The emergence of the toolmaker's profession
The industrialization with its series and mass production made it necessary that in addition to the universal tools such as hammer or file , more and more complicated aids had to be manufactured and maintained in production. These activities were initially carried out by particularly skilled locksmiths and mechanics . Due to the diversity and complexity of the requirements, special vocational training was required for this field of activity.
This is how the profession emerged from the classic manual trades such as B. Mechanic and blacksmith . It was always a typical industrial occupation, as special tools and devices are usually only built for the production of larger quantities. Mostly it was practiced in industrial companies and special workshops.
Due to the increasingly extensive training with a correspondingly longer training period of ultimately three and a half years (Switzerland: four years), the job description was split up and reorganized into craft and industrial professions such as cutting machine operator specializing in milling technology, industrial mechanic and mechatronics technician (Germany) or polymechanic (Switzerland).
The task of the toolmaker is the production of tools and devices in tool construction , or of molds in mold construction according to the corresponding CAD design drawings or 3D data. These are not "simple" hand tools such as screwdrivers or hammers, but tools for use in mass production . Toolmakers are specialists who manufacture devices, measuring equipment or special tools for equipping production systems in industrial series production. With these tools, which are manufactured with a precision of fractions of a millimeter, metals or plastics can be bent, drawn, punched or cast, for example.
The toolmaker used to do a lot of work by hand, especially with a file . Today, most tools are made on high-precision machine tools , and manual processing is limited to small adjustments and fitting jobs. In addition to CNC- controlled milling and turning machines, grinding and eroding machines are used. In order to supply these machines with the appropriate programs, CNC programs are created on CAM workstations or directly on the machine. There are machine tools that can work precisely down to a 1000th of a millimeter. Since the thermal expansion of the metal in this area is greater than the desired accuracy, such work is carried out in temperature-controlled rooms with cooled machines.
In Austria, unlike men, women are considered to be heavy workers within the meaning of the Heavy Labor Ordinance and the related professional list. Employers have to report the existence of heavy work in women over 35 years of age (in men over 40 years of age) to the health insurance ( Heavy Work Ordinance).
Focus on mold making
In mold making, toolmakers produce both dies and molds for various casting processes , for example press, blow, pressure or injection molds. They check the dimensions and quality of the molds, assemble and dismantle them and make models and samples. Maintenance and repair work on the molds can also be part of their tasks.
Focus on cutting tools
In cutting tool construction , toolmakers produce cutting and forming tools. They check the dimensions and quality of the workpieces, assemble and dismantle the cutting tools. Maintenance and repair work can also be part of their tasks.
Focus on fixture construction
In fixture construction , toolmakers produce fixtures for the assembly or disassembly of components. In special - finished or rationalization central structure, assemble and test toolmaker specific components, devices, and components for the preparation and modification of special manufacturing equipment such. B. special apparatus and devices or special machines. Maintenance and repair work on the devices and other special manufacturing equipment can also be part of their tasks.
Focus on measuring tools and gauges
In measuring tool and jig construction , toolmakers produce gauges and measuring devices for the assembly or disassembly of components. Maintenance and repair work on measuring tools and gauges can also be part of their tasks.
Typical skills span almost all of metalworking. In detail these are:
Milling, turning, planing and slotting (machine), sawing, cutting, engraving (also three-dimensional), grinding (round and flat), polishing, honing, lapping, hardening, bending, chiselling and drilling.
During the training, precise filing is also required so that familiarity with steel is created. In addition, a high level of technical understanding is required in order to be able to design and modify tools or devices according to the required function.
The toolmaker profession in the Federal Republic of Germany
The job title has been tool mechanic in Germany since January 15, 1987 . Up to 2004, a distinction was made between the fields of punching, forming, molding, instrument and device technology. Since then, a uniform training regulation has been in place without any subject areas.
The toolmaker profession in the GDR
In the GDR , the toolmaker's profession was trained from 1970 to 1985 under the title of skilled worker for manufacturing equipment . In 1986 the old job title toolmaker was reintroduced. Due to the relatively complex technical requirements, the training lasted two and a half (instead of two) years, unlike in most professions.
- Heavy Labor Ordinance, Federal Law Gazette II No. 104/2006. RIS , January 1, 2007, accessed October 14, 2011 .
- Heavy work complete list. Austrian Social Insurance , November 2014, accessed on December 4, 2015 .
- Development of training. Federal agency for work
- The Toolmaker Profession - A Brief Historical Outline