Formerly called a copper beater, the coppersmith was a maker of cauldrons and household utensils primarily made of copper.
However, this practice disappeared at the beginning of the last century to give way to the trade as we know it today, by the work of shaping and forming sheets of metal. The boilermaker is able to work metals such as steel, aluminum, stainless steel, copper, brass, etc.
Through these new skills, the profession still maintains a spirit of craftsmanship through the creation of unique or small-quantity boiler parts.
Within industrial companies, the boilermaker assembles sheets and profiles in order to produce a work or a metal structure from a defined plan. His skills can also allow him to study the improvement of the parts according to the technical feasibility and the material allocated in the company.
During his work, the boilermaker undertakes various manufacturing steps requiring various skills.
First, the journeyman must create the tracing of the dimensions on the raw material (plates or profiles) in order to obtain an excellent cutting useful for the smooth running of the project.
Then, the boilermaker carries out the forming by giving the desired shape to the different parts by different processes according to the need:
- The folding
From there, the assembly of the metal work can begin while respecting the quality and safety requirements. Spot welding, riveting, stapling are plausible methods of joining parts together. The finishes are just as important as the assembly to provide the customer with an excellent result.
Finally, the boilermaker must check the part in order to verify its conformity with the plans provided and the quality requirements requested.
At the beginning of his exercise, the boilermaker must choose the best techniques/methods taking into account the specificities and processes of the different metals to adapt the production of the parts requested according to the plans and technical indications.
Boilermaking is a manual trade which also requires skills in reading plans, design and useful geometry with the democratization of computer tools in the profession involving knowing how to work with the help of a computer, especially for 3D simulations .
And, we must not forget above all the teamwork in this activity. Indeed, you collaborate with other professions in the sector such as welders or pipe fitters who share the same objective as you: to produce compliant parts while respecting the deadlines imposed in order to satisfy the customer.