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Automation Engineer in Minneapolis, MN at Jack Link's

Date Posted: 2/16/2019

Job Snapshot

Job Description

 Jack Link’s Protein Snacks began with treasured family recipes passed from generation to generation, transforming a small North Woods business into one of the fastest-growing meat snack manufacturers in the world. Over the years, as consumer demand for convenient, high-quality snack foods increased, so has the company’s product offerings. Today Jack Link’s is the fastest-growing meat snack manufacturer in the world and sells more than 100 different meat snack products in more than 40 countries. The Link family principles and traditions remain the same: hard work, integrity and a commitment to earn consumer respect by delivering the best-tasting meat snacks in the world.

The Automation Engineer is responsible for identifying and implementing automated manufacturing systems across our Manufacturing and Distribution locations to deliver reduced manufacturing costs and/or increased manufacturing capability. They will be working in collaboration with Operations, Supply Chain and New Product Development Teams and automation companies to develop automated equipment and production lines.  This role requires past experience in design and execution of automation projects in Consumer Packaged Goods.  This person is responsible for identifying, planning and reporting projects costs and needs including expense, capital, risks, scheduling and resource needs to insure project success.

 Essential Functions:


Project Leadership:  Be the Project Manager for projects being implemented.  Develop project plans and convey concepts and specifications to key stakeholders internally and externally.  Provide corrective feedback to keep projects on track. 

Supplier Relationships: Maintain current knowledge of key automation suppliers and provide input on the capabilities and status of providers of automation design, system and equipment manufacturing.  Evaluate suppliers and make recommendations for selection based on project needs. 

Production Support: Working with production and maintenance personnel, support efforts to improve performance of current manufacturing systems, e.g. yield, speed, personnel requirements, and maintenance needs.  Consider factors such as ease of setup, changeover and maintenance, reliability, contamination control and costs. Identify possible product modifications to improve manufacturability.

Process Analysis: Lead FMEA and risk analysis activities for planned automation to insure high OEE of new systems. 

Automation Technology: Keep up to date with automation technology developments, new trends, applications, equipment and suppliers.  Apply knowledge to promote continuous improvement of existing production equipment.

Project Planning:  Build and maintain a hopper of cost savings automation projects to deliver a targeted cost savings plan. 

50-60% Travel required

Job Requirements

Minimum Education/Work Experience:

  • 5 + years experience with automation projects within Consumer-Packaged Goods - preferably in the Food Sector.
  • Bachelor's degree required. Electrical or Mechanical Engineering Degree preferred.
  • Knowledge and experience in AutoCAD.
  • Must be proficient in the use of Microsoft Office applications, including Microsoft Project, Word and EXCEL.
  • Experience successfully performing engineered designs for large scale projects and leading project teams required.
  • Familiarity with TPM, Six Sigma, LEAN or other vigorous Continuous Improvement Methodologies preferred.
  • Job assignments are complex in nature and require excellent planning, project leadership, technical skills and communication to be successful in meeting project objectives. Must be able to coordinate and resolve both interpersonal and technical problems and work independently.
  • Effective oral and written communication skills, acute attention to detail, excellent time and project management skills and the drive to complete projects thoroughly required
  • Ability to handle multiple priorities in a fast changing work environment.
  • Must be a creative thinker with good interpersonal relationship skills, strong project management and process improvement skills, as well as strong cross-functional teamwork skills.
  • Qualified candidates will be able to present and detail a successful automation project that they have led from concept to completion.
  • About Jack Link’s:

    Jack Link's Protein Snacks is a global leader in snacking and the No. 1 meat snack manufacturer worldwide. Still family-owned with headquarters in Minong, Wisconsin, Jack Link’s also has a large corporate hub in Downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota, and operates a total of 11 manufacturing and distribution facilities in four countries. Jack Link’s produces high-quality, great-tasting protein snacks that feed the wild sides of consumers around the world. Jack Link's Protein Snacks family of brands includes Jack Link's, Lorissa's Kitchen, MATADOR, SQUATCH, World Kitchens Jerky, Grass Run Farms Meat Snacks, Bifi and Pepperami.


    The story of Jack Link’s Protein Snacks is one of family traditions. It began with treasured family recipes passed from generation to generation, transforming a small North Woods business into one of the fastest-growing snack manufacturers in the world. Today Jack Link’s sells more than 100 different protein snacks in more than 40 countries.


    The principles and traditions of Jack Link’s have been the same since its humble beginnings: hard work, integrity and a commitment to earn consumer respect by delivering the best-tasting protein snacks in the world.


    EEO Statement:

    Jack Link’s provides equal employment opportunity (EEO) to all persons regardless of age, color, national origin, citizenship status, physical or mental disability, race, religion, creed, gender, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, genetic information, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, veteran status, or any other characteristic that is protected by federal, state or local law.


    Jack Link’s is participant in the federal E-Verify program to confirm the identity and employment authorization of all newly hired employees. For information about the E-Verify program, please visit:



    This job description is intended to generally describe the nature and level of work to be performed by employees in this position. It is not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities and skills required of employees performing this role.