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Introduce a platform

The Project
TMC Employeneur Pieter Jansen is seconded as a Mechatronical Equipment Engineer at ASML in Veldhoven, The Netherlands. His task is to help to introduce a platform, the project is the technical preparation of the introduction of a new photolithography system called NXT1970Ci, which is used for manufacturing of integrated circuits. “My role is being the bridge between the development department and the customer service department.”

Pieter Jansen cooperates with ASML colleagues from various departments: development, customer service and supply chain engineering. He works with physicists and mechanical and electrical engineers. “Our NXT1970Ci platform has many improvements compared with its predecessors, resulting in more accuracy and higher throughput. This leads to a shorter production time and more advanced microchips. On top of that, it is more reliable and easier to maintain.”

The process
“During the development phase of a product, many aspects influence the process towards the final version. As an Equipment Engineer, I try to estimate in which form the product will arrive at the customers and how it can be best maintained. I focus on keeping the machine available to the customer as long as possible, so the production can continue. As an equipment engineer I am involved throughout the whole production process of a new machine, in order to make the design as ‘serviceable’ as I can.”

How to introduce a new system?
In order to introduce a platform or a new system, some aspects should be thoroughly prepared, especially the three Pieter mentions here:

“First of all, parts must be easy to replace by our field service engineers. Therefore, one needs a good technical work description, and the right parts and special tools must be available. These preparations give a good insight in the practical and theoretical aspects of the machine in just a short time.”
“Before something is replaced, surely one has to determine what is wrong with it. This is why ASML has put up an elaborate diagnostic system, in which it is my task to investigate and realize the client’s needs and wishes. This varies from designing specific diagnostic functions or to solve a recurrent problem. One has to gain insight in the technical aspects of the problem and underline, for the people working on the project, why it is essential to solve this very problem.”
“As soon as the right diagnosis is made and the parts are replaced, the system has got to be restarted and calibrated. Because of the complexity of the system, small modifications may have a big influence on other parts of the machine. It is my task to ensure that the setup sequence is working correctly to get the system up and running as soon as possible, without errors. This gives me much insight in both my own module and the interactions with the surrounding modules, and, as a result, the complete machine.”

Pieter is enthusiast about the results: “Currently, the first systems have arrived at various customers’ premises. So far, hardly any issues have occurred that led to long-lasting problems. Next to that, we can see that the diagnostics, material and service related aspects make up a good basis for our field service engineers.”

“In my role it is a challenge to connect the various departments and arrive at the best solution by working together. Often, one sees that people think from their own point of view and environment. By investigating these points of view, one may arrive at a completely different conclusion. The mix of technical involvement, combined with finding out what is important for my colleagues to perform their job is what makes my job a challenging one. On top of that, ASML is a large company, which makes it necessary to find the right persons throughout the whole company. This is why one gets acquainted fast with various roles and aspects of the company.”

“In just a short time, I have gained a lot of experience, both with the machine and with colleagues and projects. In my role, I was involved in a whole module, which gave me an overview of the complete module instead of one component, but I also had to know about the whole machine’s functionality. Apart from that, the tasks and responsibilities cover such a wide range that I had to cooperate with many different colleagues. I have learnt a lot from it, like communication skills and a view of the company. The mix of broad technical involvement combined with cooperation with many different colleagues makes it a challenging and fun job.”

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