Otter Tail Corporation Design Engineer in Otsego, Minnesota

Company Overview:

Experience matters. Since 1948, T.O. Plastics has manufactured quality custom thermoformed parts and packaging, and provided exceptional service to customers around the world. One of the top 100 thermoforming companies in North America, T.O. Plastics delivers value by focusing on customer needs and by offering a full range of services from design-to-distribution. At T.O. Plastics, we are dedicated to excellence and we leverage our experience and core competency to develop customized, cost-effective solutions for businesses in diverse markets. T.O. Plastics has facilities in both Clearwater and Otsego, Minnesota.

It is our Mission to “delight and serve our customers with innovative thermoform solutions”.

Position Summary:

The Design Engineer is responsible for designing and developing the necessary products, tooling and processes for both internal and external customers. This role is responsible for supporting products thru the entire life cycle of the program with emphasis on the Development thru Production phases. The Design Engineer will be primarily located in the Otsego, MN, facility with approximately 20% of their time spent at or supporting the Clearwater, MN, facility.

Safety is # 1 at T.O. Plastics: Our expectation is that upper management:

  • Continuously strives to reduce the frequency of total employee incidents and injuries.

  • Continuously strives to reduce the frequency of employee incident and injuries resulting in days away from work, restricted duty and/or job transfer.

  • Minimum compliance achieved on annual safety audits or assessments

  • Maintain operations that are compliant with OSHA and other applicable safety and health regulations.

Essential Functions:

  • Model and promote a culture of safety throughout the company.

  • Lead development of products including part designs, mold & die designs, and prototyping efforts.

  • Communicate technical information regarding capabilities, timelines, and design details to customers on a regular basis.

  • Communicate with machining and tooling vendors regularly in a technical capacity.

  • Manage projects in an ISO environment to ensure project requirements, costs, and timelines are met.

  • Drive and analyze product risk and failure analysis (FMEA).

  • Recognize and act on opportunities for manufacturing improvements related to equipment, tooling, and process flow.

  • Utilize detailed prints and documentation to communicate the intent of the work, design, or assembly to other departments and vendors.

  • Actively support the implementation of advanced Lean processes and 6S as applicable to their own work, the department, and production areas.

  • Create and present management reports for new product schedules and feasibility analyses.

  • Work with other engineers in evaluating, improving, and maintaining standard products, including the writing of work instructions.

  • Provide design support to other departments as required (i.e., Production, Quality, Maintenance, etc.).

  • Team member for analysis and resolution on product returns, complaints, or other product investigations.

  • Drive efforts to build consistent and achievable quality into new product designs, specifications, and processes.

  • Other duties and tasks as determined by T.O. Plastics leadership.


  • S. in Engineering discipline (Mechanical or Plastics Engineering preferred).

  • 3 years’ experience in thermoforming industry and tool design.

  • High level of proficiency in SolidWorks 2015 (or newer version).

  • Experience with ASME Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing.

  • Experience in an ISO (preferably 9001 and/or 13485) or FDA regulated environment.

  • Strong project management skills.

  • Good oral and written communication skills.

  • Ability to cross-functionally coordinate company initiatives and work as part of a team.

  • Formal training or exposure to Lean methodologies and Operational Excellence.

  • Evidence of ongoing training as required to keep skills current and relevant.

  • Knowledge of precision machining is helpful.

  • Knowledge of prototyping strategies such as 3D printing is helpful.

  • Basic computer knowledge of Microsoft Office products (i.e., Outlook, Excel, Word, PowerPoint).


The Product Development/Design Engineer position requires a balance of sitting/office work and walking/standing on the production floor and warehouse. The position requires a balance of hands on work and office work. The production environment at times can be hot, loud and demanding. Safety glasses, hearing protection and certain clothing restrictions are required on the production floor. The production floor and warehouses require mobility and are a fast-moving environment. Some travel to customers, trade shows, suppliers, external meetings, etc. is required.

QualificationsRequiredPreferredLicenses & CertificationsRequiredPreferred