Electrical - Control Systems, Electrical Engineering
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PLC Programmers are responsible for programming industrial processes using programmable logic controllers (PLC), This role is for a detail – oriented, logical thinker who enjoys working with different machines in combination with computers.
Reports To: VP of Plant Operations
Duties and Responsibilities
PLC programmers work on a wide variety of Foundry processes. Based on job analysis, some tasks of this role are:
PLC Programmers create schematics that show how electrical components and panels work together to accomplish a process. They also examine existing drawings and double-check them for reliability and manufacturing. A logic flow diagram is an example of one such schematic that PLC programmers must be able to create and interpret. They should also be able to create single line diagrams.
Write and Document Programs
After drafting a diagram of the process, PLC Programmers use automation software (such as Rockwell Automation) and a programming language (such as ladder logic) to write the program. They prepare documentation for the program's intended use as well as safety instructions.
Before installation, PLC programmers determine test criteria, then test the new program for reliability and safety with automation equipment. They are also responsible for testing programs and equipment developed by third parties.
When the program is ready to be fully integrated with the equipment, PLC programmers are there to oversee successful installation. They provide guidance and support to technicians during the installation process, then train them in safe and efficient operation of the program.
Provide Technical Support
PLC programmers provide ongoing technical support to users within the company, both verbally and by writing or revising operation manuals. Should any problems arise, they troubleshoot the program and create solutions. Fine-tuning the productivity and dependability of their program is an ongoing process.
PLC Programmer Skills and Qualifications
Preferred BS in electrical engineering/controls, or equivalent experience
Programmers need a strong understanding of the electrical, mechanical, and software engineering principles needed to create and maintain automated processes.
When developing a new process, PLC programmers use strong program architecture principles to design and draft blueprints of 3D drawings
When the time comes to physically put the process together, PLC programmers can complete the technical aspects of installation
Aside from using PLC programming languages such as ladder logic, programmers use rational steps and mathematical concepts to design project flows
Problem Solving Skills
In a project with many parts and a combination of software and electro-mechanical interfaces, things are bound to go wrong. PLC programmers must identify the problem's source and create the best solution.