The chemical manufacturing sector in the UK is a multi-billion pound industry that covers a wide range of products and services.
- Adhesives & coatings
- API manufacture including quality, validation and packaging
- Organics & inorganics
- Plastics, polymers, materials and composites
- Agrochemicals including fertilisers and pesticides
Depending on the size of the manufacturing operation, the chemical industry requires an extensive amount of engineering support in a multitude of disciplines. These positions are open to either apprentice-trained, graduate engineers and/ or experienced workers, so there has never been a better time to consider a move into the chemical manufacturing sector.
- Maintenance Engineers most commonly work on planned preventative maintenance (stopping things breaking down) or reactive maintenance (fixing things that have broken down – including fault finding).
- Maintenance is carried out on a number of different types of equipment so candidates from mechanical or electrical & electronic backgrounds can apply for these positions. It is possible for a multi-skilled engineer to work on more than one type of equipment.
- Chemical Engineers focus on combining engineering, science (chemistry, physics & life science) & maths to produce, process/ transform, transport and use chemicals, materials or energy.
- Chemical Engineers commonly concentrate on the interaction between chemicals and engineering/ equipment/ processes whether it is for process development, equipment reliability or other areas.
Continuous Improvement Engineer
- Continuous improvement within engineering looks at how processes, equipment & systems are improved. A CI Engineer will particularly review key areas such as cost reduction, reliability, capability, process improvement, quality and efficiency.
- CI Engineers often adopt methodologies such as lean manufacturing/ 6 sigma and utilise tools from within these such as 5S, 8D, Kaizen, Kanban etc.
- Calibration Engineers ensure a programme of calibration is carried out on equipment, instruments and systems to ensure they are running efficiently and minimise breakdowns.
- They often cross over with qualification, installation and validation activities.
- Process Engineers focus on the design, roll out, operation and continued improvement of how something is done. Most commonly used in production.
- Process Engineers most regularly come from either a chemical engineering or a mechanical engineering background.
- They often adopt methodologies such as lean manufacturing/ 6 sigma and utilise tools from within these such as 5S, 8D, Kaizen, Kanban etc.
- Mechanical Engineers combine engineering, physics and materials science for the design, testing, manufacturing, operation and maintenance of machines, products and tools.
- Mechanical Engineers are one of the broadest disciplines as they can work across many functions such as design, R&D, manufacturing, maintenance, fitters, continuous improvement, testing, quality and other functions.
- A discipline which focuses on engineering relating to electrical equipment. This can fall into a number of areas including installation and maintenance.
- Electrical Engineers most commonly require a 17th edition qualification for electrical installation/ wiring regulations as they are often involved in equipment or systems installation work.
Electronic/ Instrumentation Engineer
- Electronic engineering utilises electrical components for use in a multitude of devices including instrumentation and control equipment.
- An Electronic Engineer’s emphasis will be on instrumentation design, manufacturing and maintenance.
Production Engineer or Manufacturing Engineer
- Production/ Manufacturing Engineers either bring in and look after equipment in production OR the equipment side in conjunction with process engineering.
- They can be from a chemical engineering, mechanical engineering or electrical engineering background as they work across all types of equipment. In some niche sectors other backgrounds such as materials engineering may be desirable.
- Quality Engineers are responsible for the development, management, auditing and continuous improvement of quality standards and systems such as FDA QSR and ISO regulations. The addition of HS (or H&S) refers to health & safety, while the addition of E means environmental.
- Quality Engineers come from a number of disciplines such as mechanical engineering or electrical & electronic engineering, although in principle could be any engineering discipline. We often see individuals who start their career in a scientific field, move into a Quality Engineer function due to the cross over with quality assurance principles.
- Automation Engineers are accountable for the maintenance, installation and updating of control systems for automated equipment such as Allen Bradley or Siemens S7.
- Automation Engineers can come from a number of backgrounds such as software engineering or controls engineering. There is a high amount of cross over with software development in these roles as they are sometimes required to program within new automation languages.
If you are currently considering a move into the chemical manufacturing industry or are currently recruiting for an engineer and would like to find out more please contact our engineering recruitment team on 01246 457 718.