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Senior Controls Technician - Reno


Reno, NV, US


A mutually rewarding experience.

Work. Realize your ambitions. And realize there’s more to being in business than just making a profit. That’s the Mars philosophy. And the opportunity we offer every one of our Associates. An opportunity to take what you do and make it mean more for you, for those around you and for the planet.  What you get here is challenging, interesting work. You get the tools you need to do a great job and you get to have the best possible people on your side to help you do it. And at the same time as getting to find ways to do business better today than we did it yesterday and driving a great career, you also get to build a more enlightened business and drive sustainability.

Because it’s never just about a single person, a single project or a single brand. It’s about how you can grab everything that’s within your reach here and use it to pursue mutual, long-term gain. It’s about having ideas. And ideals. Being prepared to risk failure because the promise of success means we’ll all be a little better off. It’s that mix of integrity and ambition that makes Mars such a special place to work. And why working here is always about more than just a job.

About Mars, Incorporated 

Mars is a family-owned business with more than a century of history making diverse products and offering services for people and the pets people love. With almost $35 billion in sales, the company is a global business that produces some of the world’s best-loved brands: M&M’s®, SNICKERS®, TWIX®, MILKY WAY®, DOVE®, PEDIGREE®, ROYAL CANIN®, WHISKAS®, EXTRA®, ORBIT®, 5™, SKITTLES®, UNCLE BEN’S®, MARS DRINKS and COCOAVIA®. Mars also provides veterinary health services that include BANFIELD® Pet Hospitals, Blue Pearl®, VCA® and Pet Partners™. Headquartered in McLean, VA, Mars operates in more than 80 countries. The Mars Five Principles – Quality, Responsibility, Mutuality, Efficiency and Freedom – inspire its more than 100,000 Associates to create value for all its partners and deliver growth they are proud of every day.


Purpose of Role:

The Senior Controls Technician is responsible for the development of control systems for automating manufacturing processes and wrapping systems in response to project requirements and current operating environments.  Controls design includes developing control concepts, program design, coding and implementation, instrumentation selection and operator interface development. Additionally, the technician also directs the modification and installation of control systems; facilitates the transfer of knowledge of control systems and electrical projects; Supports and maintain controls networks, web servers, data historian and operator interface systems.



Principal Accountabilities:

  • Achieve and maintain a high level of technical competency.
  • Support engineering projects by designing control systems utilizing standardized design methodologies including Sequential Function Charts and Data Flow Diagrams.
  • Develop and design new computer applications by preparing system flowcharts, report and screen layouts, source documents, and detailed specifications.
  • Prepare job aids, user documentation, systems documentation, standard operating procedures and training materials for plant automation systems.
  • Direct the work activities of outside contractors, maintenance technicians and other associates in the installation of instrumentation, PLC based control systems, and PC based operator interfaces.
  • Provide project planning and estimate moderately complex jobs.
  • Act as technical resource to operations/maintenance on controls related issues including troubleshooting, analysis and recommending practical corrective actions for control related problems.
  • Identify opportunities and recommend changes to improve plant performance utilizing current control systems or by improving current systems
  • Troubleshoot control system applications and make necessary modifications to get the systems up and running again.
  • Troubleshoot, analyze and recommend practical corrective actions for control related problems.
  • Train and support non-technical users on the use of plant floor automation systems.
  • Use and follow all engineering standards when implementing projects.
  • Provide input into site engineering standards for programming and systems design.
  • Gather data and analyze information requirements in preparation for the design of Level II, batch control, data gathering, web and control systems.
  • Perform programming, testing, and debugging for new systems as well as for the enhancement of existing systems.
  • Modify and/or develop Wonderware applications to support engineering projects.
  • Support the introduction to the plant of new control technologies such as device networks, modular I/O, PLC programming software, etc.
  • Provide system management and administrative functions for PC and PLC networks, data historians, software version control and web based data display systems.  This includes maintenance, enhancements, procedures development, and troubleshooting.


Mission Critical Competencies:

  • In-depth contact with users must be maintained to gather information processing on problems or requirements.
  • Communication with other Technical department personnel is usually done daily to discuss equipment, programming, and problems.
  • Typically, temperature and humidity controlled environment for computer equipment.  Job may require troubleshooting systems in all plant areas.


Key Functional Skills/Knowledge:

  • Demonstrated the ability to analyze, design, program and test computer applications for control/information systems.
  • Ability to work with minimal supervision and to take direction from multiple sources.
  • Good understanding of Operating Systems environments including Microsoft Windows 2000 and XP, Windows Server, Active Directory and other Microsoft technologies.
  • Working knowledge of AutoCAD.
  • Ability to analyze system problems and correct them.
  • Ability to communicate well both orally and in writing.
  • Ability to work well with user departments to provide the operational support in the use of HMI terminals and software applications on Control Systems.
  • Must be able to ascertain - through interaction with production and engineering staff representatives - the requirements for process control computer applications.
  • Knowledge of CIM concepts and ability to work with Wonderware batch control, visualization on control software.
  • Knowledge of databases such as Microsoft Access, Microsoft SQL Server, and database connectivity using ODBC and Wonderware automation software.
  • Knowledge of web application development including basic web design, web connectivity, and database access.
  • Understanding of networks including Modbus plus, Ethernet, Devicenet and/or Protibus.
  • Responsible for ensuring that there is no extended slow or downtime, damage to major equipment and possible health/safety risks to the individual or others.
  • Troubleshooting skills in Hydraulics, Pneumatics, low and high level voltage, logic circuits and in all aspects of mechanical equipment.
  • Knowledge of GMPs and clean design methods.


Key Experiences:

  • Ability to troubleshoot programs residing in the Rockwell Automation PLC Control Systems in the plant.
  • Must have a good understanding of interfacing with PLC's, scales and display devices.
  • Basic experience in selecting and installation process instrumentation.
  • Working knowledge of Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel.


Desired Education

  • High school diploma or equivalent required.  
  • A two-year technical degree or equivalent is required minimum for consideration.  A degree in controls/electrical/electronics is preferred, including courses in computer science. 
  • Six (6) years of control, electrical or electronics experience including computer programming, systems analysis and design, electrical or electronics production system troubleshooting, and problem resolution will be considered in lieu of degree requirements.
  • Two (2) years of this exposure must be in an industrial production environment similar to Mars manufacturing facilities.


Decision Making Authority and Impact:

Responsible for testing and debugging the programs developed with minimal supervision.  Implements changes to provide smoother operation of programs or expansion of systems to provide better user information or systems flow.


Mars is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. If you need assistance or an accommodation during the application process because of a disability, it is available upon request. The company is pleased to provide such assistance, and no applicant will be penalized as a result of such a request.


Nearest Major Market: Reno
Nearest Secondary Market: Tahoe

Job Segment: Technician, Hydraulics, Information Systems, System Administrator, Computer Science, Technology, Engineering

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