Senior Project Engineer, Pelleting

Yakima Chief - Hopunion LLC

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Job Title:              Senior Project Engineer, Pelleting                   

Department:  Operations  

Classification:     Exempt/Salary                                                    

Reports to:  Chief Operations Officer

Job Qualifications:

  • Minimum of seven years supervision/management experience in a food processing or beverage production environment with experience in troubleshooting, process engineering, project management and capital project development and analysis.
  • Experience managing an operations team including engineering projects, process improvement projects with strong background in packaging and raw material handling equipment.
  • BS/BA in Engineering, Business Administration, Management or a field requiring similar manufacturing training and experience.  Five additional years of experience above qualification and demonstrated leadership skills can substitute for degree.
  • Must possess strong leadership skills and outstanding work ethic to positively contribute to the company’s mission, vision and values.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills are required.  Second language is desirable.
  • Must be able to effectively work as part of a team with employees, department managers, senior / executive management, growers, customers and vendors. 
  • Skilled at mentoring and training employees and other team members in professional development in alignment with company needs.
  • PC skills – Microsoft Office, Outlook, AutoCAD and experience working with ERP systems.
  • Familiarity with plant equipment operations (raw material handling, milling, vertical form fill and seal bagging, chiller, boiler, pumps, compressors, PLC).
  • Understanding of hops (pelleting, extraction, products, packaging).
  • Brewing experience or brewing education is a plus.
  • Certified Lean Manufacturing or Six Sigma Training required.
  • Must be able to effectively communicate in written and verbal form with co-workers, supervisor and management.
  • Job Summary:

    Manage capital projects for the Pellet Plant and Cryo Hop facilities located in Yakima and Sunnyside, WA.  Must possess manufacturing experience utilizing engineering principles to design and install equipment, suggest process improvements and troubleshoot process issues.  Proven written skills to accurately document and complete required project proposals including design drawings, project scope, project cost and Return on Investment (ROI). Should have a positive attitude, support co-workers to obtain the above objectives, and assist others in their contributions. Wear appropriate personal protective equipment (in required areas) for extended periods of time. Ability to sit/stand/walk for extended periods of time and access stairs and ladders. Ability to bend, stoop, squat occasionally to frequently. Be able to lift (up to 50 lbs), carry (up to 44 lbs) occasionally to frequently within normal limits. Handle hazardous chemicals safely according to their MSDS’s and SOP’s.           

    Job Duties:

  • Project management of capital improvements and new construction, including:  vendor selection, sourcing of equipment, scheduling, installation of equipment, startup and management of expenses.
  • Post startup, ensure plant is functioning per quality, productivity, sustainability, safety and cost expectations
  • Develop project summary and ROI for capital projects.
  • Generate formal capital project request for board approval.
  • Generate capital project timeline and track costs for projects to ensure successful installations that meet budget.
  • Negotiate equipment supplier contracts.
  • Implement and improved change management control process to help guide the company when significant changes are made to our processes such as equipment changes, new equipment installation, process change, and new facility installation and startup. 
  • Work with Plant Managers to assess production equipment performance and oversee regular servicing, maintenance and calibration of equipment and instrumentation.
  • Collaborate with Department Managers, Process Engineering and Maintenance to continuously optimize facility processing and quality parameters including:  temperature, density, particle size, O2 content, alpha/aroma preservation, N2 use, weight yields, alpha yields, expense control and throughput. 
  • Closely monitor packaging equipment performance for packaging seal integrity.  Work with Quality Department to ensure packaging integrity and long shelf-life stability for optimal quality.
  • Work with process engineering to troubleshoot process upsets, equipment malfunction, packaging quality concerns and yield variances.  Recommend if equipment or process upgrades are needed.
  • Possess a full understanding of customer specifications and quality expectations to ensure every pellet order processed meets and exceeds the customer demands.  Advise production on equipment setup and function to optimize operation.
  • Provide technical advice to generate process improvements to Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), Quality Procedures and Environmental Procedures improving productivity, quality and environmental impacts.
  • Work with QC and Technical teams to prepare studies to utilize analytical equipment to evaluate quality.  Ultimately utilize that information as a means to improve quality of hop products.
  • Ensure compliance with ISO 9001:2008, ISO 14001:2004, HACCP, FSMA, USDA and cGMP for Pellet Plant facilities.
  • Use engineering skills to track metrics to study opportunities to reduce environmental impacts.  Recommend technology and process improvements to reduce energy and supplies consumption and set new targets for our Environment Management System.
  • Manage Preventive and Corrective Actions for the Pellet Plant facilities as part of continuous improvement strategy.
  • Ensure the plant complies with OSHA and WISHA and develop and update SOP’s and policies to ensure compliance.
  • Occasional lead audits and tours of Pellet Plant facilities.
  • Attend trade shows to stay current on packaging and processing technology.
  • Assure that company safety policies as well as federal, state and local safety and environmental regulations are observed within the Pellet Plant.
  • Must adhere to all company policies.
  • Notify your supervisor if you identify or recommend ways to improve process efficiency.
  • Perform all other duties as assigned by Supervisor or his/her designee.
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