A fitter and turner is a tradesperson who manufactures metal components (turning) and assembles them (turning) to construct industrial machinery, machine components or tools. Fitters and turners report to a manufacturing or operations supervisor. They typically have excellent hand-eye coordination and practical manufacturing skills. Part-time work is also a common feature of the role. The fitter and turner job title is predominantly used in the United Kingdom and former British-owned countries, including Australia and areas of Africa.
Fitters and turners study assembly specifications to work out the most efficient order of processes required for a given project. They also take accurate measurements of small and large metal components to make sure they will fit together properly. Understanding machine drawings and specifications helps a fitter and turner identify any potential problems early in the production process. A fitter and turner usually works with machinists, who use their finished work to form larger components in machinery.
A fitter and turner lubricates, measures, taps, drills and polishes finished components to prepare them for assembly by other workers. Fitters and turners lay out the construction materials and make cutting lines with industrial tools to match the specifications. They also cut, bend and affix equipment such as hydraulic pipe lines and weld metal components together as required. Fitters and turners often produce large quantities of a certain component, especially when hired by large organizations that mass-produce system components.
Maintenance and Repairs
Fitters and turners make sure machinery used in component production is consistently maintained and oversee any repair work when required. They apply cosmetic coatings or protective fluids or metals to ensure components have a long lifespan. Fitters and turners also liaise with machinists to ensure each component is correctly assembled into larger pieces of machinery.
A fitter and turner inspects damaged component parts, such as gear boxes, identifying the deficient components and reassembling it to good working order. Fitters and turners also make adjustments to manufacturing machinery to ensure they can cope with the specifications of the components that need to be built.
A fitter and turner is responsible for assessing the safety and efficiency of tools, identifying any deterioration and ordering new tools as required. Fitters and turners also supervise the installation of new machinery to ensure all its component parts are properly set up.