Manufacturing Engineer

Solar Plastics


The Manufacturing Engineer is responsible for supporting operations on the production floor. This includes initiating, leading and actively participating in safety, quality, and profitability improvement initiatives. The manufacturing engineer manages projects, leads cross-functional teams, and designs improved fixtures, tools, jigs, work instructions, training, and process flow.


REPORTS TO:  Plant Manager

STATUS:  Exempt, Salaried

POSITIONS MANAGED:  Not Applicable    


Continuous Improvement

  • Provides daily support to production staff by answering questions, assisting with problem resolution and providing them with the knowledge necessary for them to be successful in their jobs.
  • Measures the performance of the facility regarding quality, production performance and drives the corrective actions needed to meet the stated objectives. Supports and drives continuous improvement process.
  • Uses data and shop floor feedback to improve fixtures, tools, cell layout, and work instructions.
  • Uses Lean-manufacturing techniques in all aspects of their job to improve products and processes.
  • Works with production employees to monitor processes and identify areas for improvement. Leads tool modification/repair requests with customers and maintenance.
  • Assists production team in identifying and defining areas for training improvement.
  • After a new process is developed, trains the production staff to perform the process in the exact order and fashion it was developed for standardization. The hands-on training includes written instructions and color photos for the employees' use. Measures effectiveness of training by monitoring quality and production efficiency.
  • Works directly with the customer and the account manager to analyze, quote, and implement engineering change orders.

Additional duties, including, but not limited to

  • Research & Development: Determines usability of materials. Researches alternative products, materials and processes to determine if the organization can use them in the future to reduce manufacturing cost or achieve a reduction of scrap.
  • Completes time studies to determine standards and compare quoted vs actual achieved.
  • Assists with production issues such as stuck parts and tooling problems. Conducts training with those operating equipment, as needed. Assists technicians in machine upgrades.
  • Participates in the continuous education of production employees.
  • Problem solves and identifies opportunities for equipment/facility maintenance improvements.
  • Maintains involvement in professional organizations and training to remain current with relevant industry technologies and areas of specialization.
  • Performs related tasks as directed to aid in achieving and maintaining a safe, efficient and productive operation.
  • Report and (if possible) resolve potential safety issues. Promote safety.
  • Miscellaneous duties, as assigned by the Engineering Manager or the Division Manager.



  • Required: Associates or bachelor's Degree in manufacturing or Industrial Engineering or equivalent. Coursework in the following necessary: Technical Writing, ProE, Statistical Process Control, Manufacturing Processes and Algebra/Geometry.
  • Desired: Coursework in Mistake Proofing (Poke-Yoke), 5S, Visual Management & Lean Manufacturing.
  • Certifications: Six Sigma desirable

Desired Experience: Five (5) years Manufacturing Engineering. Continuous Improvement, Lean Manufacturing and ISO experience desirable.

Other Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Proven ability to read and interpret blueprints and schematics. Ability to design fixtures and determine effective, safe-manufacturing processes. Ability to apply statistical techniques to the workplace.
  • Ability to multi-task and handle multiple projects at the same time.
  • CNC programming is desired.
  • Clear and effective written and verbal communication skills. Ability to effectively lead people to accomplish an objective. Ability to troubleshoot and problem solve.
  • Working knowledge of Microsoft Office products (Word, Excel), Microsoft Outlook, Internet Explorer, and other computer-based software and or systems. Working knowledge of ProE is desired.
  • Copier/Scanner/Fax, Computer, Various Software Systems (Microsoft Word, Excel, M2M, Rotolog, Pro Engineering), Internet, Phone System, Measuring Equipment (CMM, calipers, height gauges), Hand and Power Tools, Mill & Lathe, Forklift


Mental Effort

  • Ability to understand, remember, and apply oral and/or written instructions or other information. Ability to understand complex problems, collaborate and explore alternative solutions. Frequent problem solving and reasoning.
  • Ability to organize thoughts and ideas into understandable terminology. Ability to organize and prioritize own work schedule on short-term and long-term basis.
  • Ability to make decisions which have significant impact on production and organization.
  • Ability to communicate with individuals utilizing a telephone; requires ability to hear and speak effectively on phone. Ability to express or exchange ideas by means of the spoken word, communicating orally with others accurately and quickly. Ability to orally and in writing, communicate highly complex and technical information.
  • Ability to compute, analyze and interpret complex statistical data.

Physical Requirements

  • This position requires an individual to see and hear 8+ hours per day. Incumbent is required to have visual acuity to perform activities such as viewing a computer terminal, analyzing data, etc.
  • Requires the ability to sit, stand and walk up to 8+ hours per day. Requires the ability to work at a rapid speed, twist, bend, push, pull, carry, stoop, lift, reach and grasp 8+ hours per day for activities such as working on equipment, making repairs, etc. Requires continuous finger movement and keyboard usage for data entry, carrying and using welding equipment, tools, etc.
  • Ability to lift 50+ pounds on a regular basis.

Working Conditions

  • Exposed to heat, cold and potential internal temperature changes up to 5+ hours per day in the office and out in the production plant. Seasonal fluctuations. Exposed to dust, dirt, fumes/vapors/gases from plastics processes, ovens and propane tanks while in the production plant.
  • This position exists in an office environment, with frequent need to enter the production and shop area.
  • This position works independently 8+ hours per day and occasionally works directly with others. Ability to work additional hours, as needed to accommodate issues that may arise in the 24-hour operation.

Personal Protection Equipment

  • Eye safety glasses and hearing protection necessary to enter production area.

Travel Requirements

  • Requires 5% travel to customer locations or Davenport, IA facility, as needed via automobile and/or airplane. Most travel local, but upon occasion requires out of town travel.

Solar Plastics is an Equal Opportunity Employer: Minorities, Women, Protected Veterans, Disabilities

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