Day 18: Sunny side up eggs
Today the alarm went off at 7:00 to start the day with breakfast: brown beans, toast and sunny side up eggs. After breakfast we had to wait for the bus which would arrive at 7:45, however due to an accident the bus finally arrived at 8:50. The bus ride took us to the NXP Semiconductor plant located in Seremban, Malaysia, which approximately lasted an hour, for most of us an opportunity to get some extra sleep.
Having arrived at the NXP Semiconductor plant we received a warm welcome. The host took us to the conference room where we received a presentation about the various processes we were about to see inside the cleanrooms, some of these processes were about wire bonding and molding encapsulations. The presentation lasted approximately an hour. After the presentation we all received a bag with our name on it, it contained cleanroom clothing. After we’ve put on the clothes we went into one of the cleanrooms.
Inside the cleanroom we first visited the wire bonding machines. There were two different kinds of wire bonding machines, one used copper wire and the other one used gold wire. There was a small difference between the machines, the machine which used copper wire sprayed gas around the copper while welding to prevent oxidation. Since gold is an inert metal this is of course not necessary. We were shown the result of the wire bonding process by looking into a microscope. After the wire bonding process we were shown the molding process. The molding process creates an encapsulation of a polymer around the die which protects the die from dirt and moisture.
After our tour in the various cleanrooms we were taken to lunch. During lunch some of us were able to ask questions to the general manager of the plant about how the plant operates and how the challenge of machine maintenance is solved. After lunch we went back to the conference room where we received a presentation about Itec, an engineering company who works solely for NXP. Most of the machines we saw inside the cleanroom were designed by Itec. After the presentation about Itec we had a final presentation of an intern and a graduate student (both from Eindhoven University of Technology) who were developing scheduling software to optimize the machine and operator usage inside the plant.
At around 18:00 we arrived back at the hotel where we decided to first go grab a cocktail before dinner since we had snacked a lot at NXP. During our walk to the cocktail bar we had to hide for a heavy thunderstorm which lasted approximately half an hour. After the thunderstorm I had a Mojito and a Tequila Sunrise for drinks and a pasta Primavera at the 51 Restaurant and Bar. After the cocktails and dinner some of us went to the Havana club where we had some additional Tiger and Heineken beers. At 3:30 AM the taxi brought us back to the hotel.
Day 17 – SPIE
Another early wakeup call today at 6.45 in the smoggy city of KL. For some of us the start of a tough morning. One of us met an old friend in town yesterday evening which resulted in a nice party and ended in sleeping without undressing in an unmade bed. For Ruben however it was the start of a special day. It was his 23 birthday and how awesome is it to celebrate that on the other side of the world. He got several presents like a crown to wear the whole day and a selfie-stick to give Ruben the opportunity to make even more and better selfies. After breakfast, we took the monorail to SPIE. The monorail was overcrowded and people really fought their way into the train.
After we survived the ride we walked to the office of SPIE, which was situated on the 22th floor. We were received with a warm welcome and a short safety briefing. Thereafter we got an introduction about the French company SPIE in general and about SPIE Oil and Gas and mainly about the Asia pacific. SPIE Oil and Gas is a company which delivers service to companies that drill for oil and gas. They deliver maintenance, inspection integrity and Engineering of the drilling plants and FPSO’s. FPSO’s are floating factories. They pump up the oil and gas out of the field in the open seas and process this to a product on board. SPIE delivers the whole trajectory for a plant from engineering to the end of such plant.
After a short break, which was well used to plunder the coffee machine, a presentation was given about some projects where the maintenance of a plant was involved. Two guys told us, while continuously replenishing each other, about how a maintenance plan was designed and what the different approaches are.
Thereafter the idea was to do a workshop/case where we interactively would think about a maintenance plan. However it turnout more like a demonstration and a walk through of the seven steps of designing a maintenance plan. We ended with a nice group picture, which is always challenging with a large group in a small space.
In the lobby of the tower the committee did a short briefing about the rest of the day, which was spare time, and the plans of tomorrow. For the lunch the group got separated, some of us decided to get a nice sandwich at the subway, some of us went eating nachos and tacos at the Mexican and some of us, including me, went on with Asian food in a Thai restaurant where to food got spicy for some of us.
Many of us had the idea to go for a walk this afternoon, so we decided to change some clothing. We made a nice walk through town with our tour guide Caroline. Due the big size of the group we got separated two times.
Some of us decided after Caroline ended the tour to go shopping for souvenirs, other went to a shopping mall with a small amusement park on the 5th floor and others went back to the hotel to chill there and change for the party of tonight.
Before the party started at the skybar we went dining. Some of us went to an all you can eat place while I chose to go to a grill house and eat some well-prepared ribs and chicken.
Just before 9 o’clock we went to the skybar where we reserved a corner to socialize and do some networking with one of the guys of SPIE. Because we are students we ordered 22 pints of beer just on time to get them for happy hour prices, which resulted in a nice table full of beer. Due to Ruben’s birthday and his charms he arranged some food and beer by some people which all were the ingredients for a nice evening.
We finally left in small groups back for the hotel. For some of us the way back wasn’t as smooth as planned due to detours and small gently crashes but finally we all got back safe.