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Senior Mechanical Engineer, Automation



Other Engineering
Chester, VA, USA
Posted on Sunday, October 22, 2023

About Plenty

Plenty is on a mission to make fresh, pesticide-free fruits and vegetables more accessible to everyone. Our cutting-edge indoor, vertical farms produce extraordinary yields using a fraction of the land and water outdoor farms need. Nutrient-rich, mouth-watering and locally grown, our crops help people, communities and our planet to be healthier and more resilient.

The people and teams who make up Plenty are at the core of how we do this. We are a collaborative and innovative bunch. We are passionate about our contributions to Plenty, the communities around us and our planet, but never take ourselves too seriously. We’re down to Earth, we grow together, and we always find a way. Most importantly, we are growing for a better tomorrow, today.

About the role

Plenty is looking for a Senior Mechanical Engineer to join our Automation Mechanical Design team. The Automation Mechanical Design team is responsible for implementing industrial automation technology to reduce cost and increase efficiency on our process lines. In this role, you will collaborate with the entire company including Controls Engineers, Software Engineers, and Plant Scientists to develop the systems that will revolutionize agriculture. You will collaborate to create technology and equipment that reduce farm operating costs and improve safety, quality, and consistency of the process and product. You will develop and document automated processes through detailed prototyping and iteration, and validate the technology by executing thoughtfully designed and scoped tests

What you'll do

  • Create cost-effective, fast, reliable equipment, and support it through validation and production handoff
  • Collaborate with cross functionally to ensure all design requirements are met, and quantify and execute appropriate validation testing
  • Work closely with controls engineers to integrate sensors, electromechanical actuators, pneumatic controls, field IO, etc.
  • Get hands-on to design, build, and test rapid proof of concept prototypes
  • Independently execute on and troubleshoot designs, as well as mentor other members of the team in solving technical problems
  • Own final design of key systems for a production-ready machine, including assembly, maintenance, and cleanability considerations
  • Create and maintain 2D part drawings, assembly drawings, and BOMs
  • Generate other necessary documentation for design validation/production release (design requirements docs, FMEAs, final SOPs, spare parts lists, etc.)

What you'll bring to the table

  • Experience owning at least two subsystems or machines through all product cycles(concept through production release)
  • Experience with manufacturing/processing equipment and validating that equipment meets process parameters
  • Experience designing for several manufacturing processes, i.e. machining, sheet metal processing, welding; strong knowledge of materials and finishes
  • Deep knowledge of pneumatic and electric actuators, sensors, and other components typically used in industrial equipment
  • Extensive experience creating 3D CAD and 2D drawings, including familiarity with using and creating templates
  • Excellent internal and external communication skills, including a strong understanding of how the product you will be working on interfaces with and affects other parts of the farm
  • Comfortable leading cross-functional design reviews and FMEA activities
  • Ability to understand and adapt to flexible and evolving design requirements, as well as tight time constraints
  • Experience designing equipment for food/washdown/other harsh environments is not required but useful
  • Experience with industrial robots, machine vision, or PLC programming is not required but useful
  • Education or experience equivalent to a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering or related field

Type of role

Full-Time; Hybrid

What we can offer

  • Compensation; we’ll pay you a competitive salary, give you a stake in the company via equity and contribute toward your 401K
  • Health & well-being; we’ll invest in your physical and mental well-being with comprehensive medical, dental, & vision benefits, in-office gyms, and an Employee Assistance Program to help with mental health, financial & legal matters
  • Food; in-office lunches, snacks and access to our leafy greens & new produce in development -- are you up for a side gig as a taste tester?
  • Grow together; learning & development opportunities including unlimited access to our Upstart University platform, LinkedIn Learning, lunch & learns, training certifications, and more
  • Equipment; we’ll provide you with the equipment you need to be successful, including $75/month toward your phone bill and $250 every 2 years to upgrade your phone
  • Paid time off; we know you’ll do your best if you’re taking time to recharge, so we don’t cap the amount of days you can take off per year in addition to the paid holidays we observe
  • Parental leave; 12 weeks off for all new parents - fully paid so you can focus your energy on your newest addition

Food & Safety Requirements

  • Comply with all Plant, State and Federal OSHA, EPA, FDA, HACCP, and SQF regulations
  • Ensure equipment design is of a material suitable for food safety and designed in a way that is smooth and easily cleanable
  • All applicants must be 18 years or older to apply