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Manufacturing Engineer

Thorlabs, Inc., Newton, NJ, United States
Employer Description

Founded in 1989, Thorlabs seeks to accelerate the forward movement of scientific discovery and advancement! As a vertically integrated manufacturer of photonics components, instruments, and systems, our vast product portfolio includes over 20,000 items, ranging from optics and optomechanical positioning components to imaging systems, many of which are customer inspired.

Photonics is the foremost technology driving innovation in science and engineering. As the number of technological innovations has grown, Thorlabs has extended its core competencies in an effort to play an ever increasing role serving the Photonics Industry at the research end, as well as the industrial, life science, medical, and defense segments.

Headquartered in Newton, NJ, Thorlabs has grown to over 1800 employees with manufacturing and sales offices in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Sweden, Japan, China, and Brazil. As light-based technologies push into new markets, Thorlabs plans to enter early with the products and services required to ensure the ultimate success of our customers.

Job Description

The MBU Manufacturing Engineer is responsible for providing engineering support and continuous improvement to the production assembly environment for products and processes in order to maximize production efficiency. This includes maintaining and enforcing the high quality standards of components and products produced within the MBU through understanding the needs of the customer. This individual will support and act on behalf of the engineering group in regards to product design, manufacture, production, assembly training, troubleshooting, and critical decision making of quality. They will support the production floor with technical knowledge and guidance, assembly tooling, fixtures and jigs, and product set-up.

The ideal candidate should be highly organized with a vast attention to detail bringing energy, enthusiasm, and a continuous improvement mindset to deliver the best value to our customers. The project based position works under general supervision within a manufacturing team environment. Although the location of the position is in Newton, NJ, from time to time it may be required to undertake duties at other Thorlabs locations.

Essential Job Functions include the following, but are not limited to:

  • Support and improve the Manufacturing, Assembly, Quality, and Cost of the product portfolio through understanding the needs of our customers.
  • Establish, implement, and uphold processes and procedures to ensure the high standard of quality is maintained in all aspects of design, manufacturing, and assembly.
  • Be aware of critical inventory conditions and product urgencies as well as production, manufacture, and supply concerns, providing assistance and options where possible.
  • Support the production floor with technical knowledge and guidance, assisting in product troubleshooting, and assembly issues to minimize or eliminate production downtime.
  • Monitor, review, and enhance assembly cell efficiencies by utilizing assembly time studies, design or assembly improvements, and assembly aides for legacy products.
  • Organize and layout production cells for optimal efficiency providing all necessary equipment and assembly tools. Ensure cells are fully equipped to build product safely and efficiently.
  • Ensure assembly personnel, managers, and inspectors are clearly trained on new product introductions, advising assembly techniques and identifying critical features and functions.
  • Implement product improvements and minor redesigns for manufacturability and ease of assembly.
  • Embed testing, inspection, and quality assurance steps within the assembly process.
  • Review or revise assembly instructions for consistency and logical flow of assembly steps.
  • Conduct and record continuous improvement projects for impactful cost saving measures.
  • Identify, specify, and acquire appropriate equipment and essential assembly tools, jigs, and fixtures.
  • Provide feedback to engineering on manufacturability, product concerns, and improvement ideas for design standards.
  • Utilize automation where possible to improve the assembly process.
  • Solve and improve product packaging.
  • Support the additional demand from special products and OEM business.



  • 3 years of related experience within a production manufacturing environment.


  • Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering or similar.

Specialized Knowledge and Skills:

  • Computer proficiency and knowledge of, but not limited to, Microsoft products, ERP software, and Solidworks.
  • Understanding of blueprint interpretation, geometric tolerancing, classifications of fit.
  • Knowledge of standard inspection methods and tools.
  • Experience with quality improvement tools and techniques (i.e., Lean, Six Sigma, Statistical Process Control, and Failure Mode & Effects Analysis).
  • Strong ability to work independently within a team environment, and comply with high quality standards.
  • Strong leadership, attention to detail, and multi-tasking skills.
  • Demonstrated assembly, problem solving, and decision-making skills.
  • Strong sense of ownership and work ethic, written and verbal communication skills.

Thorlabs values its diverse environment and is proud to be an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified individuals will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age or veteran status. Job descriptions are not intended as and do not create employment contracts. The organization maintains its status as an at-will employer. Employees can be terminated for any reason not prohibited by law.

11 September 2019
11 October 2019
Bachelor's Degree
Advanced Manufacturing