Principal Engineer – Automation & Controls

Fond du Lac
Full Time

Job Details


Applies complex engineering techniques to design, develop, install and maintain industrial instrumentation and controls systems for the manufacturing of Cheese and Whey products. Assumes responsibility to lead the automation and control portion of projects, for large sized capital projects. Mentor other Associates and provide technical expertise for key projects throughout the organization

Job Duties & Responsibilities

1. Overall Scope

a. Possesses advanced knowledge and specialized understanding of professional engineering concepts, principles, practices and procedures.

b. Independently performs a variety of highly complex engineering work with general supervision and guidance usually only in the most complex situations.

c. Provides expertise in conceptual design and construction implementation of highly complex systems.

d. Demonstrates ability to lead and oversee highly complex/high profile projects.

e. Makes critical contributions to managing and solving highly complex and/or large technical challenges using broad perspectives to identify solutions.

f. Prepares clear, technically accurate and documented explanations related to highly complex projects.

g. Recognized mentor and technically credible role model and expert within the organization.

h. Coordinates work of other engineers, technicians, and support staff, and monitors their progress to assure compliance.

i. Ensures communication is understood and accomplishes the intended objectives.

j. Provides management and leadership for the continuous improvement and optimization of the manufacturing processes and innovative design concepts to provide best value for the investment.

k. Provides consultation and advises on best practices for plant design, process equipment, tools, techniques, and regulations/codes.

l. Designs, develops and implements new products, processes, test methods, and equipment.

m. Provides technical expertise on components, methods, systems and equipment.

n. Leads engineering studies for process improvements and validations.

o. Develops physical and functional test requirements to ensure specifications and regulations are met.

p. Leads and directs cross-functional teams and serves as a resource for best practices.

2. Project Management

a. Responsible for project leadership and direction of implementation of capital and other engineering related improvements involving the following major areas: cheese and whey processing, buildings/facilities, specifications, utilities, equipment, electrical, automation and controls, contract administration, start-up, and commissioning.

b. Define scope and overall management of complex projects including: determining project objectives, timelines, budgets, resources, tasks, and supervising progress to ensure objectives are being met.

c. Responsible for identification, specification, requisitioning, and coordination with procurement for the purchase and delivery of project components and equipment necessary for implementation of projects.

d. Examine, review, and approve documents such as purchase orders, blueprint designs, change orders, and specifications to ensure completeness and accuracy.

e. Direct the work and activities of suppliers, contractors, consultants, and designers as required.

f. Prepare capital requests and justifications for improvement projects.

3. Technical Duties

a. Manage the research, development, design, and testing of electrical components, equipment, facilities and systems including power / control systems, applying principles and techniques of electrical engineering.

b. Develop applications of controls, instruments, and systems for industrial uses, including motors and conveyance systems, PLC controls, and general machine design controls; directing activities to ensure that manufacturing, construction, installation, and operation conform to functional specifications and customer requirements.

c. Direct operation, maintenance and repair of equipment and systems utilizing computer-assisted engineering and design software and equipment to perform engineering tasks.

d. Determine feasibility of designing equipment or modifying existing equipment considering costs, time limitations, company planning, and other technical and economic factors.

e. Compile and analyze operational, test, and research data to help establish performance standards for newly designed or modified equipment.

f. Coordinate preparation of product or system layouts, detailed drawings, and schematics.

g. Prepare and compile necessary calculations to support product designs.

h. Analyze test data and reports to help determine if design meets functional and performance specifications

4. Additional Responsibilities

a. Ensure compliance with federal, state and local codes.

b. Provide liaison on project, facilities and equipment with regulatory agencies.

c. Participate in professional organizations to maintain current knowledge of technical innovations.

The above list reflects the general details necessary to describe the principle and essential functions of the position and shall not be construed as the only duties that maybe assigned.

Qualifications & Requirements

Associate Degree in Electrical Controls or other related field required.

Bachelors Degree in related Engineering field required.

Experience & Training

• Associate’s degree and twelve (12) or more years of related experience with controls and instrumentation systems; or

• Bachelor’s degree and ten (10) or more years of related engineering experience required.

• Must have experience working with manufacturing facility and design, preferably in food processing.

• Must have experience and high proficiency with industrial automation control systems, in all of the following:

• Motor Control and Power Distribution.

• Industrial Electrical Enclosure design and construction

• Rockwell Programmable Logic Controllers PLCs (Rockwell ControlLogix, CompactLogix, SLC500, PLC5)

• Industrial Human Machine Interface systems (Rockwell, Ignition Software, Wonderware)

• AC Variable Speed Drive Systems and Servo Drive Systems

• Industrial Control Safety circuits, sensors and practices

• Industrial Controls Networks, (Ethernet IP, ControlNet, DeviceNet, DH+ and RemoteIO)

• Microsoft Operating Systems Desktop and Server Based

• Industrial Historian Systems (Rockwell, Wonderware, Ignition)

• Industrial Reporting Systems (Rockwell VantagePoint, Wonderware)

• Distributed HMI systems

Licenses & Certifications

• Project management certification and/or Professional Engineering license required.

Knowledge, Skills & Abilities

• Knowledge of USDA, FDA, OSHA and environmental regulations, codes, and standards.

• Highly skilled in troubleshooting, diagnosing problems and recommending improvements.

• Strong planning and prioritization skills, innovation, multi-tasking, goal setting, analytical skills, adaptable, continuously looking to raise the bar for progress.

• Ability to understand, influence, drive, and negotiate with internal and external customers.

• Strong written, verbal and presentation skills.

• Advanced PC skills including Windows, Microsoft Office Suite and Engineering and design software.

• Advanced knowledge in mathematical concepts such as fractions, ratios, value analysis, thermodynamics, to resolve engineering designs and problems.


• A mobile phone is required for this position.

Physical Demands and Working Conditions


Level to which exerts force to lift, carry, push, pull or otherwise move objects Frequency

Medium – up to 50 lbs Occasional – 0%-33% of the time

Light – up to 20 lbs Frequent – 33%-66% of the time

Physical Activities

Walking Occasional – 0%-33% of the time

Climbing Occasional – 0%-33% of the time

Balancing Occasional – 0%-33% of the time

Stooping Occasional – 0%-33% of the time

Kneeling Occasional – 0%-33% of the time

Crouching Occasional – 0%-33% of the time

Crawling Occasional – 0%-33% of the time

Reaching Occasional – 0%-33% of the time

Hearing Occasional – 0%-33% of the time

Smelling Occasional – 0%-33% of the time


Very Loud – exposure to sounds or a pitch or level sufficient to cause marked distraction or possible hearing loss Occasional – 0%-33% of the time

Loud – typical shop environment, equipment running Frequent – 33%-66% of the time


Color Vision – ability to identify and distinguish colors Occasional – 0%-33% of the time

Environmental Conditions & Physical Surroundings

Extreme Cold – non-weather related cold temperatures Occasional – 0%-33% of the time

Extreme Heat – non-weather related hot temperatures Occasional – 0%-33% of the time

Wet and/or Humid – contact with water or other liquids Occasional – 0%-33% of the time

Vibration – exposure to a shaking object or surface Occasional – 0%-33% of the time

Atmospheric Conditions – exposure to conditions such as fumes, noxious odors, dust, mites, gases and other hazards Occasional – 0%-33% of the time

Confined/Restricted Work Environment – work is performed in a closed or locked facility Occasional – 0%-33% of the time


Proximity to moving, mechanical parts Frequent – 33%-66% of the time

Exposure to electrical shock Occasional – 0%-33% of the time

Working in high, exposed places Occasional – 0%-33% of the time

Exposure to toxic or caustic chemicals Occasional – 0%-33% of the time




Associates Degree or better in Electro-mechanical Technology.


Bachelors Degree or better in Engineering – Electrical/Controls.


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