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Senior Automation Engineer, Continuous Improvement



Software Engineering
compton, ca, usa
Posted on Saturday, November 18, 2023

About Plenty

Plenty is on a mission to make fresh, pesticide-free fruits and vegetables more accessible to everyone. Our cutting-edge indoor, vertical farms produce extraordinary yields using a fraction of the land and water outdoor farms need. Nutrient-rich, mouth-watering and locally grown, our crops help people, communities and our planet to be healthier and more resilient.

The people and teams who make up Plenty are at the core of how we do this. We are a collaborative and innovative bunch. We are passionate about our contributions to Plenty, the communities around us and our planet, but never take ourselves too seriously. We’re down to Earth, we grow together, and we always find a way. Most importantly, we are growing for a better tomorrow, today.

About the role

Plenty is looking for a Senior Automation Engineer to join our Continuous Improvement (CI) team and tackle problems that reimagine the way food is grown. In this role, you will work closely with other CI engineers, R&D Controls Engineers, Farm Operations and Maintenance teams, as well as outside integrators to resolve production down time, drive continuous improvement and Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) projects to completion as a lead or a team member, help define company standards, and assist with system commissioning. We are looking for someone who has experience in industrial automation and is excited about the task of bringing modern software development practices and tools into the picture. An ideal candidate has experience writing machine software using industrial controllers, understands electrical systems, and can work closely with our Software Engineering teams on integration and tool development.

What you'll do

  • Troubleshoot and resolve issues with large automated systems including: PLC, HMI devices, Pneumatics, Servo Motors, Vision Systems, Robotics and Manufacturing Execution Systems
  • Support maintenance and troubleshoot mechanical, controls, and networking issues in relation to SCADA (preferably ignition)
  • Investigate and troubleshoot manufacturing issues with a sense of urgency to prevent line down situations, and implement countermeasures to prevent repetitive breakdowns
  • Partner with the Software and Data Teams to understand and implement data collection and product traceability requirements and resolve issues on software deployments
  • Interface automation equipment with internal software tools to aggregate machine data in a meaningful way
  • Deliver projects successfully in a fast-paced, dynamic environment
  • Travel up to 30% to support farm commissioning
  • Participate in an on call rotation
  • Other duties as assigned

What you'll bring to the table

  • Education or training equivalent to a B.S. or higher (e.g. M.S. or Ph.D) in an Engineering or other technical discipline and 5+ years of progressive experience implementing control systems
  • Experience supporting implementation of control architectures from the ground up using an object-oriented approach
  • Exposure to a wide variety of industrial control platforms -- we use Beckhoff & Rockwell
  • You take pride in designing clear and easy to use user interfaces at the machine and line level (Ignition)
  • Experience in software support and/or issue triage on processes that span across multiple technologies including proprietary software
  • Expertise in troubleshooting electrical systems used in industrial automation
  • A highly collaborative engineer, you partner closely with other stakeholders to develop system level requirements
  • Experience with programming in high level or scripting languages and working on cloud platforms such as AWS
  • Exposure to or eagerness to learn about the following areas:
    • High and low voltage hardware design (480VAC - 24VDC)
    • Programming 6-axis robots, including vision and safety integration (FANUC, KUKA)
    • Database integration and administration (MySQL, Postgres)
    • Revision control and CI/CD tools (Git)
    • Software development using a variety of languages (Python, C#)
    • Machine vision for robotic guidance, metrology, or quality inspection
    • Defining equipment safety systems including networked safety (FSoE, CIP Safety, PROFIsafe)
    • Programming 6-Axis robots, including vision and safety integration (FANUC, KUKA, Denso)

Type of role

Full-Time; Onsite

What we can offer

  • Compensation; we’ll pay you a competitive salary on a biweekly basis, give you a stake in the company via equity and contribute toward your 401K
  • Health & well-being; we’ll invest in your physical and mental well-being with comprehensive medical, dental, & vision benefits, in-office gyms, and an Employee Assistance Program to help with mental health, financial & legal matters
  • Food; in-office lunches, snacks and access to our leafy greens & new produce in development -- are you up for a side gig as a taste tester?
  • Grow together; learning & development opportunities including unlimited access to our Upstart University platform, LinkedIn Learning, lunch & learns, training certifications, and more
  • Equipment; we’ll provide you with the equipment you need to be successful, including $75/month toward your phone bill and $250 every 2 years to upgrade your phone
  • Paid time off; we know you’ll do your best if you’re taking time to recharge, so we don’t cap the amount of days you can take off per year in addition to the paid holidays we observe
  • Parental leave; 12 weeks off for all new parents - fully paid so you can focus your energy on your newest addition

Food & Safety Requirements

  • Comply with all Plant, State and Federal OSHA, EPA, FDA, HACCP, and SQF regulations
  • All applicants must be 18 years or older to apply
  • Make sure Equipment design is of a material suitable for food safety and designed in a way that is smooth and easily cleanable
  • Comply with GMP/GAPS in the Facility
  • Assist in the maintenance of Food Safety and Quality system

Plenty’s target compensation range for this role is $125,200 - $137,700 for this location. Actual compensation is commensurate with experience and alignment with role requirements.