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What do Precision Engineers Do?Precision engineers undertake various jobs within their role, and these include applying and developing new manufacturing methods, and designing machines, equipment and systems for producing components within micrometre to nanometre tolerance ranges. Precision engineers can be found working in the automotive, aerospace, electronics, semi-conductor and optical industries as well as within more general engineering fields where the possibilities and needs for precision are growing.
Precision engineering has its roots in astronomy and sailing, and here we give you a brief low down on the industry’s history:
In the 2nd century BC and 150 AD Hipparchus and Ptolemy respectively used ‘graduated’ instruments and ideas similar to those used in the industry we now refer to as precision engineering.
In 1572 the angular diameter of Tychoj’s Star in Casseopia was measured to be from 4.5 to 39 arc minutes using the best instruments of the day.
During the Middle Ages and then later at the height on the Industrial Revolution, many improvements were made in timekeeping that now contribute to the work of precision engineering.
In addition to these examples, precision machine design has been a goal of mankind throughout history and is said to have started with the ancient Greeks. They were the first to place a value of having precise measures, and were responsible for the creation of devices such as surly navigation tools and astrology aids.
In more modern times, Swiss watchmakers developed the concept of precision engineering through their creation of mechanical clocks. In addition, chronometers were constructed due to the need for accurate time measurement to advance nautical navigation. Without this type of technology navies would roam astray and detailed charts could not be made for shipping routes. Subsequently, the quest to build a better clock resulted in the study of materials, their properties, and the development of better, more specialised tools.
Historically and currently precision engineers will work in a number of different industries including CNC milling, automation, defence and aerospace industries. They may also work on tool making, drill jigs, press tools, pressure die casting products, metal treatment, and fabrication and maintenance.