Controls Support Engineer

Job description

VFE is the leading specialist in redesign, overhaul and repair of all makes of vacuum furnaces thanks to its hands-on service support and proven engineering solutions. Our experience in problem solving and innovative, engineered solutions offered covers all makes of equipment and all aspects of vacuum furnace technology including Vacuum Heat Treatment, Vacuum Brazing, Vacuum Melting & Casting, Diffusion Bonding, Vacuum Sintering and many other processes. We understand the specific needs of our clients, helping them to reach their goals by providing innovative heat treatment solutions and aftersales service in line with the highest quality standards, improving processes and reducing costs. As an expert in Vacuum Furnace and associated technologies, VFE assists its clients in optimising their cycle times, limiting the amount of downtime while optimising energy usage.

What will I be doing?

The position of Controls Support Engineer is a field based role within the Engineering team.  You will be required to travel to client sites throughout the UK and occasionally worldwide depending on your work schedule. 

As a Controls Support Engineer you will be required to give our clients the best in class quality service. You will provide on-site corrective / preventative maintenance and offer after-sales technical and commercial support.  You will be required to have all round engineering knowledge of High Tech equipment with experience with Plc Systems, Software (Siemens, WINCC, InTouch, Wonderware), Mechanical and Electrical Engineering.  Vacuum Systems and Heat Treatment Plant would be a significant advantage.

This role requires you to work occasional overtime at weekends and during public holidays.

Key Responsibilities include:

  • To observe, abide by and enforce the Company’s and client’s Health & Safety policies.
  • To always present a professional image to customers whether by telephone, in writing or in person.
  • To develop and maintain good working relationships with customers ensuring you are always punctual, helpful and courteous.
  • Provide routine servicing and breakdown assistance to customers.
  • To carry out start up / commissioning work on vacuum furnace and associated equipment.
  • Develop and maintain an in depth knowledge of vacuum & furnace equipment and technology to reinforce services provided.
  • Timely completion and submission of risk assessments work reports, activity reports and all other documentation.
  • Timely completion of site tasks and activities as required.
  • Look for recommendations and opportunities to improve the client’s system, (reliability or productivity) and where appropriate provide quotations to the client for parts, consumables, plant upgrades and refurbishment work.
  • Liaise with the appropriate sales team on any potential leads.
  • Offer feedback on future product development, features and function.
  • Provide regular updates to your line manager on any issues that may result in financial, reputational or operational impact on the Company.
  • To develop and maintain good working relationships with customers ensuring you are always punctual, helpful and courteous.
  • Participate in the ordering of parts and control panel / control systems to ensure any item is of correct quality and meets all relevant standards.
  • Assist with any instrument / software configuration and development.
  • Ensure that all specifications, configurations, PLC programmes, drawings etc you work with are up to date and correctly filed in all locations to enable them to be retrieved for future use.
  • Assist furnace check-outs at VFE and ensure that furnace check-out documentation is completed.
  • Assist customers and Service Engineers with electrical / control problems at VFE or on site.  
  • Ensure Health and Safety requirements are adhered to at all times.
  • Liaise with other departments to allow effective and smooth running of the business.
  • Undertaking relevant research.
  • Testing, evaluating, modifying and calibrating products and instruments.
  • Analysing and interpreting data.
  • Collaborating with a team of engineers.
  • Providing technical support.

What skills do I need?

  • SCADA programming from scratch using Wonderware Intouch.  
  • Siemens WinCC is an advantage.
  • PLC programming from scratch using Step 7
  • Design, documentation, Programming, Testing and Commissioning.
  • Documentation – FDs and operator manuals.
  • Electrical design and Drawings using EPlan and AutoCad.
  • IT Networking and Security.
  • SQL database.
  • VB scripting.
  • Ability to work well with a team.
  • Able to thrive in a high-stress and fast-paced environment.
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills.
  • Experience of working with Vacuum Furnaces desirable. 


  • Degree in BEng, MSc (Masters in Science in Control & Signal processing) or equivalent

What’s in it for me?

A training and development plan will be designed for you as we want you to grow and develop within VFE; this may include external training as required for the role.

  • Excellent salary
  • Uniform
  • 20 days holiday plus 8 public holidays
  • Life Assurance
  • Pension Scheme