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Automation Specialist/Controls Designer

P&P Optica

P&P Optica

Waterloo, ON, Canada
Posted on Friday, April 26, 2024

About P&P Optica (PPO)

PPO is using brand-new technology to transform an industry that affects everyone on the planet: the food industry. We apply a complex and highly sophisticated mix of hardware, software and huge datasets to improve both the safety and quality of the food we eat.
We’re a truly diverse team in every sense of the word, and our team is incredibly smart. Our culture is respectful and caring, and work-life balance is a real thing! PPO is a well-funded, scaling company with huge opportunities for career growth in every part of the organization.
If you’re looking for an opportunity to tackle challenging problems that affect everyone on the planet, PPO is the place for you.


This role is located at our 680A Davenport Road, Waterloo location.

You at PPO

You want to work for a fast-paced, growing company that focuses on providing innovative solutions to help its customers. You want to be part of a team of motivated people like yourself who are eager to solve challenging problems and learn new skills. You have a positive attitude, care about doing things right, and are motivated by making a positive impact.
The Automation Specialist/Controls Designer will become a key member of the Hardware Team at PPO. The Hardware Team is responsible for a wide range of activities including the design and fulfillment of our world-class Spectrometers and Smart Imaging Systems. This position will focus on the development of new features and innovations that will keep our systems at the forefront of the industry. As part of this mandate, you will be actively involved in developing and proving your own innovative designs and will follow those through production, testing, and final installation.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Development of next-generation, Smart Imaging products, systems, and accessories that are safe and reliable for high-volume, food production applications.
  • Innovating, prototyping, and finalizing detailed electrical and automation designs that meet technical, schedule, cost, DFMA, and safety requirements.
  • Designing control systems, electrical and automation system architecture, safety circuits, cables and harnesses, and electrical panel layouts.
  • Integrate and test systems in our shop before they are shipped to customers.
  • Creating professional-grade documentation, schematics, and drawings to support the manufacturing, assembly, and testing of our products and systems.
  • Working with other members of the engineering and operations teams on overall product and process improvements (technical performance, cost, quality).
  • Sourcing of reliable components that sensibly balance cost, performance, and schedule demands

Additional Tasks May Include

  • Supporting on-site installation and commissioning of new systems at our Customer’s facilities.
  • Supporting our customer service team to help resolve issues with in-field systems.
  • Supporting production with the assembly and testing of systems.
  • Working with external suppliers and fabrication shops to ensure our design and quality standards are met.
  • Occasional travel is required (up to 15% of the time).
  • Some tasks may require lifting up to 25kg.

Skills and Experience

  • Minimum 3+ years experience designing reliable, automated production equipment and systems for use in high-volume production applications.
  • Excellent knowledge and experience designing PLC-based automation systems including programming.
  • Proficient with electrical CAD design software for the design of system block diagrams, wiring schematics, wire harnesses, panel layouts, and electrical enclosures.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills with technical documentation experience.
  • Ability to work effectively as part of a fast-paced, multi-disciplinary team.

Bonus Skills and Experience

  • Food industry experience is a significant asset.
  • Good knowledge of North American electrical safety and compliance standards and requirements.
  • Knowledge of SCADA and MES communications interfaces.
  • Able to use Solidworks CAD and PDM software.
  • Experience with Python programming language.
  • Experience with Linux and Bash.
If you think this job is a good fit for you but your skills and experience don’t appear to match up to what we’ve listed, please apply! You can tell us in your cover letter why you think you’ll be a great candidate.

Life at PPO

You’ll REALLY love working at PPO. Here’s why:
Open Culture: our culture is based on openness and trust, and that’s reflected in everything we do. We’re a very diverse team and we celebrate what we share as well as our differences.
Supportive Environment: We love celebrating birthdays, work anniversaries and other special events. We also challenge each other to meet both our personal and professional goals.
Work-life Balance - Really! We believe in working hard. We also believe that work is just one part of life. We make sure you have time for activities and responsibilities outside of PPO. You also receive flex days in addition to your allocated vacation.
Health Benefits: PPO offers very competitive benefits, including health, dental, vision and more for you and your dependents.
Hybrid Work Model: Depending on your role, you might work from home, our office or both.
Community Oriented: You’ll have an opportunity to participate in our annual team charity fundraiser. We are also proud to be part of Waterloo’s thriving Tech Hub.
Ongoing Learning: Learning is built into our culture at PPO. You’re encouraged to expand your knowledge and education through new experiences, courses, and other learning opportunities.
P&P Optica is committed to supporting a culture of diversity across our organization. Our hiring practices align with human rights laws, guaranteeing every person equal treatment in regard to employment and opportunity for employment, regardless of race, colour, creed/religion, sex, sexual orientation, or marital status. We welcome and encourage applications from people with disabilities. Accommodations are available on request for candidates taking part in all aspects of the selection process.