Building a Better Plant-Based Future together

Automation Controls Engineer

Main Job Purpose:

The Automation Controls Engineer will provide automation support to the facility in the electrical, instrumentation and controls disciplines primarily for batch, continuous processes and packaging systems.  The individual will work with electrical and mechanical maintenance, operations, safety, and QA personnel to help deliver the site’s business objectives utilizing their technical skills to contribute.   

Core Skills:

  • Safety. Knowledge and understanding of national Safety and Environmental legislation and company policy, systems, and practice relevant to Sourcing Unit and the legal responsibility placed upon individuals. Must actively contribute to the safe working environment, to include full engagement in the Behaviour Based Safety Program.
  • Environment. Reduce costs due to waste and minimise impact to health, safety and the environment through working to eliminate waste and through the correct management of waste and hazardous materials. Must actively contribute to an eco-efficient environment.
  • Leadership. Encourage the development of a highly effective team through the establishment of a positive team climate supported by authentic leadership and clear communication.  Be pro-active and strive to develop the best practices and action plans to deal with work demands.
  • Facilitation and Coaching. An ability to facilitate and coach team members to support team performance and increase knowledge of policies, procedures and ways of working.
  • Decision Making. Makes governance decisions and adjudicates on unresolved issues. Sets the strategy for Continuous Improvement and Preventative Maintenance in his/her area guided by loss trends and direction provided by the Site Engineering Manager.
  • Problem Solving. Has the ability to identify, prioritise and address problems using appropriate tools and techniques that eliminate recurrence.
  • Quality. Knowledge of product quality and food safety procedures.  Become a contributing member of the site Food Safety Team and have full understanding of the site HACCP plan.
  • Management. Able to coordinate business resources and apply risk management processes.  Keen sense of prioritisation and ability to influence change.  Resolve conflicts where identified.

Business Awareness.  Understand the business needs for change and innovation.




Operational Responsibilities:

  • Set up, maintain and improve PM systems, inventory control, staff training, and identification of plant improvement plans including efficiency, yield and standardization.
  • Troubleshooting and determining root cause of faulted process and packaging instrumentation and electrical devices, including programmable logic controllers (PLC’s) and associated I/O modules.
  • Ability to understand and troubleshoot PLC, human machine interface (HMI), batching systems, and data collection system software.
  • Performing software modifications to existing packaging machinery and process system PLC’s, HMI’s, Batching and Data Collection systems.
  • Providing automation support for plant innovations
  • Provide troubleshooting and development support for plant electricians (24hrs/7days a week)
  • Assist in developing training plans and conducting training for electrical technicians.
  • Drive controls standards management for controls with coordination from Upfield engineering 
  • Develop standard ways of working for electrical systems and PLC.
  • Own management of change process for plant automation
  • Provide technical expertise for PM development and spare parts management for electrical/controls systems
  • Manage plant hardware/software infrastructure
  • Manage plant instrument calibration programs
  • Implement solutions to connect plant employees to manufacturing data
  • Assist with capital project management and execution as needed
  • Participate in Safety, Quality and Improvement work teams
  • Attend plant - wide critical Safety Meetings
  • Adhere to the World Class Manufacturing (WCM) principles of Upfield – New Century
  • Attend safety, operational and technical training as required
  • Attend factory acceptance testing at vendor’s facilities.


  • Education. Bachelor’s Degree, in relevant Engineering field from an accredited institution and 2+ years of work experience OR some college classwork and 5+ years working experience in area of focus.

Experience Required:

  • Ability to understand and program Siemens 410, S7-300 and S7-1500 programmable logic controllers utilizing Siemens PCS7 and Step 7 software, including advance program features such as PID loops, SFC’s, CFC’s and SCL programming.
  • Knowledge and understanding of Siemens ET200S IO
  • Experience in installing, troubleshooting and maintaining communication networks such as Profibus, ASI, Hart, and Ethernet.
  • Proficiency with MS Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)
  • Ability to troubleshoot, understand and configure Siemens Batch Flexible software.
  • Ability to understand, utilize and configure Siemens Process Historian software packages.
  • SQL Database knowledge and the ability to troubleshoot.
  • Ability to understand and modify electrical schematic, one-line, plan, and installation drawings as required.
  • Ability to understand Process Flow Diagrams (PFD’s) and Process Instrument Diagrams (P&ID’s)
  • Understand operating principles of AC and DC motors, including variable frequency drives (VFD’s), inverters, servo motors.  Ability to configure VFD’s and servo motor controllers using appropriate software.  Prefer experience/knowledge of Siemens Micromaster and Simocode variable frequency drives.
  • Understand and troubleshoot process instrumentation such as pressure, mass flow, temperature and conductivity sensors and transmitters.
  • Understand and troubleshoot sensing devices such as proximity sensors, photo eyes, motion detect, raster and vision image barcode scanners
  • Experience in utilizing and configuring vision systems.
  • Experience in installing, troubleshooting and maintaining hardware associated with 480VAC Voltage switchgear, transformers, motors and motor control centers (MCC’s).
  • Experience with troubleshooting, programming and configuring Fanuc Robotics
  • Understanding and ability to configure and maintain Virtual Machine servers
  • Strong communication skills, both verbal and written, with the ability to influence others.
  • Strong interpersonal skills; the ability to build collaborative relationships and networks with multiple and diverse stakeholders.
  • Ability to work collaboratively in a team environment.
  • Ability to drive change and innovation by gathering knowledge and resources to ensure tasks are completed within timelines to a high degree of accuracy and professionalism

Upfield is an equal opportunity employer. It prohibits discrimination based on age, color, disability, national origin, race, religion, sex, veteran status and any other legally protected class in accordance with applicable federal, state, and local laws.