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What Does a Machine Shop Supervisor Do?

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  • Written By: Patti Kate
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 19 October 2014
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The major duties of a machine shop supervisor include overseeing job performance of other employees, keeping records and lists, and ordering parts as needed. Reviewing blueprints is a major responsibility of this person, as he needs to assess the work to be completed. Handling customer requests and taking telephone orders are a couple other duties for this position. Being in charge of the production aspect in the company is a fundamental responsibility for the supervisor in a machine shop.

As a machine shop supervisor, being able to read and comprehend a series of complex blueprints is crucial. What this generally means is he will have had extensive training and experience in reading designs for machinery and parts. He can comprehend the geometric dimensioning that he must utilize on the job.

He will also be skilled in using break presses, air gauges, and other equipment and tools in the shop. If necessary, he will provide on-the-job training for new employees, while overseeing their performance. As a supervisor, he will also display good verbal and communication skills to deal with the public and other employees who work under his supervision.

Most often, the machine shop supervisor is also skilled in how to make repairs of everyday equipment that may need to be adjusted on the job. He will make an assessment to determine if any pieces or parts are not working properly. He will order replacement parts or initiate necessary repair work before work can be completed.

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Another key role of the supervisor is scheduling maintenance for repairs on shop equipment. He will check on the status of maintenance and other crucial work orders on the telephone or in person. As part of his daily routine, he will order necessary materials as required. He may work directly with vendors or suppliers.

Many machine shops have fabrication departments for assembling, welding, and labor. The supervisor of the machine shop will typically oversee the jobs and tasks at hand, checking for accuracy and production. He will make any necessary adjustments or corrections as needed.

Another responsibility of many machine shop supervisors is to conduct reviews. This may involve reviewing work ethics and performance of co-workers and staff. He may submit ideas for how to continuously improve work flow and production.

As an essential aspect of quality assurance, the machine shop supervisor must check for any errors and ensure parts are being manufactured according to stringent specifications of blueprints. He will check all materials, including plastic, aluminum, metal, and krylon for possible defects. This is typically the last step in the manufacturing of materials being produced.

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