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Quality Inspection Requires Being ‘Gentle on the Outside and Firm on the Inside’

Joy Kim | Corporate Communications Specialist
August 17, 2022 | Life at Lam

At Lam, we operate at the atomic scale—etching and depositing materials onto silicon wafers more than 10,000 times smaller than the size of objects that can be seen with the naked eye. Engineering at this scale requires a level of precision that demands consistent quality of our tools that can be repeated multiple times a day, every day.

Our Manufacturing Quality Assurance (MQA) team is critical to ensuring the tools we ship to our customers around the world maintain the quality and consistency we look for in our products and deliver on our high standards.

As a quality inspector on the MQA team at our manufacturing site in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi, Korea, SunWook Kim and his team are responsible for ensuring our products meet or exceed standards. Additionally, SunWook develops preventive measures in collaboration with the production team to prevent future quality issues from cropping up throughout the tool’s lifetime.

To conduct a quality inspection of one of our tools, SunWook needs to be in the know about the tool’s history; it can take several weeks for a tool to be fully assembled. For this reason, he needs to thoroughly review the overall production process and tool development schedule, including logging evaluations and inspections of the equipment, as well the final checks. Inspections require many teams to collaborate, including our production and manufacturing engineering teams.

“When cooperating with people from other departments, you need to be gentle when communicating but clear in discussing defined standards,” SunWook says. “Being gentle on the outside and firm on the inside helps greatly in this field of work.”

In his job, SunWook dives deeper than the final product.

“Not only do quality inspectors have to perform quality checks of produced equipment, but they also have to precisely manage all things related to and derived from the overall process, from the start of the process to the shipment to customers,” SunWook says.“I feel a great sense of achievement from identifying and resolving various issues. The responsibility I have for quality in the last stage of production can be stressful. But, it’s also rewarding to contribute to the advancement of the semiconductor industry.”

Are you interested in exploring a career in advanced manufacturing with Lam Research? Visit our careers site to learn about current opportunities.

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