ASML is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of chip-making equipment. Headquartered in Veldhoven, the Netherlands, ASML employs more than 21,000 people.
In one of my favorite movies, ‘Forrest Gump', there is a beautiful and inspiring line: "Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get." And that's just like how it is at ASML. Every day is different, you can never predict what challenges you are going to face, and who you will be working with. But just like a box of chocolates, whichever comes along it is always enjoyable
I work in the sector Customer Support of ASML, especially now in CS Field Upgrades, the team that performs upgrades on existing ASML machines at customer sites. I say ‘upgrade', but nowadays an upgrade is more like a complete makeover, taking the current PEP NXT (Productivity Enhancement Package) upgrade as an example, requiring a team of about 25 people and up to three weeks to accomplish - resulting in a productivity increase of more than 30% for our customers.
My job as an Upgrade Coordinator is to organize the people, parts, tools and spares, anything necessary for a successful upgrade. Each job starts with three to four weeks of intensive planning and preparation. Almost every day we have conference calls with our engineers in the field. It's my job to help ensure that everyone in the team - both at the Veldhoven headquarters and at the customer site - knows what they have to do and when they have to do it. Then we all fly over, either to the US or Asia and start our race against time.
It's a race against time because the customer will have scheduled a specific amount of days of downtime - 16 days for an NXT1 to NXT2 upgrade, for example. This is the time we have to perform the upgrade, identify and fix all the issues and glitches and get the machine up and running to full speed. The thing is, we don't know how many problems and setbacks there will be. ASML machines are extremely complex, and every customer situation is different. With so many unknown challenges to overcome, everyone is eager to work as fast as possible from Day One.
Like everywhere else in ASML there is great team spirit and pride. Everyone has a ‘can-do, will-do' attitude. And when we have overcome everything that got in our way, when we have confronted highly complex issues, broken them down and synthesized creative solutions, and returned the machine to full production, there is always an immense satisfaction. Both for us and our customers.
I've been at ASML for two and a half years, and one of the best things about working here is you get to meet so many really bright people. This not only means you can learn technical things but you also see how people think and organize themselves. This close proximity to so many thought leaders is so enriching. And so too is the environment at ASML, everyone is encouraged to think in an entrepreneurial way, to express their ideas and gather support from colleagues. That's how my own communications skills have improved tremendously at ASML - in this environment you quickly learn how to keep issues focused, how to persuade and inspire people, and how to listen to them as well. It's really what makes ASML such a rich development ground.
Page updated on 2012-12-3 11:35 CET