Sr. Automation Engineer

Location : 2501 Centerpoint Parkway, Pontiac, MI 48341

Who We Are:

Challenge is a leading employee-owned tier 1 supplier of complex metal assemblies for the global automotive industry. Challenge fosters a culture of collaboration, diversity, and innovation. We believe the best ideas come from individual unique perspectives. These ideas combined with the teamwork of industry experts allow us to accomplish any challenge. Our team members take pride in the work we do every day and they are the true driving force in our operations.

Challenge is proud to be one of the largest employee-owned automotive companies in North America. One of the many benefits of joining the Challenge team is the ESOP program. This program allows Challenge to give shares of the Company to all employee-owners annually. These shares are an additional retirement benefit that will continue to grow during your time at Challenge. Being part of an ESOP means our employee-owners share in Challenge’s success!

Challenge is #PeoplePowered and #EmployeeOwned !

Who We Want:

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. 

When and Where:

This will be a 1st Shift / 8:30AM-5 PM M-F position located at our Plant in Pontiac MI.  

What You Need to Have:

  • 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.


What 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.

Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities, and activities may change at any time with or without notice. Reasonable accommodations can be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.