Piston Automotive believes People are their greatest strength. The core values are focused on Integrity, Empowerment, Teamwork, Continuous Improvement, and Diversity. This provides the fuel for the vision which is to be the global supplier of choice for modular assembly and manufactured components and drives the mission to empower People, Satisfy Customers and Maximize Value for its Stakeholders. Piston Automotive strives to walk the talk every day. If you’re looking for an exciting and rewarding career with a world-class operation, Piston Automotive is the place.

Controls Engineer

Location: Redford, Michigan US


This position is no longer open.

Job Number: 106

Position Title: Controls Engineer

External Description:


Controls Engineering is responsible for creating, documenting, developing, supporting and improving upon the control systems that are essential to the production processes. Involvement will range from initial project sourcing all the way through SOP +90 days, or as required for corporate employees or launch through EOP plant employees. Both may be required to support implementation of engineering changes for current production products.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities include the following. Other duties may be assigned.

  • Participates in the development of RFQ’s and Equipment Specifications for Capital and Tooling Requirements.
  • Responsible for programming torque control systems and joint development. Selection of error & mistake proofing devices.
  • Responsible to transfer all equipment and process documentation to the Production Plant prior to SOP. This includes all OEM Equipment Documentation (electronic and hard copies of Manuals, BOM, Drawings, recommended spare parts and recommended PM’s).
  • Provide Controls expertise to help in tooling design and automation for new projects and process changes driven by product engineering changes.
  • Supports Engineering Cost Estimator to supply quoted assumptions for the assembly process requirements, capital / tooling investments and direct / indirect labor.
  • Help establish design goals, process and equipment specifications for Controls and Electrical power distribution systems.
  • Analyze & calculate machine performance and requirements utilizing the PLC.
  • Responsible for the planning, coordination, and implementation and tracking of assigned projects.
  • Develop and track capital investment budgets for assigned projects.
  • Main interface with automation and capital equipment vendors for control solutions.
  • Provide controls guidance in equipment selection, overall operations and future expansion.
  • Integrating and networking PC's and PLC's (TCP/IP, EthernetIP)
  • Make minor operation decisions.
  • Provide support for Controls related issues, as required, to prevent or minimize production downtime.
  • Drive lean concepts (5S, OEE, Kanban, Visual Factory, TPM etc.) throughout the organization.
  • Implement process improvements to improve overall efficiencies, including automation.
  • Supports program meetings (both internally and with the Customer) as required and/or requested.
  • Supports the APQP activities assigned through the Program Management group.
  • Supports all controls related communication internally and externally, including technical presentation, design reviews, capacity analysis, and feasibility studies..
  • Works with the program team (internally and with the Customer) to develop and launch products into production.
  • Supports Purchasing in evaluation of new suppliers, products and technologies to help maintain a competitive edge in the industry.
  • Provide guidance in equipment and capital selection to the Purchasing Dept.
  • Benchmarking processes and equipment throughout the industry and incorporating into Piston Standards.
  • Responsible for problem solving and resolution of issues at all sites as directed / or required. Supports Team during crisis management.
  • Provide guidance to Maintenance Technicians helping develop skillsets and strengthen the team.


Bachelor's degree (B. A.) from four-year college or university; and/or four years related experience and/or training; or equivalent combination of education and experience.

OTHER QUALIFICATIONS: To perform the job successfully the individual should have: 

  • Strong understanding of assembly requirements for all Automotive Component Systems; Body, Trim, Chassis, Powertrain, Interior and Electrical Systems.
  • Strong working knowledge of Manual and Automated Assembly Systems and Technologies, including both mechanical and control systems.
  • Strong knowledge in JIT, SPD, ILVS and Batch manufacturing systems. Including broadcast analysis from customer trigger through customer installation.
  • Strong Knowledge of Industrial Safety Standards and requirements.
  • Strong understanding of the basic theory of industrial control systems.
  • Strong experience in PLC programming (Allen Bradley Micro Logic, SLC 500’s, ControlLogix 5000 processors) for Manual Assembly Cells, Automated Assembly Cells and Power & Free conveyor systems.
  • Strong experience in HMI programming (AB PanelView and PanelView Plus)
  • Strong knowledge of EthernetIP & TCP/IP systems
  • Knowledge of DC Torque Systems (Tech Motive, Bosch, Atlas Copco)
  • Strong knowledge of Vision Systems (Cognex, DVT, Keyence)
  • Strong Knowledge of Robotic programming and controls
  • Strong Knowledge of industrial safety & solutions.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills.
  • Computer literacy and proficiency are required (advanced skills in Microsoft Word, Excel, Project, Power Point, AutoCAD, RSLogix 5000, RSLogix 500, RS View, ex.).
  • Self-motivator who works with minimal direction, makes decisions independently, and is able to motivate others to complete the task at hand.
  • Corporate employees must be able to travel as required to support new launch, engineering change or production related activities (typically no more than 1-2 wks at a time / estimated 6-12 wks annually)


“Piston Group is proud to be an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer. Qualified applicants will be considered without regard to age, race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, marital status, affectional or sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, nationality, sex, religion, or veteran status.”



Location: Redford, MI

Community / Marketing Title: Controls Engineer

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