Just when you thought you were never going to use the math you learned in high school, you’ve decided to apply for a manufacturing job. Guess what? You’re going to need mathematics after all.
Today, most factories are high tech. And although people assume computers do all the work, machines still require plenty of manual inputs and calculations. Incorrect data, even if it is off by only fractions of an inch, can lead to defective parts and cause equipment to crash.
If math comes relatively easy for you, you’re in luck. If not, don’t worry. Many of us struggle with math because it is theoretical. We can’t imagine how we would use all those numbers in real life. However, in a manufacturing position, you’ll be using calculations to create things. And, this will help everything make more sense.
Are you ready to brush up your mathematical knowledge and land that job? Here’s where to start.
Math Skills You May Need for Manufacturing
- Decimals & Fractions
In a factory, you’ll be more likely to see numbers like 5.2654 rather than nice round whole numbers like 5. Be prepared to add, subtract, multiply and divide both decimals and fractions. In addition, you should be able to reduce fractions, recognize equivalent fractions, change fractions to decimals and decimals to fractions.
- Coordinate Geometry
Do you remember plotting points on the x and y-axes in math class? That’s coordinate geometry. Machines, ranging from drill presses to CNC machines, work based on these principles. The x and y (as well as the z, a and b coordinates) tell shop equipment where to move, and you’ll need to know how to program them.
- Basic Trigonometry
Think of trigonometry as triangle math. This type of mathematics allows you to calculate the sides and the angles of triangles using the Pythagorean Theorem (a2 + b2 = c2) and trigonometric functions (sin and cos). How does this apply to manufacturing? Trigonometric relationships determine the sizes and angles of everything from automobiles to zigzag scissors.
How to Improve Your Math Skills
There are several ways to get better at math. If you need the structure of a classroom and/or lots of extra support, contact your local trade school or community college. Most offer introductory math courses. If you are on a budget, low-cost or free online lessons may be equally effective.
Are You Looking for a Manufacturing Job in West Virginia?
United Talent Staffing Services can help you find the right position fast. We place CNC operators, mechanical assemblers, maintenance technicians and more. Search our available openings and launch your career today!