The delicate art of miniaturisation
Meticulous and dextrous, precision mechanics or micro engineers are also known as micro technicians. They specialise in miniature assembly, with their daily work involving adjusting and assembling minuscule components, elements and mechanical systems. They prepare these components and, if necessary, shape them using machining or forming techniques before moving on to the assembly stage.
In the watchmaking sector, they check that the mechanical parts of the watch are functioning correctly. They make the necessary adjustments, identify any issues with the dimensions or aesthetic flaws, before beginning the fine calibration work and applying the finishing touches. Micro engineers are often responsible for maintenance and also help to develop prototypes. This involves creating technical drawings using CAD (computer-aided design) software in order to provide a precise overview of the component templates. A micro engineer is a mechanical alchemist at a miniature scale. They use conventional machines and digital tools on a daily basis – and are also responsible for their upkeep. As technology is constantly evolving, they make sure to undertake regular training and keep up with the latest changes.
Micro engineers are familiar with the relevant quality standards and guarantee the conformity of the components produced. They do this by conducting tests and inspections with the aid of metrology devices, three-dimensional measuring equipment or even a test rig. Micro engineers may be required to use IT tools, in particular computer-aided production software.
There are many possible fields in which micro engineers can work, from industrial watchmaking to electronics, as well as IT, aeronautics, robotics, optics, medical device manufacturing, telecommunications and the automotive industry, to name but a few of the wealth of possibilities. There is a great deal of variation in working environments depending on the particular sector in which the micro engineer is employed. They may find themselves at watchmaking production stations, in small workshops or large factories, in quiet surroundings or noisy environments, and so on. They often work in a team, sometimes on staggered schedules.
Skills required: precision – discipline – concentration – dexterity – visual acuity – manual skill – team spirit – independence