Meet Matt Conway, Project Engineer at C&J Industries in Meadville, PA
Interviewer: Hi Matt! Tell us what you do, how long you’ve done it, and what you’re good at.
Matt: I’m a Project Engineer responsible for managing a customer’s project from start to finish. I’ve been with C&J Industries for 7 years. Prior to C&J, I spent over 8 years in the automotive industry as a project and tooling engineer. That experience provided me with lots of exposure to problem solving and lean manufacturing processes which I can apply here to my current projects. I work with various market segments and enjoy the variety and unique products I get to bring to fruition.
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?
Matt: I sometimes feel like a Transformer. I have to be able to work on multiple projects at the same time and have to ‘transform’ my thinking from one project to the next. Multitasking is a must, not just going from project to project, but you need to be able to support each department internally as well. Transforming from design to manufacturing to quality can be quite the task.
Interviewer: How do you approach a project?
Matt: I approach each project with an open mind. There are many times where it may seem impossible, but understanding the obstacles that C&J has overcome so far is always a good reminder that anything is possible.
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?
Matt: I would like to see C&J maintain diversity. Being diverse helps any company, especially when you are impacting life-sustaining businesses during these times. I feel our medical capabilities are very strong, so I would like to see that increase with future clients. I would also like to see us expand more on value-added processes and assemblies.
Interviewer: What is the biggest problem you have solved for a customer?
Matt: We recently had a customer come to us with capacity needs. A unique opportunity presented itself which would allow for them to capture additional market share along with a more important task of providing life-sustaining product to patients who would need it. After working together with both our internal team and the customer, we were able to increase output by 33%, which was a huge success.
Interviewer: What type of assistance do you offer the customer?
Matt: As a project engineer, we have to be able to work closely with our customer so we can be their voice internally. We maintain constant communication and help them keep a close pulse on how their project is moving through our process. With the many resources available at C&J, we are able to provide any customer with the support they need to accomplish their goals. We are able to take them beyond molding and assembly, from design for manufacturing with flow and warp analysis, to prototyping including 3D printing and prototype tooling.
Interviewer: What is the most common request for help from customers?
Matt: Improving lead times is a very common request from customers. Time is money. We understand that and try to streamline our processes the best we can, but you can’t jeopardize quality.
Interviewer: What’s the most interesting changes you’ve experienced recently in our industry and your thoughts on it?
Matt: I think one of the most interesting changes is the advancement in the technology that can be integrated into manufacturing. One in particular is with vision and camera systems. We are currently working on a new vision system with a 360° lens which allows us to take one picture to capture the entire circumference of a barrel instead of needing to spin the part and stitch together multiple images. I’ve also seen some new vision systems starting to incorporate AI to help set up and determine a good part from a bad. I’m excited to see where this will go next.