Automation and Controls Engineer

Job Locations US-CA-Bakersfield
Job ID 2022-1389
# of Openings



Rooted in California, Califia Farms is on a mission to inspire and nourish the world with the wisdom of a plant-based lifestyle. The company creates innovative, healthy and great-tasting premium beverages that make it easy for consumers to go plant-based and dairy-free, without compromise. Califia Farms is one of the fastest-growing natural beverage companies in the U.S., as well as the leading brand in the natural products plant-based milks category. Founded in 2010 by beverage visionary, Greg Steltenpohl, in partnership with a farmer's co-op based in the San Joaquin Valley, Califia Farms is a uniquely California company. Its Bakersfield, Calif. manufacturing plant is powered 100% by renewable energy and re-purposes more than 90% of its post-production byproduct.


In a snapshot:

  • Founded in 2010
  • Over 300 full-time staff and contracted employees
  • Headquarters in Downtown L.A. Arts District and manufacturing in Bakersfield, CA
  • We’ve built our culture around these four core values: passion for purpose, insights into action, fierce interdependence, and challenger spirit
  • The foundation of our values include speaking with candor, acting with integrity, assume positive intent, and advance diversity, inclusion and equality


Position Summary

The Automation and Controls (A&C) Engineer is responsible for providing strategic design input on all future projects, technical support for plant operations and the leader for all electrical-electronic control safety and regulatory requirements across the entire operation. The A&C Engineer must practice and lead safe work procedures for both internal and external personnel, ensure all safety controls and instrumentation systems are meeting the required Regulatory and site GMP standards.


The position will serve as a resource to all future automation equipment installations and modifications. The role also includes evaluating and ensuring the company’s standards for future technologies are being applied. The A&C Engineer will support plant operations through hands on troubleshooting as needed, coaching of technicians and performs as an integral part in resolving plant issues through Continuous Improvement or Root Cause analysis. Additionally, the A&C Engineer owns all aspects of the lifecycle management pertaining to plant Electrical controls and Instrumentation devices. Lifecycle management includes planning, commissioning, preventative maintenance, troubleshooting, documentation management and oversees the training curriculum to ensure staff is receiving the appropriate knowledge to support the plant’s reliability goals.


Key Responsibilities

  • Provide best possible electrical, instrumentation and process control equipment facilities to meet the objectives of the business.
  • Ensure reliable operations of all electrical controls and process control hardware and software operations.
  • Optimize electrical/instrumentation control maintenance & operational costs
  • Optimize electrical/process control hardware & software to maintain plant at high level of efficiency, safety, quality and software version management.
  • Maintain relationships with all departments, disciplines and facilities to provide required support and expertise for the execution of capital investment projects and marketing initiatives.
  • Work closely with plant Engineering team during all phases of plant projects.
  • Comply with all safety and environmental regulations involving (Internal & External) personnel working onsite.
  • Trains, develops, and mentors employees on automation and controls knowledge / skill sets for troubleshooting, execution of preventive maintenance tasks and all safety aspects of working on plant control systems.
  • Leads advanced problem solving and troubleshooting efforts on equipment performance issues related to automation/controls systems.
  • The A&C Engineer will have capability to make programming and control logic changes that impacts the productivity of the plant.
  • The role includes responsibility for all Management of Change (MOC) updating and maintaining in keeping with the company’s standards.
  • Maintaining controls related documentation for OEM manuals - electrical drawings - P&ID drawings - files, programs and configuration parameters for control networks, drives, PLC’s, and process databases.
  • A&C Engineer will acquire an expert level of knowledge of plant’s PLC’s, VFD’s, Servo’s and automation systems.  
  • Maintains a strong working partnership with OEM’s or other vendors.
  • HMI responsibilities including the design, creation, version control and modification of operator interface screens.
  • Ownership of the calibration program including all flow transmitters, pressure transmitters, level sensors, temperature devices and all other types of instrumentation.
  • Review and approve or reject all Preventative Maintenance and inspection tasks as prescribed in the maintenance management system.
  • Complies with the following initiatives: Reliability Strategy, Daily Maintenance Work Order Management, Food Safety GMPs, Ammonia System Controls Support, Product RO system controls, Plant Safety programs and all OSHA and Insurance Standards including; LOTO, Arc Flash, Machine Guarding, Thermography Inspections and any other safety requirements.



  • Bachelor’s or Associate’s degree in Industrial Controls, Electronics or other associated field from an accredited College or University
  • Certification or training on Allen Bradley machine controls (PLC’s, VFD’s).
  • Certification or training on Plant Electrical Systems.
  • Five or more years of applied industrial controls experience using Allen Bradley control platforms (SLC500, ControlLogix, MicroLogix, PanelView Plus, RS Logix, RS View), Motor Control experience with Servo and VFD devices.
  • Experience supporting capital project management, general electrical, and instrument calibration experience.
  • Expert knowledge of PLC’s, VFD’s, Servo’s and plant automation systems.
  • Working knowledge of all automation standard practices as defined by the Instrumentation Society of America.
  • Strong decision making and problem-solving abilities

Language Skills

Must be able to read, analyze, interpret, and present general business items to groups of coworkers, managers, vendors, customers, and the general public. Effective English communication is a must, bilingual is plus.


Mathematical Skill

Must possess ability to work with advanced mathematical concepts. Ability to apply concepts to the Automation and Controls field.


Schedule Accommodation
This is a Monday through Friday position; however, there will be projects or other events that will require the employee work some overtime or one or more weekend days. Also, must be available for emergency calls as needed.


Reasoning Ability
Ability to solve complex problems and deal with a variety of variables in situations where only limited information exists.


Physical Demands
The physical demands described here are representatives of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


Must be physically able to:

  • Stand and/or walk for up to 12-hour shift
  • Drive vehicles for up to 1 hour per day
  • Bend/stoop, kneel, crouch, and squat frequently for extended periods of time
  • Use both hands for frequent grasping
  • Work at heights
  • Tolerate required personal protective equipment such as steel toed shoes, work gloves, safety glasses, ear protection.

Work Environment
The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. While performing the duties of this job, the employee regularly works on, in, or in presence of:

  • Moving mechanical parts
  • High voltage control equipment (240 VAC and above)
  • Heights
  • Rapidly flashing lights
  • Low visibility areas
  • High decibel machinery
  • Heavy forklift traffic
  • Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, and the ability to adjust focus.


The Company is committed to providing equal opportunity for employees and applicants in all aspects of the employment relationship, without regard to race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, citizenship, marital status, veteran status, disability, age, religion or any other classification protected by law.


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