Plant controllers are responsible for ensuring that industrial plants run smoothly and efficiently. They monitor the performance of equipment, materials, and processes to ensure that everything is running as it should be. If something goes wrong, they work with engineers and other plant personnel to identify the issue and resolve it as quickly as possible.
Plant controllers may also have some responsibility for planning and scheduling activities within their facility. This might include determining which equipment or materials will be used when, coordinating with suppliers to ensure that they deliver what’s needed on time, and so on.
Plant Controller Job Duties
A plant controller typically has a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:
- Monitoring and regulating plant facilities such as lighting, temperature, humidity, and water levels to ensure optimum conditions
- Reviewing reports regarding production levels to identify trends and make adjustments as needed
- Working with production staff members to address any concerns or issues they may be having
- Monitoring inventory levels of raw materials and finished goods to ensure that inventories do not run low
- Ensuring that safety standards are met in accordance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines
- Maintaining records of all financial transactions related to plant operations
- Ensuring that regulatory requirements are met, including reporting greenhouse gas emissions to the government
- Working with engineering staff to identify potential problems with machinery and equipment before malfunctions occur
- Monitoring employee productivity and attendance to ensure that the company is getting the most out of its workforce
The employment of plant controllers is expected to grow at an average rate over the next decade.
Demand for plant controllers depends largely on the demand for manufactured goods. As manufacturing companies continue to invest in automation and process improvements, they will need more plant controllers to oversee these systems.
Plant Controller Job Requirements
A plant controller typically needs to have the following qualifications:
Education: A high school diploma or GED is often a minimum requirement for a plant controller position. However, many employers prefer a bachelor’s degree in business, finance or another related field.
Training & Experience: Plant controllers typically receive on-the-job training in their entry-level positions. This training helps them learn the specific processes and procedures of the company. It also helps them learn the software and computer systems the company uses.
Certifications & Licenses: Some employers may require employees to pass an industry-specific certification to show their general understanding of the field.
Plant Controller Skills
Plant controllers need the following skills in order to be successful:
Technical skills: Plant controllers use technical skills to read and interpret data from a variety of sources, including computer software, charts and graphs. They use technical skills to troubleshoot and solve problems with equipment and machinery. They also use technical skills to communicate with other professionals, including engineers, to understand and interpret data and solve problems.
Communication skills: Plant controllers communicate with many people throughout their workday, including other plant personnel, engineers, managers, suppliers and other plant representatives. Effective communication skills can help you convey messages clearly and concisely, which can help you build trust and rapport with others. You can also use your communication skills to write and send emails, make phone calls and send text messages
Analytical skills: Plant controllers use analytical skills to review data and make informed decisions. They use analytical skills to evaluate the performance of machinery, track production levels and monitor the status of inventory. Plant controllers use analytical skills to identify potential risks and develop strategies to mitigate them.
Leadership skills: Plant controllers often work in teams with other plant personnel, including engineers, maintenance workers and other controllers. Leadership skills can help you motivate and direct others to complete tasks and improve their performance. You can also use leadership skills to help your team work together and resolve conflicts.
Business acumen: Plant controllers work with a variety of stakeholders, including plant managers, engineers, production teams and other plant personnel. They need to understand the business side of manufacturing and how to apply financial principles to their work. Plant controllers with business acumen can make sound financial decisions and understand the impact of their decisions on the company’s bottom line.
Plant Controller Work Environment
Plant controllers work in manufacturing or production environments, overseeing the financial aspects of plant operations. They typically work regular business hours, although they may be required to work longer hours during busy periods or to meet deadlines. Plant controllers typically work in office settings, but they may also spend time on the production floor, observing plant operations and talking to employees. Because plant controllers are responsible for ensuring that the plant operates within its budget, they may experience some stress in their job. However, they typically have a good working relationship with the plant manager and other members of the management team.