Controls Engineer

Auburn Hills, Michigan, United States (USA), AKKA [2019-10128]

Field(s) of expertise
Electronics Engineering
Job type

About this job

The Controls Engineer will work to develop machine and process concepts along with several Manufacturing Engineering peers. Candidate will create a robust system architecture to support the concept, and then layout electrical/pneumatic schematics. Once the electrical panel is built, he/she will program all controls components such as PLC, safety devices, HMI, servo drives, process hardware and robots from power-on to debug, and finally to process fine tuning and validation.

The Controls Engineer will also work with cross-functional teams throughout the entire lifecycle of the product and processes. He/She will work closely with Product Design Engineering, Quality, Production and Maintenance to bring components from initial design, through prototype development and finally into full production.


  • In-house equipment development:
    • Participate in initial equipment conceptual development and carefully balance product specifications, process control requirements, layout complexity, cost, quality and lead-time limits.
    • Lay out new industrial electrical control panels which are NFPA79/NEC/UL508A compliant, and create electrical, pneumatic and fluid schematics.
    • Architect, write, and debug PLC ladder logic with an emphasis on generating code that is organized, structured, documented, maintainable and reusable. PLC code will interact with subsystems such as conveyors, robots, Manufacturing Execution System (MES), LabView, machine vision, and 3rd party equipment.
    • Implement (ANSI/RIA15.06/OSHA compliant) control reliable safety systems for safeguarding robots, gantries, conveyors, and other high volume manufacturing equipment.
    • Generate aesthetically simple HMI screens for complex machinery while providing sufficient feedback for troubleshooting.
    • Manage electrical cabinet builds, field wiring, pneumatic and fluid plumbing.
    • Select and size electrical and electromechanical components such as servos.
    • Introduce automated processes into production, and train and Maintenance and Production Teams to support after deployment into production.
    • Create machine interactions with plant-wide Manufacturing Execution System (MES) to communicate product acceptability, machine status, and process variables.
  • Outsourced automation equipment development:
    • Participate in specification and standard creation, release to Vendor and quote technical evaluation.
    • Enforce application of standards, Manage suppliers during specification, design review, design approval.
    • Establish test plans and control test plan execution at Vendor and at Company facility during installation and buy-off.
    • Characterize and validate new automated process equipment for deployment into production.
  • Existing automation equipment refinement:
    • Debug and optimize automated processes to maximize cycle time, improve availability and yield.
    • Characterize and validate automated processes using a data driven approach such as simulation, Capacity and Capability


  • Requirements:
    • Proficiency with process integration and electromechanical/mechatronic systems.
    • In depth knowledge of Electrical Standards (NFPA79, National Electric code, UL508A).
    • In depth knowledge of Safety standards (ANSI/RIA15.06, OSHA).
    • Advanced proficiency programming industrial equipment: Ladder logic PLCs (Allen Bradley ControlLogix, CompactLogix and RSLogix 5000); Safety PLCs (Allen Bradley ControlLogix, SmartGuard); Human Machine Interface (HMI/GUI – AB Panelview, FactoryTalk, LabView, Ignition); Field bus Networks (AB DeviceNet, Ethernet IP, Safety rated field bus networks); & Ethernet communications between machine PLCs and database systems.
    • Demonstrated excellence in programming PLCs.
    • Must have a well-defined methodology for maintaining code structure and organization.
    • Ability to program state machines for complex processes which involve multi-station parallel. processing, pick and place automation, data acquisition, and PID control.
    • Proven ability to design fault-tolerant systems with error handling and recovery.
  • Qualifications:
    • BS/MS Electrical Engineering (or equivalent – Majors in: Controls and Computer Control Systems, Mechatronic Engineering, Automation Engineering, etc.), or equivalent experience.
    • 5+ years of experience as a hands-on Controls Engineer or Applications Engineer working on automation and/or electromechanical systems.
    • Experience managing capital projects and vendors.

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