Responsible for creating, supporting, and developing new and innovative product/process designs and redesigning existing products/processes. This is successfully accomplished by understanding, accurately specifying, and adhering to customer requirements, utilizing and applying quality tools and methods and pursuing continuous improvement in all aspects of product and process design. These efforts will have a direct impact on reducing labor and material costs, while improving value, reliability, and performance. Product responsibilities include Horizons Natural, Roller and Soft shades and all support componentry. The associate will plan and manage product design engineering activities related to conceptualization, product design, and manufacturing process functions.
Concept Development (30%):
- Involved in identifying consumer and market needs, translating customer needs into product requirements using process (QFD) and product requirements into design specifications.
- Develops working prototypes of multiple concepts, which can be used for functional evaluation.
- Involved with consumer focus groups to gather market data.
- Involved in reducing concept to commercially viable product.
- Creates mechanical drawings and 3-D models using drafting software.
- Investigates concept patentability and infringement issues related to concepts to assess legal liability protect intellectual property.
Design Development (50%):
- Coordinates and prioritizes design and product engineering activities as established by NPD and product management and in accordance with Horizons' business strategies and goals.
- Designs products and components with safety, durability, reliability, value, and assembly as priorities.
- Develops and plans short and long term goals in accordance with Horizons' strategies and goals.
- Establish design specifications, material selection, and potential suppliers with regards to product design.
- Estimates project and product costs, assists with project justification, and recommends required materials and tooling.
- Facilitates design reviews to discuss concepts and proposed product designs, engaging other functional areas of the business, to gain input regarding product manufacturability and incorporating those inputs into final design.
- Prepares and issues required reports, summaries, and presentations related to engineering activities.
- Maintains and controls engineering files, records, and documentation for part and process specifications, drawings, and patents.
- Interface with purchasing and suppliers to resolve supplier quality issues.
- Quality - (Required for all SWF job descriptions) - Integrates quality at the source thinking and activities in daily, individual, team and project work. (Applies to all job duties 100%)
- Collaborate with New Product Development and Marketing teams to introduce and develop new product concepts and existing product enhancements.
- Support efforts to maintain and follow the New Product Development (stage gate) process.
- Reviews related patents and assesses potential patent risks
- Engaged in continuous improvement initiatives, recognizing process improvement methods to identify root cause, develop solutions, and implement solutions.
- Maintain and organize lab area following 5S principles.
- Represent the company in industrial organizations.
- Responsible for product and design engineering activities for all product lines and distribution types (custom, stock).
- Develops innovative designs that are congruent with product strategy, meet consumer/customer needs, and resolve patent infringement issues.
- Involved in capital budgeting process affecting all relevant product lines and manufacturing process equipment selection.
- Manages projects based on timelines established by product management priorities.
- Develops, plans, and implements timetables for engineering related projects.
- Interacts and collaborates with associates in marketing, quality, manufacturing, customer service, external suppliers, and other key stakeholders with regards to concept development.
- Direct interaction and communication with customers and consumers.
- Daily contact with associates at all levels of the organization
- Confers with engineering manager and product management team on major issues.
- Works directly with patent counsel to investigate patentability and infringement risk.
- Must be familiar with all product lines and fabrication processes.
Education & Experience:
- BS degree in Mechanical Engineering or Industrial Design
- 5-10 years design engineering experience in consumer products related industry
- Relevant experience with new product development and product design role
- Familiarity with the design of softlines/textiles, consumer home products and/or window coverings. (preferred)
Knowledge, Skills & Abilites:
- Flexible with job assignments
- Able to work independently and well with others (team environment).
- Must be organized, methodical, and handle multiple tasks simultaneously and work to an established timeline.
- Position takes direction from General Manager.
- Must manage multiple medium or limited scope projects,
- Must communicate well and properly document results of test procedures, and have knowledge of SWF 5S Program.
- Conceptual and detail design skills
- Must be very creative and excel at innovation process
- Familiar with translation tools and processes (Quality Function Deployment QFD)
- Experience with 3 dimensional drawing (Solid Works, Auto Cadd)
- Experience and knowledge of typical drafting standards
- Data collection and management of database.
- Technical writing skills for memos, lab reports, and project updates.
- Strong general math skills (add, subtract, multiply, divide, percentages, fractions, metric conversions, algebra, and geometry)
- Good interpersonal skills
- Good analytical and problem solving skills
- Good communication skills (verbal, written)
- General computer skills Excel, MS Word, Lotus Notes, MS Project and Access
- Manage work according to established project timelines.