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Continuous Improvement Engineer


Dane, WI

Job Summary

We are seeking an individual for the position of Continuous Improvement Engineer. This position is responsible for the support of Vollrath Operations (manufacturing & administrative) with focus on process definition and continuous improvement. Work includes the collection and study of production data, quality data, conducting engineering analysis, problem solving, work cell layout, cost / capital analysis, project management, the creation of technical specifications, application of lean practices, and coordinating environmental, health and safety systems. As a Continuous Improvement Engineer, the position is responsible for assisting management in the implementation of plant-wide continuous improvement objectives and will serve as a change agent who leads teams to execute projects using a variety of continuous improvement tools and Lean methodologies.

Key Responsibilities

  • Primary responsibility for the support of specified Vollrath manufacturing lines.  This includes daily sustaining work such as throughput improvements, quality improvements, recommendations for capital improvements,  and EHS support.
  • Identifies areas in the business where profit improvement can be achieved and develop programs and approaches that will achieve company’s profit improving objectives.
  • Build a Continuous Improvement program across all Value Streams and drive the implementation of Lean Enterprise Tools and Techniques along with leading Continual Improvement Project Teams to completion.
  • Support and Develop Continuous Improvement toolkit and operating fundamentals.
  • Schedule and implement lean processes in accordance with the organization’s Continuous Improvement (CI) Plan (i.e., Lean manufacturing,
  • Standard Work, 6S, Value Stream Mapping, DMAIC Problem Solving, Kaizen, A3 methodology, Six Sigma, Level Scheduling and Pull Principles, etc.).
  • Reduce waste and drive best practices across the organization.
  • Apply problem solving techniques to a wide variety of complex assignments in all areas of the operation - utilize statistical methods as part of the evaluation.
  • Lead and/or participate in quality improvement, scrap reduction, warranty reduction or safety improvement teams.
  • Work closely with Quality teams to identify adverse trends and systemic issues, in order to ensure true root causes are identified and Corrective and Preventive Actions implemented.
  • Develop appropriate training programs in Lean concepts, Six Sigma and Continuous Improvement principles.
  • Provide support for new product development (NPD) products for shop floor activities.
  • Review employee safety programs to determine their adequacy.
  • Investigate industrial accidents, injuries, or occupational diseases to determine causes and preventive measures.
  • Inspect facilities, machinery, and safety equipment in order to identify and correct potential hazards, and to ensure safety regulation compliance.
  • Be aware of and establish safety measures for equipment and work cells.
  • Conduct or coordinate worker training in areas such as safety laws and regulations, hazardous condition monitoring, and use of safety equipment.
  • Compile, analyze, and interpret statistical data related to occupational illnesses and accidents.


  • To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily.  The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Education and/or Experience: Four year bachelor’s degree in a technical field required, preferably in Mechanical or Industrial Engineering.  Candidates without a 4 year technical degree can be considered if they possess the minimum demonstrated years of successful experience in Operations or in a related field.  Demonstrated experience working within and supporting an environmental, health, and safety system preferred.

  • Three to five years of experience in a manufacturing environment leading continuous improvement efforts using Lean/Six-Sigma process methods and tools.  Solid technical skills, background in metal forming, injection molding, and assembly line production as well as knowledge of industrial or manufacturing engineering concepts, such as work measurement, work cell layout, motion economy, material flow analysis, etc. is desirable. 

  • Extensive knowledge and experience in applying lean concepts/ processes at all levels of the organization. Proven ability to implement lean and successful project and program management experience required.  Demonstrated experience working within and supporting a quality system. 

  • Language Skills:  Ability to read and comprehend instructions, short correspondence and memos.  Ability to write detailed correspondence.  Ability to effectively present information in a one-on-one and group situations to other employees in the organization as well as communicate effectively on the phone.  Ability to communicate in a courteous manner with good grammar and without the use of profanity.

  • Other Skills and Abilities:  Requires the ability to operate various office equipment to include a computer, copier, printer, fax machine, and telephone.  Must have good organizational skills with computer literacy a plus.  Proficient in Microsoft Excel and experience with JDE and Microsoft Office is a plus.

  • Strong leadership, team building and motivation skills. Ability to work both independently and with cross functional teams.

  • Be a self-starter with a strong “sense of urgency”.  Strong aptitude for problem solving and detail orientated.  Ability to think creatively and strategically and take a proactive and aggressive goal setting approach to assist in developing a lean culture.

Physical Demands

  • The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individual with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to sit and use hands to finger, handle, or touch objects, tools or controls.  The employee frequently is required to talk and hear.  The employee is occasionally required to stand; walk; reach above shoulders; and stoop, kneel or crouch.
  • The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 50 pounds.  Specific vision abilities require by this job include close vision.

Work Environment

  • The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
  • The work environment can be busy, noisy, and conditions vary with the seasons of the year.  Also, contains some mechanical and chemical hazards.
  • Protective requirement include safety shoes and glasses.  Other protective equipment may also be necessary based on the specific task.
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