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Abbott Principal Automation Engineer - Diagnostics in Lake Forest, Illinois

Abbott is a global healthcare leader that helps people live more fully at all stages of life. Our portfolio of life-changing technologies spans the spectrum of healthcare, with leading businesses and products in diagnostics, medical devices, nutritionals, and branded generic medicines. Our 109,000 colleagues serve people in more than 160 countries.

Diagnostic testing is a compass, providing information that helps in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of a range of health conditions.

Abbott’s life-changing tests and diagnostic tools give you accurate, timely information to better manage your health. We’re empowering smarter medical and economic decision making to help transform the way people manage their health at all stages of life. Every day, more than 10 million tests are run on Abbott’s diagnostics instruments, providing lab results for millions of people.

Our location in Lake Forest, IL currently has an opportunity for a Principal Automation Engineer . This team member will be leading the engineering assessment; design and development, start up, validation, and implementation of automation equipment for high volume production applications.


  • Translates automation requirements into new solutions.

  • Responsible for identifying, developing, and communicating product, process, and equipment requirements to automation equipment suppliers. Identifies process and equipment solutions to drive equipment performance including, increased up-time, faster equipment speeds, lower process scrap, and overall higher process through-put. Drives process improvement efforts on automation equipment. Identifies opportunities to improve process capability and process robustness.

  • Drives Process Improvement efforts. Detects and isolates sources of variation and performs root cause analysis on automated processes. Proposes and implements process and automation improvements to drive consistency in process, eliminate scrap, reduce re-work, increase equipment uptime, and improve overall process performance.

  • Utilizes traditional Root Cause Analysis, Lean manufacturing, and Six Sigma tools.

  • Oversees software debug and development. Helps troubleshoot problems with equipment programming (PLC and HMI programming), specifically using Allen Bradley programming software and working with software technicians on debugging equipment. Drives implementation and troubleshooting of SQL database systems for real time process data collection.

  • Helps troubleshoot problems with on-line vision inspection systems utilizing Cognex InSight software and other vision software tools. Confirms vision jobs are designed for robust part analysis and confirms performance through rigorous testing during validation activities.

  • Advances technical and functional area expertise. Identifies new technologies and techniques to drive advancement of processes. Recommends improvements to Engineering policies and procedures.

  • Collaborates across functional areas. Interprets, presents, and delivers information with senior team members, scientists, engineers, and other systems development personnel across sites. Works with cross functional team in collaborative environment.

  • Orchestrates validation activities within Abbott and at external contract manufacturers. Works with cross functional teams to validate automated processes.

  • Develops statistically sound sampling plans and incorporates statistical analysis on results to confidently reach data driven conclusions.

  • Demonstrates sound project management, communicates effectively (within team and to management), and drives team members to achieve results aligned with the overall project goal.

  • Able to influence without authority when necessary to achieve required project outcomes.

  • Documents and manages changes of drawings, specs, and other controlled documents. Justifies changes, quality and regulatory information, and manufacturing readiness information. Executes changes through document control and the quality system to properly implement project outcomes.



  • B.S. Engineering or equivalent plus progressive technical experience and demonstrated competence.

  • Knowledge of regulations and standards affecting IVDs and Biologics.


  • 7 or more years progressive work experience with automation and supporting automated systems

  • Six Sigma Green Belt or Black Belt

  • Knowledge in PLC and HMI programming of Allen Bradley control systems

  • Proficiency in the development of Cognex vision tools and inspection systems

  • Experience in the validation of automated processes for medical devices or pharmaceuticals

  • Expertise in the development, improvement, and implementation of assembly automation solutions, robotics, and complex machine controls

  • In depth knowledge and understanding of multiple products or disciplines


At Abbott, you can have a good job that can grow into a great career. We offer:

  • Training and career development , with onboarding programs for new employees and tuition assistance

  • Financial security through competitive compensation, incentives and retirement plans

  • Health care and well-being programs including medical, dental, vision, wellness and occupational health programs

  • Paid time off

  • 401(k) retirement savings with a generous company match

  • The stability of a company with a record of strong financial performance and history of being actively involved in local communities

Learn more about our benefits that add real value to your life to help you live fully:

Follow your career aspirations to Abbott for diverse opportunities with a company that provides the growth and strength to build your future. Abbott is an Equal Opportunity Employer, committed to employee diversity.

Connect with us at , on Facebook at and on Twitter @AbbottNews and @AbbottGlobal.

An Equal Opportunity Employer

Abbot welcomes and encourages diversity in our workforce.

We provide reasonable accommodation to qualified individuals with disabilities.

To request accommodation, please call 224-667-4913 or email