Foundry Mechanic (f/m)

Roles and responsibilities in overview

You will produce workpieces from molten metal or plastic using reusable moulds. To do so, you will use die casting, gravity die and continuous casting machines. The die-casting method, in which the casting materials are under pressure in highly precise metallic permanent moulds, is primarily used for medium and large series castings with high accuracy for machine and vehicle manufacture.

Foundry mechanics specialising in pressure or gravity die casting smelt the casting metals and add the alloying constituents. You will check the temperature, set up the mainly automated systems for die-casting, mount the casting tools and monitor the progress of the procedure. You will often work on several die-casting machines at the same time. In gravity die casting the halves of the mould are mechanically or automatically pressed together and the molten metal is poured manually or automatically, but without pressure. After cooling, the workpieces are removed, checked and reworked mechanically or by hand. In continuous casting systems you will also repair long workpieces to retain the same profile, e.g. rails. In this case the moulds are open at the bottom and have a special cooling system; the solidified workpiece is released at the bottom as more metal is being poured in at the top. If necessary, you will apply heat treatment to the castings. You will service your production systems, identify the cause of any technical faults and carry out minor repairs yourself.

Foundry mechanics specialising in pressure or gravity die casting work predominantly in the foundry industry and sometimes in iron and steel works. They primarily work with automatic systems as well as with furnaces. Their work is based on the factory floor and machine shops.

Requirements

  • Secondary school education

Training content

  • The application and creation of technical documentation
  • Planning and controlling operation and motion sequences
  • Checking manufactured workpieces and assuring quality
  • Control technology, pneumatics and hydraulics
  • Fundamentals of manual and automatic machining
  • Servicing machines, equipment and assemblies
  • Basic techniques of forging, smelting and casting
  • Use of casting systems

Length of apprenticeship

  • 3½ years

Future roles

  • Maintaining and repairing machines and systems
  • Adapting operational plant to changed operating conditions
  • Participation in Production working groups
  • Commissioning of machines and systems
  • Fault finding and remedying faults that occur

Further training opportunities (in-service)

  • Specialist courses and workshops
  • Time and motion technician training
  • Technician
  • Foreman
  • Technical specialist
  • Assessor aptitude test