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Process Automation Specialist

Alto Ingredients

Alto Ingredients

Pekin, IL, USA
Posted on Tuesday, July 2, 2024

Job Title: Process Automation Specialist

Reports to: Technical Manager

Department: Maintenance

Location: Pekin, IL

Supervises: Contractors

Classification: Exempt

Build your career with Alto Ingredients! Earn a competitive salary, eligibility for annual cash incentive and stock-based incentive, benefits including Medical, Dental, Vision, Life Insurance and 401k with a company dollar-for-dollar match up to 6%, a stipend for fitness center expenses, a generous paid time off (PTO) program, and service awards for career longevity. Alto Ingredients values the communities where we work and live, and offers an extra 8 hours of paid leave for employees who volunteer their time and talents in their community.

Environment: Alto Ingredients, Inc. (ALTO), is a leading producer of renewable fuel and essential ingredients and the largest producer of specialty alcohols. The company is focused on products for five key markets: Health, Home & Beauty; Food & Beverage; Industry & Agriculture; Essential Ingredients; and Renewable Fuels. The company’s customers include major food and beverage companies and consumer products companies. For more information, please visit www.altoingredients.com.

Our Pekin campus produces products destined for Health, Home& Beauty; Food and Beverage; Industry & Agriculture; Essential Ingredients; and Renewable Fuels markets. All personnel are responsible for the safety of these products, which includes participation in training, following cGMP and feed/food safety requirements in the facility, and following procedures per instruction of management.

Job Purpose: This position is responsible for maintaining the existing automation, instrumentation, and underlying infrastructure for the facility and to assist in the directing, planning, scheduling, and safe execution of the automation portion of plant and process projects related to Capital and non-Capital activities. This position creates value by ensuring reliability of equipment and controls to meet and exceed the facility’s goals for Compliance (Safety, Quality, and Environmental) and Production by troubleshooting and diagnosing electrical or control issues on all manufacturing equipment in accordance with plant policies and procedures.

The following is a list of major duties and responsibilities for this position along with certain supportive duties. It is not all-inclusive. Other duties and responsibilities may be added as needed and in addition management may modify this job description as needed.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Support the overall Campus Safety, Environment, and Quality programs (hereafter known as “Compliance”) through excellence in planning, scheduling, and problem identification and resolution. Ensure the proper design of Automation processes and infrastructure to support the identification and execution of Compliance issues and Work Orders. Ensure Compliance is engineered into every job and issues identified are addressed ASAP.
  • Monitor, maintain, and address any issues with existing automation, instrumentation, and underlying infrastructure systems for the facility.
  • Maintain and repair plant DCS Hardware and Software Systems to ensure overall reliability for operations
  • Minor/Low-level configuration changes to programming and operator HMI/interfaces for DeltaV DCS, PLCs, and PanelViews.
  • Assist with design, integration, programming, final connections, startup, commissioning, warranty and repair of process automation controls system comprised of but not limited to Allen Bradley and Delta V.
  • Build data points as needed for integration into enterprise level historian (OSIsoftPI) and develop/modify PI Vision dashboards as needed across the plant.
  • Visit job sites to monitor process control system performance quality and to ensure designated field personnel are following proper procedures.
  • Support I/E techs with trouble calls and emergencies and respond to emergencies during and outside of normal work hours if needed.
  • Assist in training Operations personnel in proper use of new and existing functions of the DCS system.
  • Calibrate instrumentation devices using specialized test equipment and software.
  • Coordinate review of all assigned jobs with proper personnel and ensure all specifications, drawings, submittals, purchase orders, process images correspond to PI&D’s, etc.
  • Coordinate required subcontractors as needed for assigned projects and scheduled preventative maintenance
  • Assist in the interview and hiring of Specialty Technicians as required.
  • Provide technical backstop support for any instrumentation issues to ensure the overall goals of the plant are achieved.
  • Develop and maintain PM, calibration, testing schedules and procedures for all areas regarding instrumentation and automation.
  • Coordinate control system spare parts for improved reliability.
  • When needed, oversee daily activities of Specialty Technicians.
  • Participate in continuing education / training classes associated with process control and the associated systems as necessary.

Position Requirements:

Minimum Education/Experience

  • High School Diploma or GED
  • At least three (3) years of experience in PLC troubleshooting.
  • Experience reading technical drawings and schematics

Desired Education/Experience

  • Two (2) year Technical Degree or Higher
  • Experience with Electrical controls
  • Experience using electrical precision measurement tools

Desired Skills/Abilities

  • Experience troubleshooting and programming Emerson DeltaV DCS (programming, configuration, design)
  • PLC troubleshooting and programming experience with PLCs, primarily with Allen-Bradley platforms (Studio5000, RSLogix5000, FactoryTalk, RSLinx, etc.) and hardware (ControlLogix, CompactLogix, MicroLogix, FlexIO, Panelview, etc.)
  • Experience with function block, ladder logic, structured text programming, and the configuration and troubleshooting of EthernetIP, DeviceNet, ModbusTCP and other common industrial communication protocols
  • Willingness to attend training sessions to maintain and develop DCS skillset associated with Delta-V and Allen Bradley and peripheral integrated systems.

Preferred Skills/Abilities

Experienced with:

  • OSIsoft PI (Asset Framework, Vision, PI builder)
  • Operational Technology (OT) network infrastructure including managed switches, fiber & copper transmission, and networking tools such as Wireshark, Putty, tcpdump
  • SQL and database management
  • Creating & modifying electrical schematics in CAD

Strong knowledge of:

  • Electrical safety regulations including NEC, NFPA70E, and NFPA79
  • Root-cause based problem solving tasks to ensure that abnormalities, when observed, are acted upon to resolve issue
  • Success in safely managing and addressing operational issues in a continuous process improvement environment
  • Technical leadership, team facilitation skills, adaptability, analytical and problem-solving skills, troubleshooting, communications and interpersonal relations.
  • Ability to thrive in ambiguity, independently drive progress, and manage multiple priorities
  • Willingness to train other employees on the maintenance and troubleshooting of automation systems
  • Previous Supervisory experience.
  • Ability to plan and organize the work of others
  • Ability to delegate and meet deadlines
  • Experience trouble shooting network systems, best practices, termination and testing connectivity.
  • Must be able to interact and communicate effectively with project team members and plant stakeholders to receive and produce schedule information.
  • Must be or become proficient in Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Project, Main Saver and various types of hardware and software.

Physical Requirements:

  • Individual must be able to work in extreme hot and cold environments.
  • Ability to walk, stand, and sit for extended periods of time, climb over and under pipes, climb stairs and ladders, and climb in and out of confined spaces.
  • Ability to use hands to handle, feel objects, use tools, and must be able to reach.
  • Ability to kneel, crouch, stoop, and crawl around equipment.
  • Ability to hear equipment and determine problems.
  • Ability to communicate with others by phone, radio and in person, in noisy conditions.
  • Ability to lift and carry up to 50 lbs without assistance.
  • Able to deal with high stress situations.

Alto Ingredients participates in E-Verify; Criminal background check and drug screen required.

Alto Ingredients, Inc. provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws.

This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, and training.