13 May 2019
13 May 2019,
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Sierra American Multi-systems is more than just a tool and tray manufacturer. We keep our eyes out for any information about CNC machining or manual machining that you might find helpful. That’s why we are always scouring manufacturing blogs and catalogs to keep up with what’s happening. Recently, we ran across a blog over at the CNC Cookbook.  The conducted a survey of CNC skills and the results are worth sharing. Here’s a summary, but you can read the entire blog over at The CNC Cookbook.

Covering the Basics

If you want to compete as a CNC’er, you better understand basic math, be computer literate, and speak English. Almost 100% of the respondents working in the field had these basic skills. So if you even hope to compete, make sure you cover these basic skills first.

Now, for a competitive edge, be willing to work flexible hours. Only 68% of machinists are willing to work nights or week-ends. If you can make those hours work, you should have no problem finding work. It doesn’t hurt to know your Trig either. As a matter of fact, only 73% had a grasp of basic trigonometry. So, if you want to pick up a new skill, you might take a deep dive into G-wizard software or hit those math books.

Machines Operated

Naturally, the more machines you can operate, the greater your employment opportunities. If you can operate a band saw, a vertical machining center, or a manual mill or lathe, welcome to the club. Over 70% of machinists have experience with these machines. So, like keeping your tools organized with a tool tray, these skills almost go without saying. If you want to stand out from the herd, learn how to operate a CNC waterjet or grinder. Less than 10% of machinists in the survey had any experience with this equipment. A little less exotic are things like a horizontal machining center, a 4 axis indexing program or setup or a CNC router. The percentage of machinists with experience with this type of equipment is in the 30s. So, that means that 70% of machinists don’t have these skills or experience. If you want to learn something that the others in the shop might not know, think about new machines or programming.

cnc40 tool tray by Sierra American

Tool Presetting Using a Tool Tray

Believe it or not, only 45% of machinists have experience with offline tool presetting. Now that’s one place where you can grab your tool tray and get to work.

Sierra American’s CNC 40 tool tray is numbered for easy tool sequencing. Handles give you a firm grip between the tool crib and your machine. You know you’ve got what it takes, trust Sierra American Multi-Systems to provide what you need. Always ask for Sierra American by name where tool trays, saw arbors, and multisteps are sold.

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