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Manufacturing Controls Engineer - Automation Development at Tesla

Manufacturing Controls Engineer - Automation Development

Tesla Elgin, IL Full-Time
Tesla is seeking a highly motivated Controls Engineer to contribute to the design and development of new automation equipment and assembly lines.

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 life cycle 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 Tesla specification and standard creation, release to Vendor and quote technical evaluation
* Enforce application of Tesla standards, Manage suppliers during specification, design review, design approval
* Establish test plans and control test plan execution at Vendor and at Tesla 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 statistical test (Gage Repeatability and Reproducibility test, Cpk, etc),
* Assembly Line Development and Implementation
* Create detailed utility layouts for entire assembly lines and interface with facilities teams for implementation
* Create data management and tracking communications network architecture and interface with cross-functional teams for product, processes and quality traceability control implementation
* The ideal candidate takes pride in his/her hands-on work, analytical ability, organizational skills and attention to detail. He/She appreciates an environment where superior work is encouraged, noticed and rewarded and where individuals carry tremendous responsibility. He/She looks forward to learning an incredible amount on the job.


* 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)
* Serial communication (RS-232) between PLCs and instruments
* 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.
* Proficiency selecting appropriate circuit protectors, wire and cable, sensors, safety hardware, PLC hardware, remote I/O, VFD and servo systems.
* Proficiency creating detailed electrical and fluid schematics in CAD (AutoCAD Electrical preferred)
* Proficiency programming and tuning variable frequency drives
* Exposure to a wide variety of production machinery, industrial sensors, and equipment (LVDT and pressure transducers, dispense systems, temperature controllers, DC nutrunner torque controllers, current and power meters, etc)
* Experience programming Cartesian, SCARA and Articulated robots is highly desired (Fanuc, Kuka, Motoman, Epson)
* Experience with Vision systems (Cognex, Keyence, Fanuc)
* Experience creating technical specifications for automated manufacturing equipment is highly desired
* Experience transitioning products and processes from prototype to production desired
* Knowledge of production quality metrics is a plus
* Ability to use 3D CAD packages such as with SolidWorks and CATIA is a plus
* Open to travel up to 25% of the year to Tesla sites, facilitating installations and handoff to cross-functional team members.


* BS/MS Electrical Engineering (or equivalent - Majors in: Controls and Computer Control Systems, Mechatronic Engineering, Automation Engineering, etc.)
* Minimum 3 years of experience as a hands-on Controls Engineer or Applications Engineer working on automation and/or electromechanical systems

Tesla is an Equal Opportunity / Affirmative Action employer committed to diversity in the workplace. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, gender identity or any other factor protected by applicable federal, state or local laws.

Tesla is also committed to working with and providing reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities. Please let your recruiter know if you need an accommodation at any point during the interview process.

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