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Senior Controls Technician at Mars, Incorporated

Posted in Architecture 30+ days ago.

This job brought to you by eQuest

Type: Full-Time
Location: Columbia, South Carolina

Job Description:

A mutually rewarding experience.

Work. Realize your ambitions. And realize there’s more to being in business than just making a profit. That’s the Mars philosophy. And the opportunity we offer every one of our Associates. An opportunity to take what you do and make it mean more for you, for those around you and for the planet.  What you get here is challenging, interesting work. You get the tools you need to do a great job and you get to have the best possible people on your side to help you do it. And at the same time as getting to find ways to do business better today than we did it yesterday and driving a great career, you also get to build a more enlightened business and drive sustainability.

Because it’s never just about a single person, a single project or a single brand. It’s about how you can grab everything that’s within your reach here and use it to pursue mutual, long-term gain. It’s about having ideas. And ideals. Being prepared to risk failure because the promise of success means we’ll all be a little better off. It’s that mix of integrity and ambition that makes Mars such a special place to work. And why working here is always about more than just a job.

About Mars, Incorporated 

Mars is a family-owned business with more than a century of history making diverse products and offering services for people and the pets people love. With almost $35 billion in sales, the company is a global business that produces some of the world’s best-loved brands: M&M’s®, SNICKERS®, TWIX®, MILKY WAY®, DOVE®, PEDIGREE®, ROYAL CANIN®, WHISKAS®, EXTRA®, ORBIT®, 5™, SKITTLES®, UNCLE BEN’S®, MARS DRINKS and COCOAVIA®. Mars also provides veterinary health services that include BANFIELD® Pet Hospitals, Blue Pearl®, VCA® and Pet Partners™. Headquartered in McLean, VA, Mars operates in more than 80 countries. The Mars Five Principles – Quality, Responsibility, Mutuality, Efficiency and Freedom – inspire its more than 100,000 Associates to create value for all its partners and deliver growth they are proud of every day.

Purpose of Role:

The Senior Controls Technician is responsible for the efficient, safe, and reliable operating condition of the site manufacturing control and electrical systems.  The Senior Controls Technician must be multi-skilled to manage, maintain, and troubleshoot site’s electrical power systems, instrumentation, motor controls, PLC, HMI, data systems, and factory control infrastructure (servers, PC’s, and networks).  Additionally, the Senior Controls Technician also directs the modification and installation of control systems and facilitates the transfer of knowledge of control systems and electrical projects.  The Senior Controls Technician is responsible to identify, prioritize, plan and execute day-to-day activities with little or no supervision. 

Key Responsibilities:

  • Responsible for the maintenance and troubleshooting of electrical and control systems equipment down to the component level, including 480V electrical power distribution, instrumentation, motor controls, VFD’s, Servo’s, I/O devices/modules, PLC’s, HMI’s, and control networks. 

  • Troubleshoot machine breakdowns and malfunctions utilizing a working knowledge of control system programs and tools required to troubleshoot PLC’s, HMI’s, and VFD/servo systems including electrical schematics, programming software, meters, and other electrical test equipment.

  • Train and assist technicians to troubleshoot, repair, replace and calibrate all electrical sensing devices and instrumentation including:  photoelectric, inductive, capacitive, pressure, temperature, weight, position sensors, flow, and analytical instruments.

  • Train and assist technicians to troubleshoot, repair, replace and commission all electrical control devices including: AC drives, DC drives, Servo Controllers, contactors, motors, breakers, solenoids power supplies and indicator lights.  All PLC/HMI hardware including: processors, discrete and analog I/O cards, power supplies, network adapters, I/O hardware, operator interfaces such as Panelview, PC based interfaces, and message displays.

  • Manage and troubleshoot control system applications, include PLC programs, HMI applications, SCADA applications, data collection system, and MES systems. 

  • Identify and recommend changes to improve plant performance utilizing existing or new control systems.  Make program modifications in PLC’s logic, HMI’s programs and servo controller logic to improve equipment performance. 

  • Manage and support factory controls infrastructure including PCs, servers, control networks, and network switches, including implementing patches and other vendor updates. 

  • Coordinate the electrical preventative maintenance program by identifying items that need regular inspection and replacement, scheduling the tasks and task frequencies required, and following up to ensure the completion and effectiveness of each task.

  • Manage all PLC, Servo and HMI programs and changes as well as electrical documentation.  Ensure that they are all accurate, updated, and available to the technicians and archived at regular intervals.

  • Act as technical resource to operations, maintenance on controls related issues.  Assist operations and maintenance associates to meet daily priorities, coverage, and special projects. 

  • Provide support during machine installations and upgrades including: interfacing auxiliary equipment, identifying and correcting errors in programming and wiring and ensuring vendors and contractors are meeting our needs and expectations. 

  • Support the introduction to the plant of new control technologies

  • Direct the work activities of outside contractors, maintenance technicians, and other associates in the installation of instrumentation, PLC based control systems, and PC based operator interfaces.

  • Train and support non-technical users on the use of plant floor automation systems.

  • Lead the implementation of small scope projects in assigned area. 

  • Make improvements as required to electrical PM’s on various manufacturing and packaging equipment, electrical panels, and document activities using computerized maintenance management system (SAP Plant Maintenance).

  • Observe all OSHA and company safety rules and use the proper safety equipment at all times. Notify supervisor of potentially dangerous electrical hazards and takes immediate corrective action.  Demonstrate basic National Electrical Code understanding. 

  • Effectively communicate with peers, supervisors, and upper management on a daily basis, and be willing to provide support where needed and complete other duties as assigned by Team Leader.

  • Maintains a clean and orderly work area.

Key Functional Skills/Knowledge:

  • Must have a thorough understanding of manufacturing facility electrical and machine control systems and their applications.

  • Working knowledge of troubleshooting, testing, and repairing electrical power equipment, motor controls (including VFD’s and servo’s), and instrumentation. 

  • Working knowledge of RSLogix 5, RSLogix 500, RSLogix 5000, Studio 5000, Wonderware, FactoryTalk View Studio ME, and Panelbuilder. 

  • Good understanding of control system server, PC, and networking hardware including Microsoft Windows operating systems. 

  • Working knowledge of AutoCAD.

  • Understanding of networks including Ethernet, Ethernet/IP, DeviceNet, and ControlNet. 

  • Maintain working knowledge of NEC, NFPA, and OSHA requirements as related to machine and electrical safety. 

  • Ability to work with minimal supervision and to take direction from multiple sources.

  • Ability to analyze system problems and correct them.

  • Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal for working with operations and maintenance team members.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • High school diploma or equivalent required.

  • A minimum of two (2) years of experience in maintaining and troubleshooting automation and control systems in a manufacturing environment. 

  • Knowledge and experience in maintaining and troubleshooting of electrical systems including single and 3-phase controls and distribution systems 480 VAC and below. 

  • Knowledge and experience in maintaining and troubleshooting PLC and HMI systems and applications. 

  • Experience in calibrating and troubleshooting instrumentation and controllers. 

  • Ability to read wiring diagrams and schematics for troubleshooting. 

  • Willing to work overtime and be on call.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • A two-year technical degree or equivalent is required minimum for consideration.  A degree in controls/electrical/electronics is preferred, including courses in computer science. 

  • Six years of control, electrical, or electronics experience including computer programming, systems analysis and design, electrical or electronics production system troubleshooting, and problem resolution will be considered in lieu of degree requirements.   

  • Two years of this exposure must be in an industrial production environment similar to Mars manufacturing facilities.

  • Experience with Allen-Bradley PLC platforms including ControlLogix, SLC-500, and PLC-5. 

  • Experience with Wonderware Intouch and Rockwell FTView HMI software applications.

  • Experience with Rockwell communication software packages (RSLinx) and control networks (Ethernet/IP, ControlNet, and DeviceNet).

  • Experience with Rockwell VFD’s and Servo Drives.

  • Knowledge of Microsoft operating systems, virtual machine environments, servers and network administration.    


Mars is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. If you need assistance or an accommodation during the application process because of a disability, it is available upon request. The company is pleased to provide such assistance, and no applicant will be penalized as a result of such a request.