Foremost Farms USA Foremost Farms USA
Foremost Farms USA

Position Description

Automation Controls Engineer
Location Greenville
State/Territory Michigan
# of openings 1
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JOB TITLE:  Automation Controls Engineer 

LOCATION:  Greenville, Michigan 

REPORTS TO:  Automation Controls Manager




This position is responsible for plant floor controls programming, data collection and integration of plant floor equipment with components of manufacturing execution and enterprise resource planning systems at assigned locations, in accordance with company policies and procedures.



To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.  The job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee.  Other duties, responsibilities and activities may change or be assigned at any time with or without notice.   The essential functions of this job include, but are not limited to:

  • Supporting controls projects, improving equipment uptime and training maintenance PLC technicians.
    • Assisting plant maintenance PLC techs in troubleshooting controls projects, programming standardization and change control.
    • Process improvements and outside integrator oversight at assigned plants.
    • Reviewing existing and future PLC, HMI and SCADA programming code for adherence to approved standards and assisting continued improvements of controls standard.
    • Assisting engineering and plant personnel in scope of work definition, equipment specification, quote development and integration management for all controls related projects at assigned plants.
    • Analyzing and developing control enhancement opportunities that create verifiable process/packaging improvements (ROI).
    • Standardizing solutions across plants.
    • Writing and maintaining functional and technical specifications, scope of work, controls project budgets, and training material as required.
    • Maintaining plant electrical schematics, I/O drawings, network and cabinet layouts.
    • Developing and maintaining control narratives as required.
  • Providing fact-based analysis/recommendations.
  • Providing coaching and training to key plant personnel (operators) on running control systems as developed.
  • Providing field commissioning and ongoing support and assistance for controls applications.
  • Providing technical assistance by responding to inquiries regarding errors, problems or questions with program.
  • Writing and maintaining documentation to describe installation and operating procedures
  • Working with contracted integrators in developing applications or installing new plant hardware/software solutions while monitoring compliance with standards.
  • Regular and punctual attendance and physical presence in the workplace.
  • Timely and accurate completion of duties.
  • Frequent travel for work, generally instate day travel, up to 66% of the time.



The following are required competencies of the position that must be met by the employee to successfully perform the essential functions of the job:

  • Computer Skills:   Ability to operate all information technology related business systems, programs and applications in a manner that achieves efficiency, accuracy, and relevancy of information processing and reporting as it applies to this position. 
  • Language Skills:  Ability to read and interpret documents such as dictated letters or memoranda, invoices, company policies and various documentation, paying particular attention to grammar.  Ability to process routine reports and correspondences.  Ability to build effective working relationships with a variety of stakeholders and communicate effectively with employees, vendors and others. 
  • Mathematical Skills:  Ability to add, subtract, multiply, and divide in all units of measure, using whole numbers, common fractions, and decimals.  Ability to compute rate, ratio, and percent.  Ability to calculate figures and amounts such as proportions, area and volume. Ability to apply concepts of basic algebra. Ability to understand and apply basic applications of physics as relates to industrial dairy processing applications
  • Reasoning Ability:  Ability to apply common sense understanding to carry out instructions furnished in written, oral, or diagram form.  Ability to deal with problems involving several concrete variables in standardized situations.
  • Other Skills & Abilities: Requires the ability to operate a variety of standard business machines.  Must have the ability to drive a motor vehicle, and maintaining a valid driver’s license.  Must be able to understand plant process/packaging controls and how this technology supports the operational and business needs.  Must have a sound working knowledge of Allen Bradley PLCs and PanelViews and related networks (Ethernet, Remote I/O, DeviceNet, ControlNet, DH+, etc.).  Must have a sound working knowledge of GE Proficy iFix and Historian software.  Must have a sound working knowledge of instrumentation and related electrical components including calibration of instruments.  AutoCad knowledge is preferred.  Must be able to stay abreast of Foremost-specific manufacturing initiatives/techniques/direction and controls technologies and architectures.  Must have the ability to read, analyze, and interpret electrical and hydraulic schematics, piping and instruments diagrams (P&ID) and building blueprints.  Must have a good understanding of a dairy process manufacturing environment is essential to this position. Requires knowledge of plant floor data collection concepts and tools. Requires knowledge of relational database technology.  Must be able to independently manage projects and carry them through to completion.



The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. 

  • Physical Demands – Employee is continuously (more than 67 to 100%% of time) required to: use hands to finger, handle, or touch objects, tools, or controls, sit; to verbally communicate; and to hear.  The employee is occasionally (up to 33% of the time) required to walk and stand.  The employee must occasionally (up to 33% of the time) lift and/or move up to 50 pounds.  Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision and the ability to adjust focus. 
  • Work Environment – The employee is frequently exposed to risk of electrical shock, moving mechanical parts, wet and/or humid conditions, fumes or airborne particles.  The noise level is usually moderate.       
  • Protective Equipment – This position may need personal protective equipment that is appropriate for the job being performed, such as hearing protection, food safety clothing and other.



This position requires 6 to 8 years of equivalent electrical education and controls integration experience in RSLogix 5, RSLogix 500, ContolLogix 5000, RSNetworx, Panel View and GE Proficy iFix design, programming, setup and field commissioning knowledge.

Ability to read, analyze, and interpret electrical and hydraulic schematics, piping and instruments diagrams (P&ID) and building blueprints. A good understanding of a dairy process manufacturing environment is essential to this position. Requires knowledge of plant floor data collection concepts and tools. Requires knowledge of relational database technology.


Bachelor’s Degree in electrical engineering or related field of study is preferred with two to four years  of control integration experience.



It is the policy of Foremost Farms USA to provide equal employment opportunity to all individuals regardless of their race, creed, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disabilities, veteran status, marital status, sexual orientation, military status, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by state or federal law. 



Foremost Farms USA, headquartered in Baraboo, Wis., is a farmer-owned milk processing and marketing cooperative with annual sales of $1.5 billion. The nation’s eighth-largest cooperative and number 28 in annual sales among the Top 100 U.S. dairy processors, Foremost Farms is a leading manufacturer and marketer of cheese, specialty whey ingredients, butter and bulk fluid milk to customers around the world.


We’re looking for employees who challenge the status quo, innovate and aim for excellence. Because we’re working to be the world’s best – to Be Foremost – we’ll bring out the best in you. We’re already one of the nation’s top 10 dairy cooperatives, making Wisconsin cheese and dairy ingredients for the global marketplace. But we’re not satisfied. Are you?

Are you ready to Be Foremost?
Please apply at:


Equal Opportunity Employer
Minorities/Females/Veterans/Disabled are encouraged to apply.

Successful completion of pre-employment testing which could  include a drug test, physical, background check, education check and credit check required.

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