic materials and their chemical composition, physical properties, possible issues and usage cases.
  • 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 door furniture from metal: The manufacture of metal items that can be attached to a door in order to support its function and appearance. The manufacture of padlocks, locks, keys, hinges and the like, and hardware for buildings, furniture, vehicles etc.
  • Manufacturing of light metal packaging: The manufacture of tins and cans for food products, collapsible tubes and boxes, and of metallic closures.
  • Types of wood: Types of wood, such as birch, pine, poplar, mahogany, maple and tulipwood.
  • Manufacturing of weapons and ammunition: The manufacture of heavy weapons (artillery, mobile guns, rocket launchers, torpedo tubes, heavy machine guns), small arms (revolvers, shotguns, light machine guns), air or gas guns and pistols, and war ammunition. Also the manufacture of hunting, sporting or protective firearms and ammunition and of explosive devices such as bombs, mines and torpedoes.
  • Metal smoothing technologies: The various technologies used for the smoothening, polishing and buffing of fabricated metal workpieces.
  • Mechanics: Theoretical and practical applications of the science studying the action of displacements and forces on physical bodies to the development of machinery and mechanical devices.
  • Abrasive machining processes: The various machining principles and processes employing abrasives, (mineral) materials that can shape a workpiece by eroding excessive parts of it, such as grinding, honing, sanding, buffing, diamond wire cutting, polishing, abrasive blasting, tumbling, water-jet cutting, and others.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of filing machine operator. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Inspect quality of products: Use various techniques to ensure the product quality is respecting the quality standards and specifications. Oversee defects, packaging and sendbacks of products to different production departments.
  • Manipulate plastic: Manipulate the properties, shape and size of plastic.
  • Record production data for quality control: Keep records of the machine’s faults, interventions and irregularities for quality control.
  • Spot metal imperfections: Observe and identify various kinds of imperfections in metal workpieces or finished products. Recognise the best fitted manner of fixing the problem, which could be caused by corrosion, rust, fractures, leaks, and other signs of wear.
  • Operate precision measuring equipment: Measure the size of a processed part when checking and marking it to check if it is up to standard by use of two and three dimensional precision measuring equipment such as a caliper, a micrometer, and a measuring gauge.
  • 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.
  • Apply precision metalworking techniques: Comply with precision standards specific to an organisation or product in metalworking, involved in processes such as engraving, precise cutting, welding.
  • Consult technical resources: Read and interpret 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.
  • Measure flatness of a surface: Measure the evenness of a workpiece’s surface after it has been processed by checking for deviations from the desired perpendicular state.
  • Keep records of work progress: Maintain records of the progress of the work including time, defects, malfunctions, etc.
  • Operate file for deburring: Operate various sizes and types of files used for removing burrs from and smoothening the edges of a workpiece.
  • Produce customised products: Produce goods designed and created to fit the specific needs or request of a customer.

ISCO group and title

8122 – Metal finishing, plating and coating machine operators


References
  1. ESCO
  2. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Last updated on July 7, 2022

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