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Manufacturing Engineer (Plastics)

Posted: 10/27/2022

Company Overview:

Experience matters. Since 1948, T.O. Plastics has manufactured quality custom thermoformed parts and packaging and provided exceptional service to customers around the world. One of the top 100 thermoforming companies in North America, T.O. Plastics delivers value by focusing on customer needs and by offering a full range of services from design-to-distribution. At T.O. Plastics, we are dedicated to excellence and we leverage our experience and core competency to develop customized, cost-effective solutions for businesses in diverse markets. T.O. Plastics has facilities in both Clearwater and Otsego, Minnesota.


It is our Mission to “delight and serve our customers with innovative thermoform solutions”.


Position Summary: 

The Manufacturing Engineer is responsible for optimizing and improving manufacturing operations using engineered solutions, structured problem solving and Lean methodology.  Key areas of focus include Safety, ergonomics, productivity improvements, set-up reduction, process optimization, cost reduction and Total Predictive Maintenance (TPM).  The Manufacturing Engineer will work collaboratively with Quality, Product Engineers, Supply Chain, Production and Maintenance to meet short and long term TO Plastics business Objectives.  The Manufacturing Engineer will be a critical leader in transforming our Operations into our Best Sales Tool and a model of Operational Excellence. 


Safety is # 1 at T.O. Plastics:  Our expectation is that company leadership:

  • Continuously strives to reduce the frequency of total employee incidents and injuries.
  • Continuously strives to reduce the frequency of employee incident and injuries resulting in days away from work, restricted duty and/or job transfer.
  • Minimum compliance achieved on annual safety audits or assessments.
  • Maintain operations that are compliant with OSHA and other applicable safety and health regulations.


Essential Functions:

This position is responsible for the following tasks, duties and responsibilities:

  • Model and promote a Culture of Safety throughout the company
  • Initiate and lead safety, quality, service, and productivity (cost) improvement projects in all aspects of manufacturing
  • Manage documentation of product cost, quality, process understanding, and specifications
  • Development and implementation of cross-functional projects, plans, and programs in support of business and strategic plans
  • Ability to perform root cause analysis and apply systemic problem-solving skills
  • Lead Kaizen improvement events and follow-up activities
  • Lead and sustain Lean efforts in 6S, set-up reduction, lead time reduction, machine capability and the reduction of non-value-added activities
  • Support the improvement of manufacturing capability to optimize and minimize investment in inventory
  • Develop and manage small and large Cap-Ex projects
  • Support formal stage-gate product development process and successful product launch activities.
  • Provide management and team members concise reports and updates as required on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly & annual basis.
  • Other duties and tasks as determined by TO Plastics leadership.


Minimum Qualifications/Requirements:

  1. Bachelor’s degree in Engineering. 2 years’ experience in a related manufacturing environment
  2. 2 years direct involvement and leadership in Lean manufacturing/Continuous Improvement environment.
  3. High energy, entrepreneurial spirt and a drive to succeed.
  4. Demonstrated results leading change, optimizing processes and implementing new programs.
  5. Formal training and advanced knowledge of Lean methodologies and Operational Excellence. Evidence of ongoing training as required to keep skills current and relevant.
  6. Ability to work in a fast-paced environment with multiple priorities.
  7. Ability to effectively manage large amounts of data, draw informed fact-based conclusions and make timely decisions.
  8. Proficient with CAD drawing using either, SolidWorks, Pro-Engineer or Autodesk Inventor.
  9. Ability to manage complex programs and use structured problem-solving methodologies.
  10. Ability to effectively manage, develop and deliver results with a diverse matrixed team.
  11. Strong verbal and written communication skills.
  12. Experience working with cross functional teams and communicating with individuals from the production floor to the executive level.
  13. Strong negotiation and persuasion skills.
  14. Advanced Microsoft Office and other computer application skills. Experience with ERP systems.


Optimal Qualifications:

  1. Previous experience in two or more of the following roles: Manufacturing Engineer, Process Engineer, Quality Engineer, or similar roles.
  2. Previous thermoforming experience.
  3. 6 Sigma Green Belt certification.
  4. Advanced Business or Technical degree.
  5. Effective project management skills with proven track record of delivering projects on time and within budget.
  6. Ability to understand and apply Lean, analytical, and statistical tools.
  7. Excellent communication, problem solving, interpersonal, organizational, and analytical skills.


Work Environment:

The Manufacturing Engineer position requires a balance of sitting/office work and walking/standing on the production floor and warehouse. The position requires a balance of hands on work and office work. The production environment at times can be hot, loud and demanding. Safety glasses, hearing protection and certain clothing restrictions are required on the production floor. The production floor and warehouses require mobility and are a fast-moving environment.  Light travel between company facilities and some travel to customers, trade shows, suppliers and external meetings, etc. is required.

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