Extrusion/Cereal Process Engineer (‘Extrusion Specialist’)

Woodland, CA

As an Extrusion/Cereal Process Engineer (‘Extrusion Specialist’), you will be responsible for providing technical advice, support and guidance on all matters relating to the extrusion processes within the business. Effective communication and close collaboration with stakeholders, at all levels within the business, will be essential including members of the Production, Quality, Maintenance, Procurement and NPD Teams. Building positive relationships with external bodies, such as extruder specialists, materials vendors and potentially key customers, will also be necessary. Supporting the development and commercialization of new products (NPD), along with the improvement and development of existing products and process (EPD), will be paramount.

This position will report to the PGPI Woodland Site Manager and is located in Woodland, CA. Close collaboration with, and travel to, the PGPI Evansville, IN, facility will be required. Some travel will be necessary.

Job Responsibilities

  • Safety: Promote a safe work environment at all times through the adherence to all PGPI’s Health and Safety and Environmental policies and procedures as well as to all relevant CalOSHA regulations
  • Food Safety & Quality: Promote exceptional food safety and product quality standards at all times through the adherence to, and improvement of, GMP and food safety and quality policies and standards.
  • Process Optimization: Work with Managers, Supervisors and Operators to develop and deploy process improvement solutions including operating procedural changes, line modifications and any other changes (eg. raw materials) to ensure that improvements are consistent and sustained.
  • EPD & NPD: Support the development and commercialization of new products (NPD), along with the improvement and development of existing products (EPD), in a proactive and collaborative manner. This will necessitate organizing, over-seeing/running trials and scale-up runs on a regular basis.
  • Material Development: Assess inbound materials for key characteristics/consistency and assess potential ingredient (and/or product) modifications, actively consulting with all stakeholders in a timely and effective manner – including Procurement, Sales, Vendors, QA/R&C, etc, to determine the best outcome.
  • Problem Solving/CI: Support day-to-day extrusion operations in problem solving activities. Working closely with the CI Champion and applying appropriate techniques (RCA, etc), understand and seek to eliminate sources of non-conformances and quality deviations. Through the analysis of process control data, production records and product specifications, ensure the consistent and effective application of extrusion equipment, tools and process control instrumentation/controls, developing improvements where appropriate.
  • Documentation: Consulting and collaborating with relevant stakeholders, develop and embed a methodology whereby all extrusion equipment, processes, set-up’s, modifications, corrective actions, trials, etc are clearly and routinely documented and referenced.
  • Equipment design & development: Investigate equipment/process/material problems, devise methods of repair or correction, and make adjustments. Document what was done and train both production associates and maintenance personnel to eliminate repeat issues.
  • Training & Development: Develop and effect the provision of training material and techniques to support the on-going personal development of Operators and Leaders in the use of extrusion equipment/processes and the understanding of the relationship between raw materials and process.

Preferred Qualifications/Experience

  • BS in Engineering, Engineering Technology, or Food/Material Science – or other relevant qualification (specific exposure to Extrusion Technology would be particularly advantageous)
  • Minimum 5 years of Food Manufacturing experience
  • In-depth understanding and demonstrable working knowledge of extrusion equipment and processes, and associated equipment (Dryers, etc).
  • Good understanding of ingredient functionality and characteristics (particularly proteins, rice/rice flour and starches), and material handling including blending/mixing, material transfer and packing.
  • Proven ability to “apply the science to the art” of extrusion and material processing.
  • Experience in Project Management including project development, implementation, and review.
  • Proven leader with the ability to successfully lead and motivate a cross-functional group of technical and operations personnel to solve problems and improve processes.
  • Demonstrated ability to establish and maintain effective business relationships across multiple functions
  • Strong data management, reporting, and technical writing skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to analyze complex business situations and problems, coordinate many complex activities/projects simultaneously and direct successful solutions.
  • Excellent communication, presentation, motivational, coaching, and organizational skills.
  • Ability to speak, read and write in English is essential for this role. Bilingual in English/Spanish would be advantageous.