Automated Systems Technician and Technologist Spotlight

If you see drilling automation, driverless trucks, or remote sensors in the oil and gas industry, you can thank an Automated Systems Technician or Technologist. These types of automated technologies are being used increasingly more common in the oil and gas industry to monitor, measure, and control oil and gas wells, facilities, and pipeline operations. 

What a typical day looks like:

Automated Systems Technicians and Technologists work closely with Automation Engineers and other engineering professionals to plan and design mechanical components, sensors, actuators, control systems, and robots into oil and gas processes. Once a design is confirmed, they assist engineering staff in preparing cost and material estimates, project schedules and reports. Then, they install the mechanic, robotic or computer components, and program or calibrate the system or circuit boards for maximum operational efficiency.  
These professionals are responsible for things used in oil and gas, such as programmable logic controllers (PLC) which control manufacturing processes, remote terminal units (RTU) which are microprocessor controlled electronic devices, supervisory control and data acquisition  systems (SCADA), and distributed control systems (DCS) which are computerized control systems for a process or plant.   
Safety and environmental performance are top of mind for these professionals as they look for better or more efficient ways to do things. They also keep on top of new trends and developments in the industry so they can properly recalibrate or upgrade systems as newer technologies and components become available, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning. They use artificial intelligence software or interactive training techniques, for example, to teach robots to perform tasks such as carrying out a series of repetitive movements.  
Automated Systems Technicians and Technologists can be found working wherever the technology is needed. This can include a mix of working in an office environment and working in the field. There may also be some mild physical activity since they need to be able to lift and install components as needed. 

The kinds of problems Automated Systems Technicians and Technologists solve at work:

Automated Systems Technicians and Technologists are responsible for performing routine diagnostic checks their automated systems. They monitor the systems, isolate problems and troubleshoot the issue to determine if the problem is mechanical, electrical or from the computer systems that control the process. Once the issue has been diagnosed, they repair or replace any necessary components, such as a sensor or electrical wiring.  

Skills used most on the job:

Automated Systems Technicians and Technologists are detail oriented people who are very technically savvy. They have strong computer software and component-based knowledge. They also have strong interpersonal skills and are able to work closely with other automation technologists and engineers to properly plan integrated systems. 
As the industry becomes more and more driven by computers, Automated Systems Technicians and Technologists are leading the way. Oil and gas companies are able to perform more tasks and collect important data due to these professionals. 

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