West Point Mint Mechanics Keep Coin Presses Running

by the Office of Corporate Communications
August 12, 2015

Scott Lacourse, an electronic industrial controls mechanic at West Point, N.Y., works on a Grabener 300-ton coin press.
Scott Lacourse, an electronic industrial controls mechanic at West Point, N.Y., works on a Grabener 300-ton coin press.

Each department of the United States Mint supports the overall mission to serve the American people by manufacturing and distributing circulating, precious metal and collectible coins and national medals, and securing assets entrusted to the Mint.

The U.S. Mint at West Point, N.Y., manufactures gold, silver and platinum numismatic and bullion coins.

Maintaining and repairing the coin presses and related machines there is the responsibility of six electronic industrial controls mechanics.

Their key job elements:

  • Maintain all equipment used in numismatic coin production, including 300-ton coin press, auto coin packaging machine, auto coin encapsulater, burnishers, and auto coin tubing machines.
  • Skill in performing maintenance and repair operations on electronic systems and equipment.
  • Ability to read and follow schematics, specifications, and precise technical instructions.
  • Knowledge of techniques used in constructing electronic equipment applied to identifying defects or malfunctions in various parts, components, and assemblies.
  • Maintain, repair, overhaul, and install electronic monitoring, indicating, and control systems used on industrial production machinery and 300-ton coin press.
  • Install, repair, and maintain complete electronic industrial control systems and equipment of various types by performing the full range of diagnostic, modification, reconstruction and testing functions.
  • Perform routine and preventive maintenance on systems, parts, assemblies, or components of moderate design, construction, and functional complexity. Identifies visible damage and wear, and performs repairs or replacements.
  • Knowledge of electrical and electronic theory, including circuit design, transistor and solid state diode theory, and voltage and current comparison networks; knowledge of electronic and electrical block diagrams, wiring diagrams, and schematics; knowledge of pneumatic, hydraulic, mechanical, and electrical systems.

Scott Lacourse has worked in that job for four years, after previously performing machine repair, software upgrades, and maintenance of industrial equipment.

“You get to deal with a lot of people and unusual problems that you don’t see every day,” he said.

Lacourse said his most unusual project there has been removing and reinstalling an ejector arm for a Grabener coin press.

“We normally don’t remove ejector arms. This one was removed to replace some worn cushion pads on the bottom that are not easy to get to,” he said.

Lacourse, who enjoys skiing, hunting and camping in his off-duty time, explained why he likes working at the Mint.

“Every day presents a new challenge and opportunity to learn something different. Working at the Mint has enabled me to broaden my technical and troubleshooting skills. I work with a great bunch of people and look forward to the challenges ahead,” he said.

The knowledgeable minds and skilled hands of electronic industrial controls mechanics keep coin presses in good working condition, ensuring all required production equipment is available when needed.

Read more about the West Point facility.

See more Inside the Mint articles

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