Automation Engineer

Location : 2501 Centerpoint Parkway, Pontiac, MI 48341


Who We Are:

Challenge Manufacturing is a leading Tier 1 automotive supplier to a growing portfolio of Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) customers. Since 1981, Challenge Manufacturing has grown from a very small shop in Walker, Michigan to 12 locations across North America with 4,000 team members supported by 1,500 industrial robots.   


What Makes Us Different?

Challenge Manufacturing is an employee-owned company and is currently ranked in the top 50 largest employee-owned companies in North America. Being an employee-owned company enables the Company to maintain a collaborative and teamwork-oriented work culture. Additionally, over time as the company grows, employees will share in that upside financially through ESOP retirement benefits.


Challenge is #PeoplePowered!


Position Summary:

The ideal candidate will have extensive experience in industrial automation, with a focus on PLC systems, communications architecture, and integration with robotics and databases in Ignition Platform. This person must be capable of collaborating with cross-functional teams and factory managers. The successful candidate will have knowledge in manufacturing assembly systems, a deep understanding of mechatronics, as well as exceptional interpersonal, organizational and management skills, demonstrating the ability to be an innovator and change agent.


  • Generate aesthetic HMI screens for complex machinery that provide enough feedback for troubleshooting.
  • Generate PLC ladder logic with an emphasis on generating code that is organized, structured, documented, maintainable, and reusable using existing programming standards
  • Provide feedback and experience in equipment design reviews
  • Participate in conversations with production staff on Automation & Control related topics and issues
  • Assist with projects and installations with regard to control systems for production equipment
  • Assist production in continuous process optimization of automated lines.
  • Support maintenance and sustaining teams in troubleshooting difficult equipment failures
  • Generate, modify, and approve electrical schematics created in house
  • Develop maintenance documentation, training programs, and lead this training
  • Establish test plans and control test plan execution
  • Assist in risk assessments and implement findings
  • Maintain and improve programming standards for PLC and Ignition SCADA automated systems
  • Responsible for backing up and maintaining equipment programs. With Rockwell Automation’s Asset Center
  • Debug and optimize automated processes to maximize cycle time and uptime
  • Debug and implement corrective actions for breakdowns and chronic equipment failure
  • Act as liaison to IT department for Manufacturing Execution Systems during development and implementation
  • Participate in supplier and equipment buyoffs
  • Have flexible schedule allowing for weekend and on call work schedules
  • Be competent and familiar with Fanuc and or ABB robot programming and/or integration with external control systems


  • 3+ years of experience as a hands-on Automation & Control Engineer or Robotics Engineer working on automation and/or electromechanical systems
  • Must be proficient in PLC programming, troubleshooting, and configuration. Allen-Bradley platforms (ControlLogix, CompactLogix) required. Siemens, Beckhoff is a plus
  • Must be proficient in HMI programming, troubleshooting, and configuration. Allen-Bradley FactoryTalk View & Ignition SCADA are preferred
  • Proficient in Python, equivalent High-Level programming language (C, C++, C#, Java, etc.) is a plus
  • Experience with robot programming (Fanuc, ABB), backup, and restoration
  • Experience with SQL, scripting, creating various reports, and utilization of database tools
  • Is a Plus with vision systems (Cognex, Datalogic, Fanuc Vision)
  • Is a Plus with AutoCAD Electrical for developing electrical schematics
  • Is a Plus deploying equipment to high volume manufacturing
  • Knowledge of production quality metrics and LEAN methodology
  • Experience presenting technical programs with excellent communication skills, both verbal and written.




Benefits We Offer:

We offer a comprehensive benefits package that includes medical, dental, and vision insurance, Health Savings Account with annual employer contributions, Flexible Spending Accounts, Company-Paid Short-Term Disability and Basic Life, Voluntary Life and LTD, Employer 401k Match, ESOP shares, tuition reimbursement, and paid time off.