Meet Nick Kienzle. Nick is one of our Senior Automation Engineers. Nick possesses significant practical application knowledge and expertise across Process Automation and Material Handling. He is a driven individual who is consistently going above and beyond on his projects. In addition, he possesses great technical leadership, and Nick has considerable design and programing experience across multiple platforms and industries.
Nick has extensive knowledge of packaging line design/ process integration and programming including utilization of PackML methodology for line control. In addition to leading project execution, he has directed multiple OEM/Vendor integrations to client success. His experience and knowledge ranges from project planning and leadership, documentation, design & software programming, vendor/OEM direction, system troubleshooting, production testing and embedded support of production packaging, making him a valuable addition to our team.
Nick started as a Chemical Engineering Major at college. He enjoyed the openness of the different applications for chemical, oil and gas production, and liked setting the process engineering mindset to various jobs. He said that college taught him how to be a problem solver, which is one of our four Core Values. As a part of his college experience, Nick got a co-op at a cable factory in Kentucky, there he learned how a plant works and the basics of production. As he was working, he saw the various automated equipment and wanted to get involved with it. After leaving college, he sought jobs in the Automation field, and landed a job doing automation for pharma-engineering and has loved it ever since.
Once Nick started working for Plus Group, he instantly enjoyed it. To him, Plus Group is a great opportunity to see different products, processes, and people in numerous industries and software. Plus Group represents a good name and reputation along with positive, well known, and repeat customer referrals. The most rewarding thing about Plus Group to Nick is seeing something work automatically for the first time.
Three words that Nick used to describe Plus Group are:
Ambiguous– as a company Plus Group is ambiguous with our solutions, we leave a wide range of possibilities available and give our clients the best route based on our past expeirence and their needs aiming to find the single best overall solution.
Flexible– Engineering is not an industry that could survive if people weren’t flexible. This can be challenging to Nick in terms of software. Not everyone knows every single software, in light of this, Nick believes that Plus Group does a great job in having flexible options for our clients. He also spoke of Plus groups FLEX hours program, that helps him maintain a work and life balance.
Partnership– Plus Group partners with many software companies, such as Rockwell, Honeywell, and recently ABB. These partnerships allow our clients and vendors alike to increase their trust.
A typical day for Nick is usually 75% spent programming and debugging programs, writing software, or he’s physically in front of a machine trying to get it to work. The other 25% of his day is spent in training, and researching, or meeting with clients and consulting with them and his team about improving their operations through automation.
Something challenging about Nicks job is when he needs to quickly get up to speed on a new plant or production line, or job. Even though Nick is very flexible, it’s difficult when he needs to solve a problem and the client doesn’t know what they need and can’t provide a lot of information. Luckily for us, this doesn’t stop Nick and only pushes him to try harder to provide the correct solution for our clients.
Nicks advice for engineering students consists of finding something that they truly enjoy, don’t work for a big name company just because, but look long term and ask yourself ‘do I truly enjoy doing this?’ Out of school there is value in doing the technical work if the student enjoys it. He also encourages students to be immersed in many different things and projects, to try and narrow down their interests in school rather than after school. In terms of Automation and software Nick advises to learn as much as possible, because it’s a constantly changing industry, and try the new stuff and give it a fair chance before deciding if it is or is not for you.
Fun Fact: In 2016 Nick completed an 100 mile race in Cleveland, OH, it took him 29 hours to get from north east Cleveland to Akron, OH. He has doing multiple 50 milers and marathons and hopes to train for Cincinnati’s Flying Pig Marathon covid allowing. He enjoys running when he travels and runs in different areas where sidewalks are available.