The primary responsibility of an assembly technician is to keep the assembly line operational. His job is to look at what is happening with the line and adjust it so everything works well. He also may perform other tasks such as training new line workers, transporting materials and suggesting improvements to management.
In order to determine what needs to be done on the line, the assembly technician first has to conduct basic inspections and gather data. This means physically going into the assembly area and looking at individual machines and their parts. It also means gathering and analyzing computer generated readings related to the operation of the machines, as well as looking at gauges, dials and similar equipment. The technician looks for data readings that are outside of the acceptable range, physical imperfections or problems with the machines and whether the machines have what they need to run, such as the proper amount of oil or an electrical connection. The assembly technician listens extremely carefully during the inspection to determine where problems exist and the extent the issues may have.
Once the technician has the results of the inspection, if necessary, he makes adjustments to the assembly line equipment. Sometimes this is as simple as turning a dial. Other times, the technician has to oversee an extensive physical adjustment that may require saws, wrenches, presses, testing lights and other gear. An assembly technician also can make adjustments to the line by entering specific commands into computer software programs.
To determine how to approach line issues, assembly technician refers to documentation about the line equipment. For example, he may view charts or schematics. This means the technician has to be comfortable reading technical material and translating it into a viable plan of action.
Adjusting the line can slow or even halt production, so the assembly technician coordinates with the line operator and other managers to form a strategy for completing the adjustments. He makes decisions with these professionals about how and when the adjustments will happen. He also figures out who will do work he cannot do himself due to time constraints or lack of specific technical experience.
An assembly technician may not always have what he needs to fix the line in the assembly area. Alternately, after repairs are made, he may need to remove any bad parts or machines from the assembly area. Subsequently, he also may transport materials from one area to another, often via a forklift.
As the technician works, he is responsible for keeping the assembly area clean. This helps keep the line aesthetically as pleasing as possible, but it also serves a larger purpose in improving the safety of workers in the assembly area. A safe assembly area means production is able to continue and the company is free from lawsuits.
Sometimes a technician sees areas for improvement when performing his general duties. If this happens, the company expects the technician to speak up and bring the idea to management. The reason is that improvements result in better production, which translates to increased revenue and profit.
An assembly technician may be responsible for training line workers, as he is familiar with the entire line and the machines and other equipment contained in it. He also may train other technicians who can assist or take over after the assembly technician retires. The amount of training the technician must provide depends on the type of line and the exact position on the line involved.