It has to be wonderful working as an engraver. For one, you do not even need to work from an office. You can work your craft right from home!
Engraving has been around for a long time. Some veteran engravers can compare the progress form years ago to today. The process was longer years ago, but with technology, things have become easier and faster. As long you have access to a computer, you are halfway done.
Engravers are not overly concerned about machines taking over their craft. Workers in many industries find themselves worrying about losing their jobs to robots. Even the janitor might get their last wages and be told to find work elsewhere. Not so with engravers. They figure that technology and machines have made their work better.
How has technology advanced engraving?
- As far back as 1967, engraving focused more on plaques and gift items rather than tombstones. Many engravers used a pantograph machine.
- To get a plaque engraved, the engraver would arrange metal stencils letter by letter making it look like a printing press. The type was then traced with the machine. This was quite a process and took hours to finish up.
- When computers came into the picture and started becoming popular, most engravers started using them. These days, the process is done within minutes. What took about three hours to do in the past takes about twenty minutes today.
- Technology has made it possible for engravers to have fewer employees than was previously possible. An engraving machine that uses a computer allows an engraver to do the same amount of work that would take six people to do. That translates to getting more work done as opposed to employing fewer workers. An engraver is able to accept work that they previously would have rejected.
Impact on employment
Despitethe onset of technology, the number of etchers and engravers has not dwindled. Their earnings have not gone down either. The apprehension about machines taking over humans’ jobs does not seem to have affected this industry at all. In contrast, automation has made it possible for workers to get more out of their work as they are not saddled with tasks that they have to do over and over again. That can be boring even to the best and most dedicated of workers.
Technology in this industry has made work easier and faster and allows people to have time to do other tasks as well as time to create. That means that engravers can take in more work and finish it in record time, then move on to setting up more work. They need not fire workers because the machines can do more and faster too.
Before automation, work was slow, tedious and repetitive. All the machine does, really, is the engraving. A human has to:
- Lay out the appropriate designs using a computer
- Lay the metal in the machine
- Pack up the plaque once the task is complete
If you look up a site like PBSengraving and other sites dedicated to the industry, you will find that the impact of technology has been more positive in and has actually helped to move the industry forward while retaining its workforce.