Meet Jordan Walker, Project Engineer at C&J Industries
Interviewer: Tell us what you do, how long you’ve done it, and what you’re good at.
Jordan: I am currently a Project Engineer that is responsible for managing a customer’s project through C&J’s internal processes and supporting the customer’s requirements to get a project completed and ready for production. In this role, I am the customer’s representative to our internal departments as well as C&J’s representative to the customer on their project. I have been working as a Project Engineer at C&J Industries for about 13 years after I was a Mold Designer for the first 5 years. My education in Plastics Engineering Technology from Behrend as well as my experience at C&J with understanding our processes provides me a good background to be efficient at problem solving. Whether it is a product design challenge, a tooling issue, or complex assembly equipment, I feel comfortable and confident leading the process to find a solution.
Interviewer: Given the responsibilities of your role and our specific industry, plastic injection molding, what would you say is your fictional pop culture alter ego?
Jordan: Honestly I am not very up to speed with pop culture, but at times I am like an investigative detective. Working with little information and trying to navigate through several theories to see where the science and facts lead to. Oftentimes the answer is a long ways on a winding path through a jungle of distractions from where you started.
Interviewer: How do you approach a project?
Jordan: I approach each project as a unique challenge, starting with the known information transferred to me and the internal C&J Team from Estimating. This is the beginning of understanding what the customer is expecting. Reviewing all of the information provides a picture of the customer’s requirements and how C&J intends to meet these requirements. Working with the Design Team, we develop a mold layout and I summarize any concerns or changes to the customer for their approval and to keep them informed. Through weekly updates with the Toolshop Manager, I keep close tabs on the schedule of the tool build. I also work with the Manufacturing Engineering group on any secondary assembly process or part handling. Once the mold is finished, I support the Processing Team with any issues that come up with developing a robust process. As the Quality Team works through the validation process, I assist with the review and submittal to the customer. Throughout the entire process, I am in constant communication with the customer letting them know how C&J is progressing on their project.
Interviewer: Do you consider yourself a pioneer in anyway? If not, what makes your process work for you? What’s your motto?
Jordan: I don’t consider myself a pioneer. I am a product of a few great mentors and an excellent Team at C&J. I have been fortunate enough to learn from some excellent minds during my time at school and in the industry. Being part of a good team with open minds and working towards a common goal is what makes the process successful. I believe there is always something to learn, and you get out of it what you put into it. Therefore, my motto is if you aren’t learning anything then you aren’t trying.
Interviewer: What do you enjoy or find interesting about the plastics industry?
Jordan: There is always something unique or new. With an infinite combination of part geometries, materials, mold layouts, applications, and several other factors there is always something new that comes along. I enjoy the challenge of learning about a new technique, or trying to figure out how to make something work even if it hasn’t been done before.
Interviewer: What’s the most interesting changes you’ve experienced recently in our industry and your thoughts on it?
Jordan: I find it extremely interesting to see the advancement of additive manufacturing. The typical manufacturing process is being challenged through the increased uses of additive manufacturing both on the plastic part side and the tooling side of the industry. There are challenges in certain areas such as regulatory, but that just creates more innovation to find a solution. What was once thought as impossible, is now an opportunity to leverage growing technology for more applications.
Interviewer: What type of clients would you like to see C&J work with in the future? How would you like to see us grow?
Jordan: I have seen C&J have a tremendous amount of success when building long lasting customer relationships. The opportunity to work with returning customers on multiple projects is always exciting. It provides an opportunity to learn from what worked and what didn’t in the past, and provide better results. Obviously it is always great to bring on new customers to expand our capabilities and help them be successful as well. We see a variety of customers with some very new to the manufacturing process and some that are very experienced. As long as there is an open line of communication, we can create a partnership for success.