We interviewed Ashish Phansalkar, a Senior Controls Engineer, to better understand his experience working at FZ. Check out what he had to say!
How long have you been working at FZ? How did you get connected to FZ?
I joined Feyen Zylstra back in 2017 as a Controls Engineer III. Previously I was working with a System Integrator located in Detroit, MI, and had heard about FZ through my industry contacts. I had worked closely with two other controls engineers on a project and they had both joined FZ and spoke positively about their experience. I decided to take a chance and join the team.
What do you like working at FZ?
At my previous employer, I was traveling for work 60-70% of the time. Working in other states, far from home becomes draining. Although I do periodically travel for work at FZ, it's now limited to the State of Michigan, which is far more manageable.
Also, I appreciate that FZ is system agnostic and pursues opportunities in all types of systems. Whereas some SI's specialize in just one type of platform, FZ is versatile and has exposed me to a variety of PLC, HMI, and Motion Control systems and technologies. We're all encouraged to learn and grow to become a jack-of-all-trades, much to the benefit of our customers and the projects we work on.
What has been your biggest challenge working at FZ?
I currently live on the east side of Michigan, where most of my colleagues are stationed on the west side. Being farther away from them is less of a challenge and more of just an annoyance. For a few years we had a Detroit-based office which made in-person collaboration easier, but these past few years it's all been remote.
What keeps you at FZ?
The team. They're awesome. I've learned a lot from my colleagues and leaders and really appreciate the support and friendship I've received over the years.
What has been your favorite project you’ve worked on?
A few years back I designed, programmed, and commissioned one of our customer's Pipe Bender Machines. The project included Siemens S7-1500 PLCs and Siemens Servo Motion Controllers with multiple axes in synchronous motion. As this was my first time with Siemens and on this type of equipment, it was an intimidating task. Although challenging, the project was extremely awarding in the end.
What do you like about the industry?
There's always something new. Especially working at FZ where innovation and new technology are valued, it's exciting to see new hardware, software, and processes on the market. I love being able to implement these new technologies on our projects.
Interested in hearing more about Controls Engineer careers at FZ?
By Ashish Phansalkar
Senior Controls Engineer
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