Manufacturing Technician

Grades: 5-8

Follow a technician through a day, checking, testing and maintaining equipment!

Glossary of Terms

Actuator Arm

The section of a limit switch that is activated by something moving past it, or coming in contact with it. The actuator opens or closes an electrical circuit, indicating something is ‘true,’ like an engine block is present, or a lift has reached the bottom of the shaft.

Bump Cap

A hat that looks a lot like a baseball cap, but it has a hard plastic insert that protects the top of the wearer’s head. This is safety equipment often worn in a manufacturing environment.

Calibration

The process of determining if a machine’s readings are correct.

Certification

Demonstrating knowledge or skills that meet a certain standard. Gaining certification usually involves taking some sort of written test or demonstrating a skill that will then result in a certificate being awarded. Manufacturing technicians have to become certified in a variety of areas that allow them to work knowledgeably and safely on the manufacturing line.

Conduit

A tube or trough that protects electrical wiring.

Conveyor

Also known as conveyor belt. A band of fabric or metal that moves parts or objects from one place to another.

Engineer

A person who designs, builds or maintains machinery.

Estimate

An approximate calculation or judgment about the number, size, value, or scope of something.

Fuse

A safety device that melts and breaks an electric circuit if the voltage exceeds a safe level.

Ladder Logic

A programming language that represents the various motors, switches and robots on a manufacturing line in a graphical way.

Limit Switch

A switch operated by the motion of a part or the presence of an object. They can turn power on or off if a particular situation is true. For example, they can indicate if a part is in the right place for the robot arms to work on, or if the part is in the right place to go up in the lift safely.

Line Operator

A person who runs the manufacturing line, performing tasks that move products toward completion. Also known as a production operator.

Load Side

In a manufacturing context, this is the side of a fuse that the power comes from, or the source side.

Lock Out, Tag Out

The process that occurs when the power is turned off, and a technician locks the power box with a padlock marked with his or her initials.

Load Side

In a manufacturing context, this is the side of a fuse that the power comes from, or the source side.

Multi-meter

A device used to measure the range of electric current, voltage, and resistance.

Operator Error

When the cause of a problem or break down is a result of the person operating the equipment, computer or device.

Quality Control

A system of maintaining standards in manufactured products by testing a sample piece or the final product against desired specifications.

Technician

A skilled and/or trained person employed to maintain and repair technical equipment or do practical work in a laboratory.

Timing of the Line

The amount of time each section or moving part of the line takes to work. The timing of all the sections is set very carefully, so that everything will work smoothly together.

Tolerance/Tolerances

Also known as degree of tolerance or range of tolerance. Dimensions, properties, or conditions that may vary without significantly affecting how a machine functions. Something outside a specified range of tolerance will impact how well the machine will work, sometimes shutting it down completely or causing it to produce unacceptable work.

Troubleshooting

Trace, identify and correct problems with machinery or systems.

Want to Know More About Manufacturing as a Career?

Play Edheads’Manufacturing Technician Game

Do an internet search for ‘tech camps,’ ‘manufacturing camps,’ or computer or robotics camps. All of these provide skills used in manufacturing. In Columbus, Ohio, check out TechCorps, which holds full-day, weeklong summer “Techie Camps” where middle-school students are able to immerse themselves in activities such as computer programming, and web and app development. twenty.techcorps.org

Talk to your teachers or guidance counselors about entering a technical training course aimed at a manufacturing career, such as a Fab Lab course or Manufacturing Pathway.

After high school, pursue an associate degree in Manufacturing or Mechanical Engineering Technology from local college institutions (In Ohio: Rhodes State, Columbus State, Marion Technical, Edison Community, Sinclair Community and Clark State).

Ask about a work-study pilot program allows students the opportunity to work at Honda or some other manufacturing plant three days a week, while taking classes two days. You can build technical skills while earning your degree. Honda is expanding their program in the future, and many other manufacturers have similar programs.

Ask about certification programs at local career skills centers. Many of these centers now provide classes and certifications that allow you to leave high school already employed.

Credits and Thanks

Provided by

Honda North America, Inc.


Scot McLemore

Technical Workforce Development, HR and Admin Division Thanks to Scot for being a great partner and a mind-expanding window into the fascinating world of manufacturing!


Partners

Hilliard City Schools

  • Angela Griffin – Memorial Middle School
  • Lori Dhiraprasiddhi – Memorial Middle School
  • Kyleen Calabrese – Memorial Middle School
  • Doreen Miller – Memorial Middle School

Project Production and Development

Project Director: Gail Wheatley

  • Research
  • Script Writing
  • Activity Ideas & Concepts

Programming: Clearly Trained

Editing: Sarah Small




This activity is dedicated to Mary B. Wheatley, who taught a generation of students to love singing, music, flowers, butterflies and hummingbirds. She inspired Edheads with her endless enthusiasm and love of learning. Her best advice was, if you played a wrong note, to learn what you could from it and then move on. You can’t go back and not play it. We will forever miss the music, zest and beauty she brought to our lives.