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Production Manager Chemical Engineering

Lugoff, SC
April 23, 2020

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Phil Riester

** ********* *****

Lugoff, SC ***** 803-***-**** (cell) 803-***-**** (home)

Objective: Acquire A Production Manager Position To Utilize My Experience And Skills

An experienced, performance-driven production manager, process development team leader, and senior process engineer offering a strong track record of success leading, motivating, counseling, and improving an operations team along with a commitment to safety and quality.

Leading/Directing Over 30 Employees

Behavioral Based Safety Improvement

Improving production/EBITDA

Aligning Strategic Goals With RR&E’s

Knowledgeable on PSM/OSHA 1910.119

Business Acumen/Business Plans

Improving Employee Morale

Solving Problems/Root Cause Analysis

Six Sigma Green Belt/Lean/5S

Professional Experience

Fiber Industries Sep/2019 – Apr/2020

Fiber Industries is a privately-held company, established by MHR Fund Management LLC, a New York-based investment firm. Fiber Industries is a producer of polyester staple fiber for the apparel, nonwoven, and fiberfill markets and is located in Darlington, SC.

Process Development Engineer – Darlington, SC


• Lead the process control loop verification project and supervision of the E&I staff prior to plant startup.

• Owner of the fiber spinning area and process including plant startup.

• Provide technical support for the polymer area including chemical feed systems for monomer and polymer production.

• Owner of the chemical services area including batch chemical feed systems for antimony, optical brightener, titanium dioxide, and fiber finishes.

• Owner of the pack services area including spinneret inspection and spinning pack construction.

• Assist the production organization in troubleshooting process or equipment performance problems limiting plant output, quality, or safety and environmental compliance.

• Participate in Root Cause Analysis determination to correct process, equipment, or safety, health and environmental problems.


• Successfully lead the E&I staff and process control loop verification and calibration 4-month project prior to plant startup.

• Four fiber spinning machines successfully started up and optimized to first quality status.

• Assisted polymer team with improved viscosity control on the secondary esterifier vessel for improved fiber spinning.

• Optimized antimony solubilization batch process and reduced cycle time by 20%.

• Established a new pack performance tracking system and improved pack life by 18%.

Invista (subsidiary of Koch Industries) Oct/2018 – Sep/2019

Invista is a producer of chemicals, polymers, fabrics, and fibers. Nylon 6,6 polymer is produced and spun into fibers for high-end carpets for Stainmaster® and Antron® brands in the Lugoff facility.

Process Development Team Leader – Lugoff, SC


• Lead a technical team of six (PhD scientists, chemical engineers, and technicians) for innovating and advancing new research & development and process improvement projects from scouting to commercialization.

• My role was part leader and part individual contributor meaning some projects are supervised and others owned.

• Aligning RR&E’s with organizational goals and mentoring employees on skills and knowledge to advance projects.

• Collaborating with and sharing knowledge with other team members in developing new products and processes or troubleshooting existing ones.

• Conducting or coordinating pilot and manufacturing facility trials.


• Managed BCF spin improvement team to increase yields on residential carpet yarn from 84% to 88%.

• Lead R&D and process efforts on a new varying denier product with $1MM sales potential.

• Lead polymer consolidation and product transfers for curtailment of older assets to reduce production costs by $750k.

• Lead R&D and process efforts for a pre-twisted yarn product with a potential 10% increase in value.

• Developed RR&E’s and mentored my team on MBM® principles of integrity, stewardship & compliance, principled entrepreneurship, transformation, knowledge, humility, respect, and self-actualization.

Phil Riester

Page Two •

Suominen/Ahlstrom Oct/2009 – Sep/2018

A global nonwoven manufacturer of roll goods with annual revenue exceeding 400M€. A publicly traded company utilizing Spunlace, Wetlaid, and Thermobond technologies producing wipes in the Personal, Hygiene, Industrial, and Medical markets, headquartered in Helsinki, Finland.

Production Manager – Bethune, SC Oct/2015 – Sep/2018

Responsible for the operations of a high end spunlace nonwovens production line producing fabric for 30 million baby wipes per day and $55 million in annual sales. Managing, mentoring, coaching, and hiring for a team of 31 (process engineer, manufacturing engineer, CI technician, 4 lead operators, 24 technical operators) to run the spunlace operation. Lead, champion, mentor and coach a culture of zero incidents through behavioral based safety concepts, risk identification, and hazard recognition. Foster the strategy of area ownership by operators for the entire department to achieve world class OEE, raw material efficiency, waste reduction, and continuous improvement. Partner with our key suppliers and customers to add value, anticipate the needs of our customers, and provide products that are highly desired and valued. Develop and execute one and five-year business plans and updated budgets to improve business mix and profitability.


• Initiated Behavioral Based Safety program resulting in zero loss time accidents.

• One-year business plan completed and goal met of sold out production line with $55 million in annual sales.

• Improved the morale and performance of my team of 31 employees by providing a work environment based on respect, honest communications, and trust and with one-on-one listening sessions and improved training.

• Applied strategy of area ownership by operators and improved profitability 5% by reducing controllable costs, labor variances, and WIP.

• Lead continuous improvement programs for a goal of 85% OEE and 94% RME.

Senior Process Engineer – Bethune, SC Oct/2009 – Oct/2015

Responsible for contributing to the profitable growth of the spunlace line through effective process improvements. Responsible for coordinating and exercising technical authority for process control ensuring continuous quality improvement, high raw material efficiencies, and OEE. Also, responsible for R&D in new product design using Statistical Design of Experiments, material construction, and polymer fiber development/improvement. Plant functions include process, specification, and quality ownership of raw materials and spunlace processes including carding, calendering, hydro-entangling, and slitting and rewinding; owner of in-line quality measurement systems, basis weight gauges, defect vision systems, and metal detection; writing and controlling raw material specifications, Data & Statistical analysis, Root Cause Analysis, Six Sigma/Lean Projects, FMEA’s, 5S, implementing CAPA processes, and work instructions; championing the validation program for equipment and processes; providing technical service assistance to customers; utilizing MS Office, GE-IFIX software, Minitab, and SAP.


• Lead continuous improvement/Lean teams to improve water quality, roll changes, pit stops, and reduce line stops to increase OEE from 77% to 83%.

• Redesigned a high-end baby wipe fabric in a Joint R&D Team effort to improve performance by 2X and reduce costs by 10%.

• Assisted in the improvement and development of polymer fibers including the finish chemistry, spinning, drawing and final fiber properties to reduce waste from 8% to 6%.

• Lead a recycling initiative of fabric with polymer fibers and saved $1 million in raw materials.

• Initiated a new validation program plant wide and process control strategy to improve our customer score card from 47 to 92.

Phil Riester

Page Three •

Polymer Group Inc. (now Berry Global) Jul/1999 – Oct/2009

A global nonwoven fabric and products manufacturer with annual revenue exceeding $1B. A publicly traded company utilizing Through-Air Bond, Needle Punch, Air-Laid, Spunlace, Spunbond, and Melt Blown technologies servicing the Hygiene, Industrial, Medical, and Wipes markets, headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Senior Process Engineer – North Little Rock, AR

Responsible for improvement of all assigned assets through effective process engineering. Duties included process and quality ownership of nonwoven lines including carding, calendering, through air bonding, spunlace, needle punch, and wet-laid; directing Statistical DOEs for R&D efforts; management of the QA lab personnel, and quality systems; developing SOPs and specifications for new products and raw materials; writing and controlling FMEA, process map, and PPAP documentation as a Tier II supplier; implementing the SPC program including cpk studies and training of operators; providing technical service assistance to customers; and sponsoring and leading the continuous safety improvement program.


• Developed a new safety program, fully trained and engaged operators, and reduced the OIR from 7.12 to 0.0.

• Assisted in a Joint R&D project for a new liquid filter including the development of a new low melt PE/PP bi-component polymer fiber adding $2 million in new business.

• Established and lead Hoshin, Kaizen, and 5S programs and reduced customer complaints from 0.41% to 0.08%.

• Implemented SPC to the floor which improved product capability from 1.5σ to 4.0σ.

• Lead a green initiative capital project to reclaim and use 10% waste, saving over $600k per year.

Hercules Incorporated (Ashland now Solenis) Mar/1988 - Jul/1999

A global specialty chemicals company with annual revenue exceeding $2B. Solenis is a publicly traded company producing chemicals for water management in the pulp and paper, and other industries.

District Technical Sales Representative – Norcross, GA Jun/1998 - Jul/1999

Responsible for management assistance and mentoring of 10 paper chemical sales people in the Southeastern US Region. Assisted with sales, meetings, strategic plans, presentations, equipment, and technical issues to secure and increase market share. Large multi-product customers were emphasized. Regional sales increased from $33 million to $36 million.

Senior Technical Sales Representative – Jacksonville, FL Sep/1993 - Jun/1998

Responsible for sales and service of specialty chemicals to the Paper Industry. Expertise in Polyamide Wet Strength Resins, Creping Aids, Rosin Sizes, and Alkaline Sizes. Focus of sales at the executive levels and on multi-year contracts. Established a new satellite sales office to better meet customer needs. Doubled sales to $3.7 million. Recognized for acquiring 3-year $7 million contract.

Technical Sales Representative – Green Bay, WI Mar/1988 - Sep/1993

Responsible for selling and providing technical support for specialty paper chemicals. Specialized in improving wet strength and creping performance for tissue and towel products. Expertise in customer conversion to alkaline papermaking. Increased sales to $2 million.

Education / Associations

Master of Science in Chemical Engineering

Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering

Minors in Mathematics and Chemistry

UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS − Fayetteville, Arkansas


Principles of Lean Manufacturing

Six Sigma Green Belt

Kepner Tregoe Problem-Solving

360 Leadership Training

GE IFIX Training

Collaborative Meeting Training

Minitab Knowledgeable

Microsoft Office

Quality Window SPC

Cognex/Ametek Vision Systems

Fortress Metal Detectors

ISO 9001


American Society for Quality

American Institute of Chemical Engineers

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Volunteer



Nonwovens Industry


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