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Airgas Usa LLC Production Technician in Cottage Grove, Minnesota

This position has responsibility for the safe operation and maintenance of an ASU (Air Separation Unit) facility. The production technician is responsible for maintaining plant production, operating efficiency, regulatory compliance, and safety. Due to the complexity of the skill sets needed for this position, Production Technician levels have been established to distinguish work performance capabilities and the degree of independence each task is to be performed.

General Job Responsibilities and Qualifications:

An individual must be able to perform each essential responsibility successfully. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required:

  • Instills safety in others, by being safety minded and modeling good safety practices
  • Exhibits understanding of and perform job duties in compliance with all local and federal governmental regulations (FDA, OSHA, EPA, DOT, cGMP, etc.), and all company policies and procedures. (including MOC’s, PSSR’s, and QIR’s, etc.)
  • Ensuring on-site contractors, vendors, guests, or visitors site specific training requirements are met and documented, and support of Hold Harmless & Insurance Policies and Procedures.
  • Performs administrative function responsibilities as delegated by Plant Manager.
  • Interacts with national and local product scheduling to meet customer requirements.
  • Ensures customer product delivery requirements and pertinent documentation and affiliated reporting requirements are completed on time and with zero defects.
  • Compliance to Qualification and Training program in company electronic training systems.* *
  • Acquires knowledge and ability in all plant operations including processes and equipment.
  • Monitors and makes operating adjustments to optimize efficiency.
  • Demonstrates ability to communicate with both written and spoken English at the 12th grade level.
  • Mechanically inclined.
  • *

*Level I: *Entry level position. Develops and demonstrates basic skills for the process plant. Works under supervision of more senior technicians while completing training tasks. * * * 0 to 6 month of related operations experience preferred. * Retrieve and utilize Airgas SOPs * Demonstrate basic (piping, valves) understanding of P&IDs and PFDs. * Familiar with basic plant operation: taking rounds, loading trucks, conducting water tests, shift turnover.
* Small plants - can operate the plant in steady state (normal operation and knows who to contact and what to do in event of emergency or unusual conditions)

*Level II: *Works unattended completing basic activities to operate the plant and supervise site activities when more senior techs or facility manager is not available. * 1 year of related operations experience preferred. * Knowledgeable in plant HMI screens and/or control stations (operation, what to do) * Participates in Time-Out investigations, documents incidents in Intellex
* Trained and knowledgeable in the work order process; Participate in minor maintenance activities.
* Trained to perform outside/truck loading, basic board operations, compressor start-up and shutdown.
* Issues basic Safe Work Permits; Implements basic LOTO; Leads pre-job briefing (training documented in Airgas University where appropriate)
* Operates the plant (including remote facilities) in steady state (normal operation); Initiates action to take in event of emergency or unusual conditions. Operates back-up system (if applicable) without assistance.

*Level III: *Demonstrates in-depth understanding of plant process. Exhibits an understanding of customer requirements, operational goals and demands, plant process optimization, and critical process loops Acts and assumes key responsibilities of Facility Manager during his/her absence. * Associates degree / technical training preferred in a chemical plant operations with refrigeration, screw compressors, reciprocating compressors, water treatment, absorption beds and desiccant dryers, analyzers, and other process equipment required. * 2-5 years related experience preferred. * Trained on and calibrates analyzers. * Performs minor maintenance activities; Maintains local spare parts; Performs minor PM activities.
* Performs ASU/NLU/LCO2/HPN cold plant start-up (H2 warm); performs routine VSA start-up (if applicable)
* Monitors, understands and can explain Facility KPI's; Updates downtime in SAP and/or LIRE when required
* Applies process safety programs (MOC, etc.) to operations
* Ability to understand plant Interlock Schedule including what triggers Interlocks and Shutdowns, and what resulting actions occur. Demonstrates detailed understanding of P&IDs and can draw plant process schematic from memory.
* Participates in root cause analysis for incidents, near misses, Good Catches; Troubleshoots single piece of equipment for root cause of abnormal situation * Board operations, start-up and shutdown without assistance from senior level or can direct start-up and shutdown activities requiring multiple technicians, basic plant troubleshooting. * Coordinates major maintenance activities. Completes complex safe-work permitting and LOTO. * Alarm management and troubleshoots subsystems for root cause of abnormal situations.

*Level IV: *Demonstrates advanced knowledge and understanding of control board and operating off of operator interface consoles. Conducts efficiency analysis (power, heat transfer, etc.); including advanced troubleshooting, and optimizes plant processes successfully. * Bachelor's Degree / advanced technical training preferred in a chemical plant operations with refrigeration, screw compressors, reciprocating compressors, water treatment, absorption beds and desiccant dryers, analyzers, and other process equipment required. * 5-10 years of related operations experience preferred. * ASU/NLU/LCO2/HPN warm plant start-up (H2 cold), without assistance.
* Develops/writes site SOPs
* Electrical qualification to rack in/out breakers (if applicable). Can read basic electrical one-line diagrams
* Identifies areas of improvements and takes action to correct out of spec Facility KPI's (including remote facilities, if applicable)
* Demonstrates safety leadership by: 1) develop/design IDL; 2) lead safety meetings; 3) lead HSES self-inspection
* Involvement in generating and maintaining site-specific Standard Operating Procedures, P&ID’s, PFD’s, and all other technical documentation as relates to operational or equipment processes. * Senior level plus multiple plant/technology experience (can be I&E, maint. etc.) * Directs and develops plant derime or NH3 system pumpdown (CO2); experience as lead with 2-3 hands-on activities
* Manages action items as assigned (from audits, incidents, etc.) and tracks to completion
* Reliability LIRE Level 1/2 reporting
* Designs preventative action plan to avoid process upsets
* Demonstrates safety leadership by: 1) participate in PHA/Risk Assessment; 2) Safety Champion; 3) lead what-if drills; 4) conduct self-assessments on safe work permits


  • May be assigned and must be willing to work rotating shifts.
  • May be required to be on call and shares “On-call” responsibilities with Facility Manager as needed.
  • Must be able to wear required PPE safety equipment including, hardhat, safety glasses, safety. shoes/boots, ear protection, and possible respirator protection.
  • Must be able to lift 60 lbs.
  • Must be willing to travel as needed for training or to support other sites.
  • Follows policies and procedures and adheres to notification procedures for vacation scheduling, floating holidays, and personal days off.
  • Fills in for vacations and emergency shift relief coverage as situations warrant.

EOE AA M/F/Vet/Disability

Qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to their race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, protected veteran status, or disability.

Job: *Operations

Title: Production Technician

Location: Minnesota-Cottage Grove-55016

Requisition ID: 30100