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Job Description

Principal Automation & Controls Engineer

Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, Minnesota

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Schwan’s Company, a U.S. affiliate of the global lifestyle company, CJ CheilJedang Corporation, is a leading U.S. manufacturer and marketer of quality foods offered through retail-grocery and food service channels. Our many popular brands include Red Baron®, Tony’s®, Big Daddy’s®, Villa Prima™ and Freschetta® pizza; Mrs. Smith’s® and Edwards® desserts; and Pagoda® Asian-style snacks. Schwan’s is a place for people with an appetite for more.  To learn about joining a team where you can belong, contribute and thrive, visit 

Come be part of one of the biggest manufacturing expansion projects underway in the United States! We are building two brand new, highly automated manufacturing facilities unlike any other in our industry. We are seeking a Principal Automation & Controls Engineer .  You will be responsible for technical and functional leadership of electrical, automation and controls systems supporting a business platform.  Under limited supervision, this person will execute and support major automation and controls projects across the platform consistent with the strategic direction. This role serves as a key subject matter expert and resource for manufacturing and business leadership. 

Location: We are flexible! Ideally would like you to be based in the Midwest, near one of our major facilities (Minneapolis/St Paul area; Kansas City, MO;  Sioux Falls, SD; Cincinnati, OH; Houston, TX; Salina, KS)  Corporate offices are in Bloomington, MN.   


  • Lead as expert, implementation of Strategic automation and control projects.
  • Develops and implements medium to long-term controls, network architecture, and plant floor strategies to drive efficiency, plant floor productivity, and innovation.
  • Supports the team with development and execution of project scope, costs, and schedule (from concept through vertical start-up).
  • Ensures that projects meet operating expectations and are completed within authorized budgets and schedule constraints.
  • Drives technical solutions by evaluating and recommending new technologies as well as reduce/eliminate issues associated with equipment, performance, quality and safety.
  • Supports the development of the long-range capital plan and manage obsolescence across GSC
  • Collaborate with project teams, and internal/external technical resources to assess opportunities for application of innovative designs, performance improvements, technical advantages, speed to market and capital efficiencies ensuring optimum business value is achieved during capital project activity.
  • Coaches and mentors Automation Engineers to build technical capability and leadership behaviors consistent with our stated goal. 


Education:  Bachelor of Science or Master’s degree in Engineering required (Electrical preferred, Mechanical, Chemical). ABET accredited program is a strong preference.

Experience:  10+ years’ experience in Manufacturing and Packaging Technologies. 8+ years of engineering experience with a focus on electrical and control systems. Project engineering including scope definition, cost estimation and tracking is required


  • Previous experience with manufacturing food and beverage or consumer packaged goods companies is strongly preferred. Previous experience in plant operations and corporate engineering environment strongly preferred.
  • Demonstrates project management leadership, problem-solving, decision making, troubleshooting, communications, and interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to work with a team and influence diverse groups at various levels and across functions.
  • Ability to teach the fundamentals of electrical automation and control systems. 
  • Strong knowledge and understanding of the primary codes and safety requirements applicable to controls safety systems, robotics, and power distribution equipment and systems.
  • Knowledge of Lean Six-Sigma concepts and ability to use a CAD System is preferred.
  • Strong ability to utilize application, programming, and integration experience through a variety of hardware/software.
  • Ability to troubleshoot PLC’s at the code level and troubleshoot equipment and wiring.
  • Strong understanding of low and medium voltage power distribution and associated equipment is preferred.
  • Must have advanced knowledge of processing, packaging & facility systems along with thorough understanding of manufacturing, engineering, quality, and research functions.
  • Demonstrates compliance with USDA, FDA, OSHA, EPA, City and/or State agencies, etc. for both manufacturing processes and building requirements.

Travel:  Ability to travel up to 50% as required (dependent on location).

The employing subsidiaries of Schwan’s Company are Equal Employment Opportunity Employers. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to disability, age, race, color, religion, gender, vet status, national origin or other protected class.


Job Type: Exempt Business Unit: Req #: 21003506

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Brand Logos
  • Big Daddy's
  • Edwards
  • Mrs. Smith's
  • MINH
  • Red Baron
  • Freschetta
  • Pagoda
  • Tony's