Post graduate engineering: Z-Tech Control Systems

Posted on 7 May 2013 by The Manufacturer

Marcio Bonifacio of Z-Tech Control Systems explains why his MSc in Engineering and Management of Manufacturing Systems is integral to achieving his ambitions in a technology driven career.

In 2012 I graduated Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, as an Electronics Engineer. I am 24 years old.

In the final summer of my first degree programme I undertook an internship with Z-Tech Control Systems – a control systems company which provides SCADA technology, process control, PLCs and more for a wide range of sectors. Shortly after starting this placement, I was delighted to be offered a full-time position with the company.

It’s amazing how much I learnt in my early days at Z-Tech. There’s no substitute for experience in the field and it was quickly driven home for me, in a way which had not been so tangible before, that my colleagues and I will be driven by technology.

Realising this made me keen to enhance my understanding of how to exploit and manipulate technology within modern manufacturing. Without delay, I started a masters course at Cranfield University – an MSc in Engineering and Management of Manufacturing Systems, with the full backing and sponsorship of Z-Tech.

My work with Cranfield is beneficial for both parties. The industrial world has increasing requirements to be green and this puts growing emphasis on lean manufacturing, energy efficiency, and sustainability. Our customers are dealing with these concepts on a daily basis and we are challenged to keep providing more innovative solutions to their problems.

My course at Cranfield lays great importance on understanding how to design, create and manage efficient and environmentally sound manufacturing and supply chain systems. It also incorporates consultancy skills which I hope will help me develop the solutions customers need more effectively.

“There’s no substitute for experience in the field and it was quickly driven home for me that my colleagues and I will be driven by technology”

Another key issue faced by my industry, and others, is safety and security.

My MSc is accredited by the Institute for Engineering and Technology and I have attended IET conferences about Cyber Security which highlighted how to identify vulnerable systems that can be exposed to threats. The latest cutting edge security is integral to the systems I implement – it is far better to invest in protection of key assets, than be surprised by threats when they occur.

My work with Z-Tech is also helping me to achieve higher results in my studies with Cranfield – a personal bonus and very satisfying.

For instance, I am currently working on a project for Z-Tech which involves the protection of workers and machinery in a large industrial plant.

This is achieved by installing safety sensors, safety controllers and emergency stops. I then need to develop and programme a safety code to deal with the integration of all these devices.

The project challenges me to analyse new thought processes and develop a practical technical process to implement them with a safety bias. This experience is extremely valuable to my studies and I hope it will help me achieve my best, getting the most out of the time and money invested in the course. Ultimately, this will augment my CV and future career opportunities with Z-Tech where I plan to stay for the foreseeable future. It’s a forward thinking innovative company and for me is a pleasure being part of a winning and growing team which has supported me in developing professionally and personally from my first day of employment.