Senior Controls Engineer

Location in Grand Rapids, Michigan

This is a senior level position in the field of controls engineering. The role of the Controls Engineer is to design and program control systems for conveyor and/or AS/RS material handling systems. The duties include designing the system electrically for the control panel and the field work, selecting proper hardware for the system, completing all pertinent documentation, writing the PLC program, HMI program, commissioning and testing the system, and adhering to a given budget of finances and hours. This position is expected to lead the controls portion of a material handling automation project up to and exceeding $10M in value.

Essential Job Functions

Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Lead and pioneer PLC programming using Rockwell PLC software, and occasionally Siemens S7.  The PLC programming is to be written using Add-On Instructions, User Defined Types, ladder logic, and structured text.  The PLC programs generated will control pallet handling conveyor systems, case/tote handling conveyor systems, AS/RS applications, and high speed sortation. The employee is expected to complete the most complex programming applications that the company encounters. This includes development of new PLC programming standards to be used on future projects.
  • Design controls hardware infrastructures using Ethernet/IP, AS-Interface, DeviceNET, and occasionally Profibus. 
  • Set-up field devices, i.e. motion control devices (VFD’s, servo’s, etc.), barcode scanners and image readers. The employee is expected to design and implement the most complex motion control applications the company encounters.
  • Lead, and pioneer HMI (Human/Machine Interface) design and development operating Factory Talk View Studio and/or Vijeo Designer and Ignition. This includes development of new HMI standards to be used on future projects.
  • Lead in the design of control panels, creating panel layout drawings for quoting and/or constructing purposes. Creation of wiring schematics using AutoCAD-Electrical. This includes the development of new standards for control panel design and keeping up to date on NEC and UL508 requirements.
  • Order entry functions for all control equipment from viastore business units or from outside vendors. 
  • Perform project management functions (budget, schedule, procurement) for the controls portion of the projects.  Assist Project Manager with overall project schedule and strictly adhere to all milestone dates. Work with project management each month for the entry of short term forecast information, detailing the estimated costs to occur throughout the project.
  • Write the Controls Description of Operation for projects.
  • Participate in all site activities related to implementing the PLC program(s) including installation support, commissioning, testing, and stand by support. 
  • Know all control and electrical installation budget items and ensure procured materials are within the as sold budget. 
  • Work with electrical installation subcontractors in the procurement process for implementing pipe and wire installation.
  • Handle support calls during project implementation until project is handed over to the Hotline Department.
  • Ability to communicate with internal groups of different disciplines as well as external customers and suppliers.
  • Overtime may be necessary as work load’s dictate.  This may include weekdays, weekends, and/or holidays.
  • Participate in all company functions and meetings. 
  • Must have leadership ability to lead a team of 2-10 engineers on the assigned projects up to and exceeding $10M in value.
  • Mentor/train and lead Controls Engineer(s) level I, II, and III during project design and implementation.
  • Lead in-project quotes for controls related scope changes.
  • Assist solution development team in the quoting process for new projects when necessary.
  • Help troubleshoot the most complex issues on all projects. The employee may be expected to travel to a site with a complex issue, on short notice, and help resolve it in a timely manner.
  • Employee is expected to suggest new department standards to Director, when a need is seen. Then act on implementing.

Required Qualifications

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


  • Bachelor's Degree in Electrical Engineering or equivalent technical experience or degree.
  • More than seven (7) years of experience in the material handling industry or controls field.
  • Employee is skilled in PC usage and associated software including Microsoft office (Word, Excel, Access and Powerpoint).
  • Excellent written and verbal communications skills.
  • Employee is an expert in the Rockwell Automation programming suite
  • Proficient using AutoCAD Electrical to create control device layout schematics and control panels drawings.
  • Exemplary testing and troubleshooting skills are required.
  • Understanding of panel design including back panel layouts, power consumption and hardware sizing is required.
  • The ability to read and interpret documents such as functional specifications, technical specifications, safety rules, operating and maintenance instructions, and procedure manuals.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Advanced engineering or related degree.
  • Supply chain application experience.
  • The ability to read and speak German or Spanish

We here at viastore take pride in our company culture and excellent team members. If you would like to join the viastore family, we look forward to receiving your application to