Senior Automation Engineer

Date: Apr 24, 2019

Location: Wilson, NC, US

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Requisition ID: MAN006142

Merck & Co., Inc. Kenilworth, N.J., U.S.A. known as Merck in the United States and Canada, is a global health care leader with a diversified portfolio of prescription medicines, vaccines and animal health products. The difference between potential and achievement lies in the spark that fuels innovation and inventiveness; this is the space where Merck has codified its legacy for over a century. Merck’s success is backed by ethical integrity, forward momentum, and an inspiring mission to achieve new milestones in global healthcare.

Merck Manufacturing Division, MMD, is a team of dedicated, energetic individuals who are committed to being the most trusted supplier of pharmaceuticals and health products worldwide. Our facilities, along with our external contractors, suppliers, and partners, comprise an interdependent global manufacturing network that’s committed to delivering a compliant, reliable supply to customers and patients on time, every time, across the globe. 

Leads automation support for assigned line(s)/system(s) and/or engineering projects. Work with plant maintenance, operations and process improvement teams to address line performance issues and implement continuous improvement initiatives. Conduct/support quality investigations related to equipment/system malfunctions and lead corresponding corrective and preventive actions to on-time closure. Lead/support qualification activities as well as associated GMP documentation and automation change controls.

Primary activities include, but are not limited to:

Manufacturing Support (60%)

  • On-floor support of manufacturing activities. Leads key automation support for manufacturing equipment and packaging systems (i.e. PLC, Vision Systems) in Manufacturing Operations. 
  • Provides automation technical support for site implementation and on ongoing management of serialization/aggregation (track and trace), Systech Guardian and above site point of contact for SAP ATTP application.
  • Provides client services support for business area applications.
  • Partner with IT to deliver shop floor network solutions.
  • Manage repository for production equipment/system qualified automation programs and files with associated metadata.  
  • Uses technical knowledge to assure the efficient operation of variety of automated processing and information technology systems. 
  • Author/Maintain technical documentation (requirements, qualifications, change controls, etc).
  • Provides guidance on process control and data collection techniques.
  • Provides automation technical support to ensure compliance with Data Integrity directive.
  • Identity and implement process/equipment improvements and manufacturing efficiencies.
  • Maintains automation systems in compliance with SLC, cGMPs, safety, and environmental regulations.
  • Evaluates automated systems and develops optimization strategies and solutions that ensure quality, reliability, and scalability.  
  • Understands and supports all GMPs, safety, and environmental regulations. Periodically reviews automation documents, preventive maintenance, and SOPs to ensure compliance with GMP and safety.
  • Develops and supports quality investigations and corrective actions for automated equipment/systems to resolve complex problems and prevent reoccurrence.
  • Serves as interface between business and automation engineering to resolve issues especially those requiring innovative solutions.
  • Communicates periodically with immediate manager about status of area of responsibility.
  • Participates in audits and training programs. 
  • Responsibilities will potentially include providing automation leadership on various shifts/weekend in support of Manufacturing Operations.

Project Management (40%)

  • Manage personal project activities following approved business processes to deliver results that are quality engrained, right first time, on-time with schedule requirements, reconciled to the budget, and meet all Quality requirements.
  • Deliver project plans, which have been developed and aligned with all key stakeholders.
  • Partner proactively with key customers and stakeholders (operations, quality and plant/facilities/utilities maintenance groups) while being open and approachable with a friendly, positive and professional attitude.
  • When required, select external contractors with appropriate skill sets. Set clear expectations for work delivered and behaviors. Monitor performance and ensure contractual obligations are met.
  • Lead projects by engaging team members, setting clear expectations, utilizing strong communication skills and exercising clear decision-making.
  • Regularly and clearly communicate project plans, risks and strategy to all key stakeholders, customers and governance committees.
  • Prepares automation cost information to support necessary project plans.
  • Develop/maintain Master Specifications and Standard Design Packages
  • Share Knowledge on engineering principles and other areas of expertise as needed.
  • Challenges the status-quo and develops creative solutions within the framework of department standards and processes.
  • Leads proactive measures to achieve the specified goals in the event of deviations from the project plan.


Education Minimum Requirement: 

  • Required:  BS in Engineering or equivalent with 8+ years experience in Automation/Engineering with background in GMP manufacturing/packaging.
  • Preferred:  MS in Engineering or equivalent.

Required Experience and Skills: 

  • Experience in IT/Automation support of PLC (AB, Elau) HMI (Panel View, Factory Talk) and Vision system (Systech, Cognex) applications with proven ability to program/troubleshoot these applications.
  • Experience in a pharmaceutical/packaging technology  equipment, barcode systems,  reject/verification processes, MES, IT, and OEM equipment.
  • Demonstrated leadership and teamwork skills.
  • Strong written and oral communication ability.
  • Excellent analytical and decision making ability. 
  • Demostrated Project Management skills.
  • Experience in computer validation and systems lifecycle development  methodology.

Preferred Experience and Skills:

  • Working knowledge of Track  and  Trace  Serialization  applications  (Systech: Guardian, Advisory, Sentri) is strongly desirable.
  • PMP Certification is a plus.
  • Possesses working knowledge of lean /Toyota mindsets, behaviors, skills and tools.

Your role at Merck is integral to helping the world meet new breakthroughs that affect generations to come, and we’re counting on your skills and inventiveness to help make meaningful contributions to global medical advancement. At Merck, we’re inventing for life. 


If you need assistance and/or a reasonable accommodation due to a disability during the application or the recruiting process, please send a request to


Search Firm Representatives Please Read Carefully: 

Merck & Co., Inc. is not accepting unsolicited assistance from search firms for this employment opportunity.  Please, no phone calls or emails.  All resumes submitted by search firms to any employee at Merck via email, the Internet or in any form and/or method without a valid written search agreement in place for this position will be deemed the sole property of Merck.  No fee will be paid in the event the candidate is hired by Merck as a result of the referral or through other means.


Visa sponsorship is not available for this position.


For more information about personal rights under Equal Employment Opportunity, visit:


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Merck is an equal opportunity employer, Minority/Female/Disability/Veteran – proudly embracing diversity in all of it’s manifestations.

Job: Manufacturing Automation
Other Locations:
Employee Status: Regular
Travel: Yes, 10 % of the Time
Number of Openings: 1
Shift (if applicable): 1st
Hazardous Materials: No
Company Trade Name: Merck

Nearest Major Market: Raleigh
Nearest Secondary Market: Rocky Mount

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