The Applications Lab Engineer 1 reviews and assesses customer assembly projects and provides a formal recommendation regarding feasibility, best methods, potential issues and process options. This report may include suggestions for changing customer part material type, part dimensions and/or part joint designs to achieve a better process result. Testing of plastic materials and/or sample parts may be required to effectively evaluate a given application. The lab engineer supports Extol’s internal and external sales efforts with plastics joining expertise, consultation, problem-solving, testing, evaluation, and analysis. Additional duties include machine set-up, small volume assembly work, and machine processing. Direct customer interaction at Extol or at customer facilities occurs regularly. Exceptional written and verbal communication skills are essential to this position.
A Level 1 Applications Lab Engineer is able to perform some tasks independently, but most work, especially complex projects and difficult tasks will require guidance. A level 1 engineer is typically receiving “on-the-job” training.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities
- Assist customers and potential customers by providing on-site training, product presentations, process development and process improvement support.
- Meet with customers representing Extol in a professional manner.
- Work with Extol customers to develop customer part features that optimize part joining/assembly performance.
- Develop and maintain a working knowledge of the plastic joining processes provided by Extol.
- Apply working knowledge and understanding of process applications and limitations to utilize in hands-on situations.
- Develop and maintain an awareness of plastic joining processes Extol does not provide, with an understanding of process applications and limitations.
- Maintain a working knowledge of all process testing techniques that are used by Extol.
- Determine the best machine and tool options for processing customer parts and provide input for Extol sales, quoting, and design.
- Determine the steps required to manufacture parts or assemblies to customer specifications.
- Determine the parameters and allowable variation (process window) for each step in the manufacturing process.
- Evaluate new materials, new equipment, and new processes.
- Conduct process development experiments to determine process limits and new process possibilities.
- Create and maintain application lab records including all reports, drawings, models, photos, and other relevant documents.
- Manage small lab projects which include communicating with customers, coordinating internal equipment procurement and scheduling, as well as basic financial documentation.
- Support Operations with information concerning plastic materials and plastic joining techniques.
- Assist Extol sales by organizing and processing equipment for trade shows, working trade shows, developing and presenting technical seminars and publishing industry white papers.
- Regularly collaborate with the Applications team, other internal Extol teams, and customers to devise solutions to a variety of customer challenges.
- Adhere to all leadership expectations as outlined in regular communication, policies, and processes.
- Other duties as assigned.
Required Skills & Experience
- Four-year degree in engineering, engineering technology, or science discipline.
- Technical math skills required to perform engineering calculations and analysis during design assessment and testing.
- Ability to use design software, preferably SolidWorks, to review and create basic drawings and models.
- Exceptional written and verbal communication skills to clearly document technical information, clarify unclear issues, convey information to customers and salespeople, and maintain detail accuracy.
- Ability to work effectively in a team.
- Effective organization and time management skills.
Preferred Skills & Experience
- Basic understanding of manual and automated assembly equipment
- Basic understanding of plastic joining methods and plastic part design and composition
Hours Required: Full-Time, 48 Hours/Week (Average) Exempt (Salary)
Regular Work Schedule: Monday – Friday (from time to time, work may require non-typical work hours to accommodate project deadlines and irregular workflow).
General manufacturing environment, daily exposure to machinery and potential non-hazardous chemicals and lubricants.