Sr. Packaging Engineer
Sargento Foods - Elkhart Lake, WI

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For the third year in a row, as part of an independent survey, Sargento was voted as one of the top places to work in Southeastern Wisconsin. That's because, we hire good people and treat them like family. At Sargento you'll be in a highly visible position in a company big enough to be a national brand leader but small enough for you to feel at home and let you make an impact.

Our rewards include a competitive compensation, bonus and benefits package and generous 401(k) and profit sharing benefits. Sargento offers its employees work-life balance and a unique, values-based culture that makes us recognized as an area employer of choice.

Our Wisconsin location offers great lifestyle and recreational options and convenient access to major metropolitan areas.


Position provides critical packaging engineering support for all aspects of Sargento's business and manufacturing operations. Work is highly independent with general direction and guidance provided by Packaging Systems Director.

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES include the following. Other duties may be assigned.
  • Develops new packaging as part of new product and business development teams.
  • Provides packaging engineering services that support existing production lines and existing packaging materials. Provides continuous improvement initiatives and regular production support to continue improvement of COGS.
  • Manages packaging material research, selection, and testing with development of packaging material specifications as a system in conjunction with machine capabilities for new production machinery. Selects correct material class using industry knowledge to limit the number of materials tested prior to successful solution.
In conjunction with:
  • R&D, provides packaging R&D services, shelf life projections or revisions for core products and line extensions.
  • Process Authority, provides packaging that delivers a safe product to the final consumer.
  • Manufacturing and Engineering, provides materials with suggested methods for manufacturing that are dependable.
  • Marketing/Sales: will provide clear direction with respect to Packaging’s role within the business team and will develop a strong relationship with respect to new ideas/innovation.
  • Procurement, identifies and qualifies suppliers and materials for use with core products.
  • Prepares or directs preparation for packaging specifications in any packaging material area for core products and line extensions needed by Sargento.
  • Applies a firm understanding of economic analysis with all potential projects.
  • Develops strong relationships and communicates effectively to manage projects with Product Development, Purchasing, Manufacturing, Engineering, Suppliers, Quality, R&D, and Logistics.
  • Responsible for keeping abreast of the latest packaging related technology and optimum material performance to pricing value. Regularly brings improved method and material concepts forward for potential packaging enhancement or cost saving potential.
  • Utilizes statistical tools for enhancement of problem solving and project analysis.
  • Provides training on a periodical basis to enhance packaging material understanding and functionality for manufacturing/engineering personnel.
  • Brings ideas and new technology to the attention of marketing and operations that will lower total cost, enhance product quality or convenience and create opportunities for new products.
  • Keeps abreast of developments across appropriate packaging and manufacturing technologies.

Inventing may occur or be required as part of this position:
  • Invents or discovers new and useful processes, machines, manufactures, or compositions of matter, or any new and useful improvements thereof for the exclusive use by and ownership of Sargento.
  • Assigns all ideas and inventions conceived or developed while employed by Sargento or as a result of employment with Sargento.
  • Discloses to Sargento any inventions that are conceived or made.
  • Fully assists in making patent applications as well as refraining from disclosing inventions or ideas to others unless requested to do so by Sargento, and assigns any and all rights to Sargento.
  • Responsible use of the Internet for work is required.
  • Travel is required as needed to complete the functions within this position
  • Daily travel between facilities and local suppliers is to be expected with the use of the person's own vehicle required.
  • Overnight travel will be required as needed to support projects or for training purposes.
  • Extended periods of overnight travel may be required on occasion to support remote manufacturing operations or in support of projects with remote vendors.
  • Confidentiality is required for all work.
  • This position has no assigned direct reports.
  • Position may assist in training and development of new packaging employees or interns.
Sargento Foods Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Employer

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.

  • Position requires a BS in Packaging or equivalent. A Bachelor’s in a related area with a MS in Packaging is acceptable.
  • Additional educational courses will be required as needed to sustain departmental/individual technological levels.
  • Position is at an experienced professional level and generally represents 6-8+ years of overall progressive packaging materials experience that includes 4+ years of progressive packaging engineering experience within the food industry. Experience showing development of new product packaging is strongly preferred.
  • Strong business acumen and extensive experience with Marketing, Sales, Finance, Procurement, Brand Design, Category Management, etc.
  • Familiarity with SAP/PLM, or similar systems, in addition to TOPS or CAPE.
  • Demonstration and examples of external, domestic and global, collaboration with respect to innovation is desired.
  • Experience must also include support of new and existing packaging operations with a proven record of continuous improvement and cost savings. Must be able to provide examples of close collaboration with Operations, Engineering, and Quality Systems.
  • Solid understanding of flexible and rigid packaging in a cheese and/or meat environment highly desired. Demonstration of strong collaboration with material vendors is required.
  • Knowledge of MAP and other forms of product preservation and their interaction with product packaging is highly desired.
  • Ability to read, analyze, and interpret common scientific and technical journals, financial reports, and legal documents.
  • Ability to respond to common inquires or complaints from customers, regulatory agencies, or members of the business community.
  • Ability to write speeches and articles for publication that conform to a prescribed style and format.
  • Ability to effectively present information to top management, public groups, and/or boards of directors.
  • Effective communication skills to communicate on a technical and non-technical level to other departments, outside vendors, and customers.
  • Ability to verbally communicate technical information and conduct meetings with technical and non-technical personnel of various levels.
  • Ability to write concise yet appropriately detailed memos and reports.
  • Ability to apply appropriate statistical functions for use in troubleshooting or validation of packaging related issues is required.
  • Must be able to accurately do basic math and measuring functions for package related sizing and costing reviews.
  • Proficient in normal office computer systems. CAD experience desirable.
  • Must be able to apply sound project management to realize the order, importance, and impact of appropriate project activities and maintain Packaging commitments to project scheduling.
  • Must demonstrate understanding of package development process and engineering principles.
  • Must demonstrate broad range of packaging materials and method knowledge as it relates to food packaging.
  • Must demonstrate ability to design and develop primary and secondary packaging components, with minimal guidance, that meet consumer, Brand, customer, and manufacturing objectives.
  • Knowledge and technical competence in package materials converting & decoration: Labels, cartons, films, tubes etc.
  • Proficient with prototyping techniques and basic utilization of CAD.
  • Must operate in an ethical manner, exhibiting self-confident integrity demonstrating a positive approach to conduct & communications.
  • Ability to assess and prevent problems from occurring with proper evaluation and testing.
  • Capable of providing innovative solutions to complex problems associated with package design/engineering and manufacturing challenges.
  • Must be a self-starter and assume role of credible technical packaging representative on project teams.
  • Must work well in a team environment consisting of technical and non-technical members and strive to achieve team deliverables.
  • Ability to work independently with resourcefulness, originality and initiative.
  • Must be able to follow technical directions, effectively communicate technically and non-technically in both verbal and in written forms, work effectively in a team, train or instruct maintenance or production personnel, organize and plan work with maintenance people and vendors, and work and learn in a changing technical and team-oriented environment.
  • "Above Expectations" job performance as defined within the Sargento performance review process or by similar demonstrated performance with previous employers.
  • Ability to apply principles of logical or scientific thinking to a wide range of intellectual and practical problems. Ability to deal with nonverbal symbolism (formulas, scientific equations, graphs, etc.,) in its more difficult phases. Ability to deal with a variety of abstract and concrete variables.
  • Ability to define problems, gather data, establish facts, and draw valid conclusions. Ability to interpret a variety of technical information in mathematical and/or narrative form and deal with several abstract and concrete variables.
  • No certificates or licenses are required. Sargento supports and encourages involvement with academic and industry associations.
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 individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to talk or hear. The employee frequently is required to stand; sit; and use hands to finger, handle, or feel. The employee is occasionally required to walk; climb or balance; stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl; and taste or smell. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 50 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and ability to adjust focus.
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.
  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is occasionally exposed to wet and/or humid conditions; moving mechanical parts; fumes or airborne particles; and vibration. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.

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