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Manufacturing Technician Glossary
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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 knowledgably 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.

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.


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