Controls Technician

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West Seneca, NY 14224
United States
Job Description

Owned by 250+ family farms, Upstate Niagara Cooperative, Inc. is a food and beverage company that has offered innovative, award-winning, high-quality dairy products since 1965. Our progressive cooperative’s success is based on a commitment to quality in everything we do that extends to every stage of operations, from our farms to the consumer. Our product offerings include milk, flavored milk, yogurt, dip, sour cream, cottage cheese, Italian cheese, and ice cream mix marketed under the Upstate Farms®, Bison®, Milk for Life®, and Intense Milk® brands.

Job Summary:  The Controls Technician ensures the reliability and efficiency of production processes by installing, maintaining, troubleshooting, and repairing electrical and automation systems. This role also involves minor design, programming, and maintenance of PLC systems, including Allen Bradley. The position includes diagnosing equipment issues, making necessary repairs, and upholding high technical standards, safety, and quality.

Must have holiday and weekend availability. Must also be available to work all shifts (1st,2nd,3rd).

Key Responsibilities:

  • Perform routine inspections, preventive maintenance, and repairs on electrical and control systems to minimize downtime and ensure optimal performance.

  • Develop, modify, and troubleshoot Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) programs to control production equipment and processes.

  • Create and update Human-Machine Interface (HMI) screens for operator interaction and process monitoring.

  • Calibrate and maintain sensors, transmitters, and other instrumentation devices used in production processes.

  • Install, troubleshoot, and repair electrical wiring, circuits, and components in accordance with safety standards.

  • Collaborate with engineers and production teams to identify opportunities for process improvement and automation.

  • Maintain accurate records of maintenance activities, equipment manuals, and electrical drawings.

  • Ensure that all work is performed in compliance with relevant safety, environmental, and regulatory standards.

  • Provide training and guidance to production personnel on the safe operation and basic troubleshooting of control systems.

  • Installs, troubleshoots, repairs the following systems: PLC’s, HMI’s, VFD Drives, Vision Systems, Motor Control Centers, Power Distribution Centers, Motors (DC, AC, Stepper, Servo, etc.), Three Phase/Single Phase - power and control circuits, Control Panel layout and component installation.

  • First responder to troubleshooting activities, leading, and assigning crew members and utilizing all available resources to correct controls issues and/or equipment/system breakdowns in an expedient manner.

  • Works with Maintenance Mechanics on shift to trouble shoot root cause of problems and puts preventative controls in place to mitigate further issue.

  • Collaborate with all business partners to maintain an ongoing, uninterrupted operation to produce high quality products, while maintaining the department in an acceptable manner.

  • Proactively evaluate obsolete equipment within the plant making recommendations for repair and/or replacement.

  • Other duties as assigned.

Experience & Education Required:

  • Associates degree with 3-5 years of experience or equivalent combination of education and experience.

  • Technical degree or certification in electrical or controls-related field preferred.

  • Proficiency in PLC programming (e.g., Allen-Bradley, Siemens) and HMI development.

  • Strong knowledge of electrical systems, industrial controls, and instrumentation.

  • Familiarity with food safety regulations (e.g., HACCP, GMP) is a plus.

  • Excellent problem-solving and troubleshooting skills.

  • Commitment to safety and adherence to safety protocols.

  • Flexibility to work off-hours and weekends when necessary for maintenance and emergencies.

Knowledge & Skills - Required

  • Proficient in troubleshooting PLC-based control systems; preferably Rockwell Software.

  • Competence in digital and analog temperature, pressure, flow, speed, and weight measurement.

  • Familiarity with discrete sensors.

  • Skilled in process loop calibration and equipment.

  • Proficient in configuring industrial control networks like Ethernet, Device Net, and DH+.

  • Experienced in working with 480V 3-phase power distribution.

  • Capable of working with Allen Bradley motor controls and VFDs.

  • Proficient in using electrical test equipment.

  • Prior manufacturing experience with PLCs and automation controls.

  • Possesses a working knowledge of electrical schematics, power distribution and controls, motor and motor controls, PLC logic controls, HMIs, and other industrial controls.

  • Must be a minimum of 18 years of age.


  • Dairy and/or food processing expertise, particularly in Mixing & Blending, Retort operations, automatic packaging, system and equipment mechanics, and sanitation and safety.

  • Proficiency in setting IP addresses using BOOTP and familiarity with software programs such as RSLogix 5, RSLogix 500, RSLogix 5000, Factory Talk for programming PLCs, HMIs, and Drive. Experience with WonderWare is a bonus.


  • The Controls Technician is exposed to and entrusted confidential information relative to production methods, customers and company strategy.

Management Responsibility

  • The Controls Technician is an individual contributor role that operates under the general direction of the Maintenance Manager.

Work Environment

  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee frequently works near moving mechanical parts, high speed and processing equipment; is occasionally exposed to wet and/or humid conditions and toxic or caustic chemicals; is frequently exposed to moderate to high noise levels in the work environment. 

  • Must be able to see, grasp hold, walk, climb, bend, and stretch, lift up to 40 lbs.

  • Will spend significant time in the production environment where temperatures fluctuate, floors may be wet, and noise is a constant factor.

Pay: $75k-90k/yr.

Upstate Niagara Cooperative, Inc. is committed to equal employment opportunity for all, without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, citizenship, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, veteran status, disability, genetic information, or any other protected characteristic.