The nature of the work of the Principal Engineer is predominantly intellectual and varied in character. Performance of duties in this position requires knowledge of an advanced type, in a field of science or learning customarily acquired by a prolonged course of specialized intellectual instruction and study. Performance of the work requires consistent exercise of discretion and judgment to design and develop machine concepts and designs in conformance to customer specifications employing standard design practices, applicable codes and assessment of functional requirements. The incumbent closely monitors the progress of the machine from concept through machine acceptance on the customer’s floor. The Principal Engineer designs systems of mechanical, electrical, hydraulic, and pneumatic components for machines and factory automation systems, applying knowledge of mechanics, dynamics, electricity, electronics, hydraulics, and pneumatics. The Principal Engineer typically works with a team of Mechanical Engineers, Controls Engineers, Designers, and Detailers to design and develop factory automation systems.
Key (essential) Responsibilities:
- Assures that DT Engineering Factory Automation System projects are quoted, designed, and manufactured in accordance with sound engineering principles and meet customer and company expectations
- Assures that engineering designs can be designed and manufactured within “as sold budgets”, labor and materials
- Provides input and assists as necessary in developing concepts for proposals
- Represents Engineering departments at proposal development meetings
- Represents company during concept meetings with customer by driving effective dialog, clarity, and mutual consent
- Provides input on estimated hours and material for all disciplines
- Provides input relative to key purchased components for DT Engineering proposals
- Develops breakdown of estimates into logical elements/stations relative to Engineering and Manufacturing
- Retains primary design responsibility upon receipt of purchase order. Principal Engineer will take the design to a defined point for handoff to the Engineering Design Department. The intent is to leverage the Principal Engineer’s design skills and maximize their influence of the machine design. (The Engineering Design Department will be responsible to take the concept to completion, detailing, and release to Manufacturing)
- Identifies and fully specifies key components with supporting documentation
- Design and analyze key structural components with supporting documentation
- Responsible to effectively and efficiently transfer the design, including key component documentation and calculations, to Engineering Design at the designated design milestone date
- Monitors the breakdown of estimates relative to Engineering and Manufacturing, through the entire design process. Assures the design budget is met, and the resulting design is able to be manufactured within the budgeted hours and material
- Meets with Concept Engineer, Mechanical Engineer, Controls Engineer, Manufacturing Engineer, customer, and DT Engineering Management to discuss the design and function of the customer’s machine
- Works with Manufacturing Engineers, Estimating, and Sales to determine the specifications for the job, the estimated hours and schedule, and the specific materials required. Formulates a projected manpower requirement and works with the Engineering Manager to allocate the necessary manpower for the project. Maintains the schedule and estimate for the project and reports progress
- Designs Factory Automation Systems based on customer specifications, information gathered from the Mechanical Engineers, Controls Engineers, and Manufacturing Engineer, and information available from documentation files of similar machine design
- Performs the key design functions and assures conformance to customer requirements, DT Engineering design standards, and other appropriate specifications
- Submits completed design documentation to customer for approval or modification
- Meets with customers on site and reviews the machine
- Observes machine during the debug phase to ensure that the machine meets requirements (safety, performance, customer specs)
- Closely follows the construction by checking build progress and machine status with the shop floor technicians and builders on a frequent basis. Answers questions from shop floor personnel relating to design, cycle time, machine performance, etc.
- Participates in final machine performance review
- Mentors, trains, coaches, and develops Mechanical Engineers, Controls Engineers, Designers, and Senior Designers
- Regular and predictable attendance
Additional (non-essential) Responsibilities:
- Participates in continuing education in the area of machine design, by attending vendor or company sponsored shows, seminars, or classes. Reads technical publications.
- It is expected that a person in this position has at least one area of technical excellence, either by virtue of experience, training, or interest. It is the responsibility of this individual to develop, mentor, and train others in the company in that area.
- The Principal Engineer is responsible for the overall design of a factory automation system. For small jobs, the Principal Engineer may be the only person working on the project, and must therefore be capable of performing all of the tasks required to design the job. On larger jobs, the Principal Engineer will set the standards and methods for a team of engineers assigned to the job.
- The Principal Engineer shall also assess all project changes to determine their impact on the project and take appropriate measures to reflect the changes in the project budget, schedule, and manpower requirements.
- It is expected that the Principal Engineer will bring experience to the position, which will result in suggestions for future standards and process improvements for the department.
- Performs other duties as required.
To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each key responsibility satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the key responsibilities.
- BS Degree in Mechanical or Electrical Engineering or equivalent technical degree with a minimum of 5 years’ experience in design, development, programming, and commissioning custom factory automation systems in an OEM environment
- Extensive experience with SolidWorks 3D modeling software (or similar) for the design and analysis of parts, assemblies, and drawings
- AutoCAD experience developing detail drawings, assemblies, and bills of material
- Thorough knowledge of appropriate regulations, specifications and codes (customer specifications, NFPA 70E, NFPA79, CE, UL, and OSHA)
- Experience conducting risk analysis of equipment design to determine safety category
- Experience in the use and application of various testing and measuring equipment and processes: integrated flow testing, gaging R&R testing, air gaging; micron laser measurement
- Knowledgeable in the design and application of fluid power (hydraulic, pneumatic, vacuum)
- Proficient in the use of IBM-compatible computers, operating systems (DOS, Windows), word processor, spreadsheet
- Thorough knowledge of documentation practices, drawing sets, structure, CAD issues, bills of material
- Thorough knowledge of electro-mechanical actuators
- Experience as a member of a team; requires being supportive of team, department and company goals and practices
- Exposure to machine drive systems, servos, steppers, drives, indexers
- Exposure to robotic systems
- Familiarity with manufacturing processes
- Language Skills:
- Ability to read, write and verbally communicate instructions and other correspondence to internal and external customers and associates
- Mathematical Skills:
- Ability and knowledge to perform engineering calculations required for proper design of factory automation systems. Knowledge of deflection and stress analysis calculations, actuator sizing and specification, and other related calculations for servos, cycle times, etc.
- Ability to understand and participate in resolution of issues relating to Factory Automation Systems
- Certificates, Licenses, Registrations:
- This position has no requirements for certificates, licenses, or registrations at this time.
- Manual dexterity to manipulate computer keyboard.
- Mobility to travel frequently to customer site; 15-20%
- Mobility to go from office to shop environment on a frequent basis
- Communication skills to interact with staff members, shop floor personnel and customers
- Visual acuity to work with diagrams, prints, drawings, schematics and other technical information
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