Process Engineer, Pelleting

Yakima Chief - Hopunion LLC

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Job Title:              Process Engineer, Pelleting                               

Department:         Operations  

Classification:      Exempt/Salary                                                    

Reports to:           Senior Project Engineer, Pelleting        

Job Qualifications:

  • Minimum of five 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.
  • 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.
  • Experience supporting an operations team including production, packaging, scheduling, warehousing, logistics and shipping.
  • Experience optimizing and programming packaging and raw material handling equipment.
  • Proven ability to troubleshoot process upsets and work with maintenance and production departments to collaboratively maximize equipment productivity and product quality.
  • 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.
  • Lean Manufacturing Training preferred.
  • Must be able to effectively communicate in written and verbal form with co-workers, supervisor and management.
  • Job Summary:

    Must possess manufacturing experience utilizing engineering principles to design and install equipment, suggest process improvements and troubleshoot process issues.  Support all pelleting facilities with engineering solutions to production and quality 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:

  • Work with Plant Managers to assess production equipment performance and oversee regular servicing, maintenance and calibration of equipment and instrumentation.
  • Collaborate with Department Managers, Project Engineering and Maintenance to continuously optimize facility processing and quality parameters including:  temperature, density, particle size, minimal 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 production team to troubleshoot process upsets, equipment malfunction, packaging quality concerns and yield variances.  Recommend if equipment or process upgrades are needed.
  • Work with Project Engineering to assist in recommending capital improvements, ROI calculations and implementation of capital projects.
  • 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 Maintenance and Safety Manager to utilize Maintenance Software package to track projects and ensure spare parts inventory is optimized to possess parts needs while not creating an overabundance of parts.
  • 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.
  • Streamline data collection in the Plant facilities through use of organization and/or technology to improve timeliness and reporting capabilities of metrics to make the data more useful to employees and presentable to customers.
  • 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.
  • Use Lean Manufacturing principles to lead projects in production and maintenance.
  • 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.
  • Occasionally 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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