JLS Automation has appointed Ken Harding as director of applications engineering and special products.

Harding joins JLS from Multivac, where he spent the past 15 years in engineering. After starting in the applications group and pioneering special development projects for the U.S. market, he was promoted in 2007 to director of engineering and supported U.S.-based manufacturing and led applications engineering and project management teams for primary and secondary packaging projects.

Harding was previously director of engineering and manufacturing for Marlen Research Corporation, where he focused on processing and primary packaging systems for meat, poultry, dairy and snack food industries. Prior to that, he was a technical sales and project manager for integrated systems and custom hard automation at Solar Tool & Die Inc.

In this new role, Harding will oversee the applications engineering team at JLS and work closely with the sales group to optimize the quoting process in addition to product evaluations, and identifying creative and effective solutions to customer packaging challenges.