Ceylon Millwright Association

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What is Millwright?

The millwright is a craftsman or tradesman who installs, maintains and repairs stationary industrial machinery and mechanical equipment by interpreting drawings, performing layouts and assembling parts until they are in perfect working order. The word "millwright" has long been used to describe the man who was marked by everything ingenious and skillful.

For several centuries in England and Scotland the millwright was recognized as a man with a knowledge of carpentry, blacksmithing and lathe work in addition to the fitter and erector. He was the recognized representative of mechanical arts and was looked upon as the authority in all applications of winds and water, under whatever conditions they were to be used, as a motive power for the purpose of manufacture.

He was the area engineer, a kind of jack of all trades who was equally comfortable at the lathe, the anvil or the carpenter's bench. Thus, the millwright of the last several centuries was an itinerant engineer and mechanic of high reputation and recognized abilities.

He could handle the axe, the hammer and the plane with equal skill and precision.

He could turn, bore or forge with the ease and ability of one brought up in those trades.            

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The History of Millwright

The millwright of the 17th and 18th Centuries was quite different from the millwright of today.

A millwright originally was a specialized carpenter who had working knowledge of drive-shafts, bearings, gearing and mechanical belts . The "mill" in millwright refers to the genesis of the trade in building flour mills, sawmills, paper mills and filling mills powered by water or wind.

Water was the only natural power source of the day, and James Watt had just perfected the steam engine by the mid-18the century. Water was directed over hand constructed wooden mill wheels to generate power. Millwrights executed every type of engineering operation in the construction of these mills. They designed the patterns of the water wheel systems, carved their gear mechanisms, and finally erected the mill machines.

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The Modern Millwright

A millwright today is someone who maintains or constructs industrial machinery such as that which would be related to assembly lines, pumping stations and other utilities, print shops & presses, steel mills, oil refineries, car plants, mining, power stations, and other industries employing fixed heavy machinery, etc. Millwrights are usually responsible for the in-assembled equipment when it arrives at the job site. Using hoisting and moving equipment they 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.

General duties

Millwrights are usually responsible for the in-assembled equipment when it arrives at the job site. Using hoisting and moving equipment, they 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. Rigging and thorough safety is taught through training classes.

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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 programs last about four years, and may include college degrees. Apprentices are usually paid a percentage of the average millwright's wage, and this percentage increases with experience.

Training courses received by a Millwright:
  • Theory -
  • Workshop science, safety basics
  • Types of metal, Metal forming, Heat treatment, Grinding methods
  • Couplings, Fluid couplings, Torque converters
  • Automobile science
  • Calculations of the engines, Transmission units, Drive lines & differentials
  • Calculations of lathe machine, Milling machine, PLC & CNC machines
  • Lubricants & Lubricating systems,  etc
  • Hydraulic & Pneumatic circuit designing, error checking

  • Workshop Drawings -
  • Displacement drawings
  • Isometric Drawings, 1st angle & 3rd angle projections, blue print basics
  • Single point vanishing, 2 point vanishing & 3 point vanishing
  • Sectional views
  • Assembling drawings, etc

  • Workshop Calculations -
  • All types of measuring equipments
  • Calculation methods
  • Workshop fundamentals
  • Recoding data
  • Lathe calculations, Milling indexing & calculations, etc

The Ceylon-German Technical Training Institute, at Moratuwa, a suburb 12 miles south of the metropolis, Colombo, established with generous aid received from government of the Federal Republic of Germany, provides modern vocational training in basic skills covering a wide field, followed by specialized training after the earlier skills have been mastered. On the job training, work motivation and productive work done by the trainees after basic knowledge of skills has been learnt helps keep training expenses to a minimum. The institute has a productive output in every section with encouragement to the staff by way of a productive bonus. A trainee’s skills and knowledge is constantly improved as rotation plans ensure that every trainee has to do every job. This type of productive training is possible only when it is combined in close cooperation with a large organization, and this success over the past 25 years, since its inception in 1959, is no doubt due its affiliation to the Sri Lanka.(Taken from the book of Ceylon-German Technical Training Institute, published by the Embassy of the Fedetal Republic of Germany in Sri Lanka)

  • Practical Training -
  • Hydraulics and Pneumatics:
  • Lab & workshop practice for all the types of advance automation control technology, pressure, flow control systems, input & output devices (sensors, hydraulic motors & pumps, fluid couplings, compressors & fluid pumps)

  • Automobile:
  • Model and workshop training for all the types of petrol/diesel engines (4stroke, 2stroke, rotary, turbine engines), chassis, transmission systems (automatic & manual gear boxes, CVT transmissions), brake systems (ABS, EBD, pneumatic, hydraulic), power steering (hydraulic, electrical), ESP, cruise control, cooling systems, turbo chargers & super chargers, suspension systems (dampers, coil & leaf springs, self height adjusting systems, electronic controlled dampers), carburetors ( SU, single barrel, double barrel, etc), fuel injection systems- Petrol [ GDI, DI, EFI (single point, K- jetronic, L- jetronic, KE- jetronic, D- jetronic, etc)], ignition systems, diesel injection systems (conventional direct injection, indirect injection, common rail injection), injector pump spill timing, valve timing (variable, fixed), alternator, air conditioning (electrical circuits) & other  electrical circuits, etc
  • Tool machinery:
  • Turning, Milling, Shaft aligning, Grinding & boring etc.

  • Fine Instruments:
  • Clocks, card/time punching machines, electronic time recorders

  • Workshop training:
  • Pressure control regulations of all types of water pumps & plumbing systems, high pressure water pumps, deep-well systems, etc

  • Mechanical:
  • Arc welding, gas welding, rigging, mechanical fitting systems

  • Electrical:
  • Electrical motors, motor control & auto electrical systems

  • Pump and compressors:
  • Characteristic cover, overhauling repairing & installation, function calculation of loads

  • CNC:
  • PLC:
  • Beck, S7200, S7300
The Ceylon German Technical Training Institute
The Mother Institute of Ceylon Millwright Association Members
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