Industrial instrumentation mechanics install, repair, maintain, replace, calibrate and program all process monitoring and/or control instruments, including indicators, recording devices, control loops and computers. These instruments may be pneumatic, hydraulic, electronic, electrical, mechanical, nuclear, optical or chemical, and include signal transmission, telemetering and digital devices in industrial operations.
Graduates are employed by pulp and paper processing companies, by hydro power generating companies, by mining, petrochemical and natural gas companies, by industrial instrument and other manufacturing companies, and by industrial instrument servicing establishments.
Industrial instrumentation mechanics must have knowledge of pneumatics, electropneumatics, hydraulics, electricity and electronics. A deep interest in the scientific and technical aspects of the job is required. Successful industrial instrumentation mechanics dedicate themselves to keeping current with changes in technology. Workers who pay attention to detail, have manual dexterity and like to understand and solve problems will have an advantage. Patience, self-control, and the ability to work on a team are also desirable qualities.
The Industrial Instrumentation Mechanic apprenticeship process requires time spent in training both on the job and in-school. An industrial instrumentation mechanic trainee must complete a four-year program, including 6,000 workplace hours and 1,200 in-school hours of training. After completion of training, a passing grade on the interprovincial exam will result in the B.C. Certificate of Apprenticeship, the B.C. Certificate of Qualifications, and the Interprovincial Standard Endorsement, also known as Red Seal.
The Industrial Instrumentation facility at BCIT is a real operating industrial plant, complete with a pneumatic, electronic, programmable logic controller and a number of distributed control systems including conventional analog as well as digital field bus systems. Fifty per cent of this training time at BCIT is practical hands-on work, with real equipment being applied to operating systems in order to reinforce the theory delivered.
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