WHAT IS A MILLWRIGHT?
Originally, millwrights were the craftsmen who constructed sawmills, flour mills, and other various types of that were powered by water and wind.
In modernity, a millwright's main job is in the installation of machinery. This can include installing, aligning, leveling equipment as well as motors, turbines, and other power sources.
Millwrights can also be responsible for creating maintenance plans as well as carrying them out.
In the article below, we will breakdown what a millwright is and exactly what they do.
Table of Contents
- Millwright General Duties
- Areas of Specialty
- What is the Workplace of a Millwright Like?
- A Typical Day For A Millwright
- Do You Need A Millwright Service Company?
Millwright General Duties
Millwrights are responsible for the unassembled equipment at a job site. They use hoisting and moving equipment to position the pieces that need to be assembled.
Their job requires a thorough knowledge of the load-bearing capabilities of the equipment they use as well as an understanding of blueprints and technical instructions.
Millwrights must be able to read blueprints to determine work procedures, construct foundations, assemble, dismantle, and overhaul machinery and equipment using hand and power tools, and to direct workers engaged in such endeavors.
The use of lathes, milling machines, and grinders may be required to make customized parts or repairs.
During work, millwrights are required to move, assemble and install machinery and equipment such as shafting, precision bearings, gearboxes, motors, mechanical clutches, conveyors, and tram rails, using hoists, pulleys, dollies, rollers, and trucks.
A millwright may also perform all the duties of a general laborer, pipefitter, carpenter, and electrician. A millwright may also perform some of the duties of a welder, such as arc welding, MIG welding, and oxyacetylene cutting.
Millwrights are also involved in routine tasks such as lubrication of machinery, bearing replacement, seal replacement, cleaning of parts during an overhaul, and preventative maintenance.
Millwrights also must have a good understanding of fluid mechanics and all of the components involved in these processes, such as valves, cylinders, pumps, and compressors.
Modern standards of practice for millwrights also require working within precise limits or standards of accuracy and at heights without fear.
The use of logical step-by-step procedures in work, planning, solving problems, and decision-making based on quantifiable information is also a part of the modern standards.
Millwrights are trained to work with a wide array of precision tools, such as vernier calipers, micrometers, dial indicators, levels, gauge blocks, and optical and laser alignment tooling.
Areas of specialty
A typical job description for a millwright often includes the primary purposes of installing, maintaining, upgrading and fabricating machinery and equipment according to layout plans, blueprints, and other drawings in industrial establishment.
Millwrights, by nature of their profession, have to be exceptionally well versed in many aspects of construction/demobilization.
Millwrights may install a conveyor system at an airport one week and the following week work at an industrial wastewater treatment plant.
Millwrights in the power generation industry assemble, set, align, and balance turbine/rotors.
They also perform critical lifts involving significant components to be leveled within five-thousandths of an inch. Millwrights are generally chosen to work on tasks associated with flying and setting heavy machinery.
Millwrights are also in demand as teachers for vocational programs, both at the high school level and in post-secondary institutions.
Many high schools feature fabrication courses that include metalwork, where the experience of a qualified millwright is valuable. Often, these millwrights are paid a premium based on their years of field experience.
Most millwrights are educated through apprenticeship programs where they receive a combination of classroom education along with a good deal of on-the-job training.
Most millwright programs last about four years. Apprentices are usually paid a percentage of the average millwright's wage, and this percentage increases with experience.
What is the Workplace of a Millwright Like?
Most millwrights work in factories, power plants, or construction sites.
In a construction setting, workers must be careful of heavy equipment. They may work in awkward positions, including on top of ladders and in cramped conditions under large machinery, which adds to their risk of injury.
To avoid injuries, workers must follow safety precautions and use protective equipment, such as hardhats, safety glasses, steel-toed shoes, and earplugs.
A Typical Day For A Millwright
On a given day, a millwright could assemble machines, and bolt, weld, rivet, or otherwise fasten them to the foundation or other structures, using hand tools and power tools.
They insert shims and adjust the tension on nuts and bolts or position parts using hand tools and measuring instruments to set specified clearances between moving and stationary parts.
A typical day for a Millwright will also include:
- Dismantling machines using hammers, wrenches, crowbars, and other hand tools.
- Layout mounting holes using measuring instruments and drilling holes with power drills.
- Moving machinery and equipment using hoists, dollies, rollers, and trucks.
- Aligning machines or equipment using hoists, jacks, hand tools, squares, rules, micrometers, lasers, or plumb bobs.
- Assembling and installing equipment, using hand tools and power tools.
Do You need a millwright service Company?
A Millwright service company can help you in many areas. Whether you need new equipment installed, existing equipment relocated, or creating a maintenance plan to prevent lengthy shutdowns that can result in the loss of revenue and production, a highly-skilled millwrights service company like STEVENS, is integral to the success of your company.
To see how STEVENS can help you prevent lengthy shutdowns or help you install new machinery, click the button below to learn more.