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Process and Automation 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

Thorlabs is one of the world’s best manufacturers of optomechanical products for the photonics industry. Our machine shop houses nearly 60 CNC machines, Wire EDM, grinding capabilities, Chemical Passivation, and Anodization capabilities. In addition, it will double in size over the next 5 years thanks to the new building that it will move into this summer. The process and automation engineer is responsible for creating and implementing COGS reduction initiatives and to lead the digital transformation and automation of the machine shop. They will work closely with senior leaders in the Mechanics business unit to continually improve the operation in order to deliver better value to our customers and to create a modern, safe, and productive working environment for shop employees.

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

  • Identify COGS reduction opportunities in the machine shop
  • Successfully implement COGS reduction initiatives
    • E.g., improve machine prints, process sheets, tooling choices, jigs/tooling, etc.
  • Identify automation and digital transformation opportunities in the machine shop
  • Successfully implement automation and digital transformation initiatives
    • E.g., automate repetitive tasks, install sensors and other systems to help utilize the data to improve productivity
  • Identify opportunities to improve in-process inspection methods and metrology equipment used throughout the machine shop
  • Document and carry out shop floor implementation tests for new manufacturing processes
  • Train production employees on standard operating procedures
  • Update drawings to improve manufacturability
  • Work with the design engineering team to ensure manufacturability of new products
  • Provide technical support for quality or manufacturing issues
Job Requirements



  • 5 years of experience in automation and/or manufacturing process


  • B.S. Degree in Mechanical Engineering or Similar

Specialized Knowledge and Skills:

  • Solidworks
  • CNC Programing and Operation
  • ISO Documentation
  • Strong sense of ownership and work ethic, written and verbal communication skills.
  • Demonstrated problem solving skills
  • Proficient computer skills
  • Strong ability to work well in a group atmosphere, and comply with high quality standards.
  • Strong ability to shift from one task to another to address changing production priorities.

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 identify 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.

22 February 2021
24 March 2021
Bachelor's Degree
Optical Components, Lasers, Sensors