Senior Manufacturing Engineer

Whisker, formerly known as AutoPets, is the maker of Litter-Robot, Feeder-Robot, and At Whisker, we believe pet parenthood can always get better.

As leading innovators in pet tech and refined pet accessories, we work tirelessly to solve problems and deliver smarter insights for pet parents while enriching the lives of pets. Whether it’s a self-cleaning litter box that automates scooping, an automatic feeder that helps pets develop healthier eating habits, or a modern cat tree that delights both humans and felines, we strive to deliver better solutions for consumers while transforming pet care along the way. To us, having a pet is the best thing ever. At Whisker, life together just keeps getting better.

Whisker is based in Auburn Hills, Michigan and Juneau, Wisconsin with 350+ passionate Team Members.

What You’ll Do:

The Sr. Manufacturing Engineer is responsible for the continued optimization of our manufacturing processes - on and off the assembly line, layout and optimization of our fulfillment operations, cost performance from suppliers, assembly and material flow processes, and overall continued optimization of our plant.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

This list of duties and responsibilities is not all inclusive and may be expanded to include other duties and responsibilities, as deemed necessary.

  • Study current assembly and material flow processes by participating / working with current assembly teams in all facets of the operation with a focus on continuous improvement 
  • Looking for an engineer that has a hands-on, action oriented approach
    • Understand and implement most appropriate material flow and assembly processes based on anticipated near future volumes keeping budgets and available personnel in mind
    • Be a creative problem solver with mechanical aptitude and ability to visualize and implement solutions
    • Promote and support solutions that are “out of the box” 
    • Labor and waste reduction through process optimization and automation
  • Experience with plant layout and optimization in manufacturing and fulfillment environments is essential. 
  • Experience with design, justification, and implementation of automation in manufacturing, inspection, and fulfillment
  • Must be able to work with the Design Engineering team to move products from the design stage through pre-production acceptance and into full production.  
    • Development of manufacturing and assembly processes
    • Design of fixtures and tooling
    • Development of labor costs and manufacturing bills of materials 
  • Work with Quality and Design Engineering to identify opportunities to enhance overall quality 
    • Implement processes or design changes that enhance or promote overall quality - Poka-yoke, Design for Assembly, and In Process Testing
    • Management of supplier issues
    • Develop effective work instructions and other plant level documentation
    • Quickly address and develop solutions to quality problems identified from customers or by engineering
  • Work with Quality Engineering to develop thorough and efficient processes and procedures for incoming inspection - requires coordination with suppliers such that all are aware of required inspection processes
  • Design and construct fixtures using 3D CAD/rapid prototyping and/or communicate desired design and specifications for fixtures and assembly equipment to internal and outside vendors.  Need to be open to both vendor and associate suggestions - team approach
  • Expected to coordinate with Purchasing and Supply Chain to optimize material and component flow into the plant such that growth may be achieved with minimal disruptions or shut-downs
  • Provide assistance and recommendations to the senior leadership team in developing long term expansion plans, including facility and equipment additions to support long term growth
  • Will perform additional responsibilities when required


What You’ll Bring:

  • BA in manufacturing or mechanical engineering or equivalent experience
  • At least 6 years in manufacturing operations 
  • Must understand and apply Lean Manufacturing principles as well as have a strong grasp of statistical analysis (Cp, Cpk, Six Sigma, 5S) 
  • Experience with identifying, specifying, and implementing automation systems at the plant and assembly line level
  • Established technical knowledge and ability in manufacturing engineering disciplines
  • Ability to demonstrate high level of analytical ability, communication and interpersonal skills required to build relationships with team members and customers to solve problems and resolve issues
  • Demonstrated ability to manage multiple projects and assignments with medium level of autonomy and high accountability for results (may work under the direction of a more seasoned process engineer)
  • Demonstrated ability in project management skills; including using Gantt charts and other project management tools to increase efficiency and output
  • Must be a good listener that focuses on meaningful implementation of improved processes with measurable results
  • Maintains confidentiality of the information processed
  • Ability to thrive in a fast-paced manufacturing environment
  • Ability to maintain a professional atmosphere in a fast-paced environment with numerous interactions and interruptions
  • High degree of initiative, self-motivation and ability to motivate others
  • Ability to provide a working atmosphere that is positive and productive
  • Ability to establish and maintain cooperative working relationships with team members and colleagues

Not Required but nice to have!

  • Experience with consumer products and plastic injection molding operations and principles
  • Experience with evaluating product packaging and working with vendors to reduce product damage 
  • Experience with material delivery automation such as AGVs, fulfillment center systems such as pick-to-light, and related optimization systems

Benefits & Purrks:

Join a tenacious, inventive company that empowers team members to chart their own path, lead by grounding decisions in the “why”, and has a strong sense of empathy and openness to new perspectives. Be a part of exciting growth, work with incredible people, and create tomorrow’s pet products—plus a whole lot of extras. You will also be provided with:

  • Premium Medical/Dental/Vision insurance
  • Life Insurance
  • PTO
  • 14 Paid Holidays
  • Paid Parental Leave
  • 401K with 4% Match
  • Flexible Work Arrangements
  • Top of the line equipment

Statement of Inclusivity:

We believe different perspectives make Whisker better and strive to create a place where everyone has equal opportunities to thrive.