Profession sawmill operator

Sawmill operators work with automated lumber mill equipment which saws timber into rough lumber. They also handle various sawing machines which further process the lumber in various shapes and sizes. These processes are nowadays often computer controlled.

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Personality Type

  • Realistic / Conventional

Knowledge

  • Types of wood

    Types of wood, such as birch, pine, poplar, mahogany, maple and tulipwood.

  • Cutting technologies

    The variety of cutting technologies, such as software or mechanics, guiding cutting processes through lasering, sawing, milling etc.

  • Woodworking processes

    Steps in the processing of wood for the manufacturing of wooden articles and types of machines used for these processes such as drying, shaping, assembling and surface finishing.

  • Wood cuts

    Different ways of cutting wood, across the grain or parallel with it, and radial or tangential to the core. The behaviour of cuts of wood under different circumstances and the optimal cut for a given purpose. Influence of special attributes of the wood, like knots or defects.

Skills

  • Dispose of cutting waste material

    Dispose of possibly hazardous waste material created in the cutting process, such as swarf, scrap and slugs, sort according to regulations, and clean up workplace.

  • Keep sawing equipment in good condition

    Make sure sawing equipment is always in good and safe working condition. Inspect the equipment for defects. Replace defective or worn-out elements in accordance with guidelines. Store elements safely when not in use. Notify the responsible party in case of large or dangerous defects.

  • Create cutting plan

    Draw up plans to show how the material will be cut into functional pieces to minimise loss of material.

  • Troubleshoot

    Identify operating problems, decide what to do about it and report accordingly.

  • Manipulate wood

    Manipulate the properties, shape and size of wood.

  • Supply machine

    Ensure the machine is fed the necessary and adequate materials and control the placement or automatic feed and retrieval of work pieces in the machines or machine tools on the production line.

  • Ensure conformity to specifications

    Ensure that the assembled products are conform to the specifications given.

  • Ensure equipment availability

    Ensure that the necessary equipment is provided, ready and available for use before start of procedures.

  • Monitor automated machines

    Continuously check up on the automated machine's set-up and execution or make regular control rounds. If necessary, record and interpret data on the operating conditions of installations and equipment in order to identify abnormalities.

  • Perform test run

    Perform tests putting a system, machine, tool or other equipment through a series of actions under actual operating conditions in order to assess its reliability and suitability to realise its tasks, and adjust settings accordingly.

  • Handle timber

    Identify the main types of timber to be received at your company. Stack and store timber safely and in compliance with company procedures.

  • Adjust properties of cut

    Adjust cut sizes and depths of cutting tools. Adjust heights of worktables and machine-arms.

  • Handle timber based products

    Identify the main types of timber based products to be received at your company. Stack and store timber based products safely and in compliance with company procedures.

  • Operate wood sawing equipment

    Operate various machinery and equipment to cut wood in different sizes and shapes.

  • Wear appropriate protective gear

    Wear relevant and necessary protective gear, such as protective goggles or other eye protection, hard hats, safety gloves.

  • Remove inadequate workpieces

    Evaluate which deficient processed workpieces do not meet the set-up standard and should be removed and sort the waste according to regulations.

  • Conform to health and safety regulations

    Carry out all work in accordance with relevant environmental and health and safety legislation, risk assessment requirements and company policies. Take the necessary health and safety precautions during work including posture the body well, safely operate tools and machinery, and wear the right clothes and protection for the climate.

  • Remove processed workpiece

    Remove individual workpieces after processing, from the manufacturing machine or the machine tool. In case of a conveyor belt this involves quick, continuous movement.

  • Work safely with machines

    Check and safely operate machines and equipment required for your work according to manuals and instructions.

Optional knowledge and skills

types of table saws keep records of work progress types of sawing blades monitor stock level replace sawing blade on machine operate band saw carry out measurements of parts operate crosscut saw operate thickness planer machine operate wood router check quality of raw materials woodworking tools program a cnc controller sawing techniques conduct routine machinery checks mechanical systems provide advice to technicians pack goods consult technical resources prepare production reports record production data for quality control first aid types of crosscut saws operate table saw inspect quality of products identify hazards in the workplace

Common job titles

  • Farm operator
  • Sawmill operator
  • Wood mill operator 1
  • Production - utility
  • Machine operator
  • Opportunities for laborers/ machine operators
  • Debarker operator
  • Forestry aide
  • Utility machine operator
  • Lumber yard loader operator