While it may not be popular for the impact it has on the labor market, automation is very popular in today’s production facilities and it isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
Programmable logic controllers (PLCs) are essential for today’s automated productions systems, and that makes the manufacturing engineers who work with these devices indispensable.
At ZDA, we have an awesome opportunity for a PLC Manufacturing Engineer to work at a $400 million global manufacturing multi-site facility.
PLC engineers develop, program, simulate and test automated machinery operations to be able to keep production moving in industries like car manufacturing or food processing plants. PLC engineers also develop design specifications and other documentation for their work, often through the use of AutoCad software.
In addition to being able to use AutoCad, PLC engineers should also have PLC programming language experience with ladder logic. They should also be familiar with other programming languages, such as C#, C++, Visual Basic, and Java.
Those looking to find work as a PLC manufacturing engineer should also know lean, North American Safety Standards and machine safety risk assessment processes.
Using their skills and experience, PLC engineers work to support those on the production floor, which involves a lot more than just working with PLCs. These engineers must also be able to answer questions from production line workers regarding machinery issues or operating procedures. It is essential for them to be able to address concerns and keep production moving along.
PLC manufacturing engineers must also have an eye for innovation. They should also be looking for ways to refine processes through research and testing new machinery. This might require an engineer to fly out to an equipment manufacturer and examine a machine the company is interested in buying. A PLC engineer might be responsible for showing how a new piece of manufacturing equipment can provide significant return on investment for his or her employer.
With many facilities running two and three production shifts, they are no standard hours for a PLC engineer. Someone might find themselves working a regular overnight shift, or on weekends. Those with more experiences and qualifications tend to have more options when it comes to finding a work shift that supports a healthy work-life balance.
Pursuing a career as a PLC engineer
Those interests in pursuing a career as a PLC manufacturing engineer should study industrial engineering and software design in college. While certifications and licenses aren’t required for most jobs, there are optional credentials that can make you a more valuable employee.
Above all else, someone who wants to work as a PLC manufacturing engineer should have a curious mind and penchant for problem-solving. If you don’t just like questioning the status quo, but turning it on its head – you should seriously consider pursuing a career as a PLC manufacturing engineer.