Principal Manufacturing Engineer (Composites)

Job Ref: 2829821 | Type: Permanent / Full Time

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About The Role

We are seeking a Principal Manufacturing Engineer to lead production in Composites as we move in to the next exciting stage of the company’s growth – rapid production and launch of Electron vehicles at unprecedented frequency. Reporting to the Planning Manager, your overarching responsibility is to translate the Engineering design into a zero-defect production process to achieve demand as well as championing continuous improvement using Lean techniques. 

Key Responsibilities include; 

Process & Tooling
  • Provide Engineering support for day-to-day production and inspection processes
  • Develop production procedures and processes and ensure they are accurately and clearly documented, including testing procedures, health and safety requirements and supervisor sign-offs.
  • Design, develop, and implement tooling for use in a production environment where appropriate to improve quality, delivery and/or cost performance
Design for Manufacture
  • Contribute to design reviews acting as an expert in design for manufacture, design for test, productivity, supplier capability assessments, quality control, etc.
  • Oversee introduction and implementation of new products and product revisions. 
  • When required, lead problem containment and root cause & corrective action investigations
  • Quickly analyse and resolve manufacturing discrepancies and non-conformances.
  • Interface with the quality team for rework and deviations.
  • Perform structured root cause analysis of in-process failures
  • Liaison between production, quality, supply chain and design engineering staff for complex problem solving and process changes.
Continuous Improvement
  • Identify, plan, and execute capital equipment, machine, and layout upgrades to the meet volume requirements including preparation of business cases
  • Lead the continuous improvement process in your area using Lean tools and techniques.
  • Introduce automation where appropriate and ensure equipment data links directly to MRP and quality systems.
  • Ability to develop necessary new processes where none exists
What you’ll bring to Rocket Lab:
  • Bachelor's degree in mechanical, electrical, aerospace, or manufacturing engineering
  • 10-15+ years of experience in a manufacturing environment ideally in Composites
  • Experience within an organisation that has experienced rapid/explosive growth 
  • Ability to create and deliver accurate presentations for design and manufacturing readiness reviews
  • Experience transitioning products from design to manufacturing as part of a cross-functional team in a fast-paced iterative design environment
  • Experience modeling with 3D CAD software eg: Solidworks, Inventor, NX/Unigraphics, Catia
  • Working proficiency with DFMEA, PFMEA methodologies and Fault Tree Analysis.
  • SPC knowledge and experience applying statistical methods to track process capability.
  • Basic competency with SQL databases and SQL programming
  • Demonstrated experience designing tooling in a manufacturing environment
  • Pareto analysis, root cause and corrective action experience.
  • Experience with capacity modeling, process mapping, Lean and continuous improvement principles
  • Geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T) experience
What’s in for you? 
We'll offer you a career-defining role, interesting and meaningful projects working with world leading experts.  You will lead, inspire and support team members to reach their potential and deliver on our mission to open access to space to improve life on Earth.  Based at our new state of the art facility in Mt Wellington, Auckland, this comes with a range of staff benefits in including subsidised lunches and am on-site gym. 

For security reasons background checks will be undertaken prior to any employment offers being made to an applicant.  These checks will include nationality checks as it is a requirement of this position that you be eligible to access equipment and data regulated by the United States’ International Traffic in Arms Regulations.  Under these Regulations, you may be ineligible for this role if you do not hold citizenship of Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland, the European Union or a country that is part of NATO, or if you hold ineligible dual citizenship or nationality. For more information on these Regulations, click here.

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