Our Material Engineers are experts on materials used in our production. Depending on the industry, the areas of expertise may vary. They know about materials from their rawest forms to their most complex combinations.
- Generate deep understanding of material properties and material interactions, incl chemical, physical and mechanical integrity
- Develop and deploy guidelines for selection, evaluation and characterization of materials and materials and surface interaction
- Facilitate & encourage material development internally and with material suppliers
- Develop and implement material strategy
- Knowledge of semiconductor material properties and interaction
- Knowledge of material characterization and analysis methods
- Knowledge of material interaction between package components and reliability requirements
Feng Lina, Material Engineer in Wuxi
As a Material Engineer in backend manufacturing, my job is to introduce new material into the production line and to optimize existing material. We mainly focus on the direct materials that are used to make our final product, such as lead frame, wire, and mold compound.
Before a material can be successfully released to mass production, we must do a lot of evaluation to ensure it can fulfill our quality requirements. We work out the evaluation plan not just for material or products itself, but also for the related processes. Usually, we spend a great deal of time in the production line building samples, collecting results, and even finding the solutions to any problems encountered along the way. In many cases, we also need to submit our products to the RPT (Reliability Product Testing) lab for stress tests in order to verify the product’s reliability. After data analysis & process performance review, we make conclusions and recommendations on the material reviewed. In addition, we collect mass production data for a fixed period of time to make sure the qualified material is perfectly feasible and suitable to our product and production line.
The biggest challenge is to ensure optimal profitability for our products, which means finding the most suitable material with an acceptable price, while never compromising on quality!
The traditional way to achieve this goal is by cutting the material price directly by using an alternative source. One example is the material localization project, which is dedicated to qualifying local material sources over the imported ones and in so doing, bypassing expensive customs duties. But this kind of saving is quite limited, since we cannot relent on our high quality requirement. Now we’re looking into new strategies to realize cost reductions, such as enhancing the material utilization rate. This is much more challenging since it relates to process & equipment optimization as well. For example, high-density matrix lead frame was employed in place of the standard one, as it not only helps increase the lead frame and compound utilization rate but the process efficiency too.
I like my job since I can always explore new things through challenges. First of all, I need to be very familiar with the material properties and application scope for specific product types and production lines. Secondly, we need to have some process and equipment knowledge, as it will help us to understand the bottlenecks during production. Furthermore, we also have the chance to have direct contact with our supplier to understand how to make full use of our material and even how to optimize our in-house processes.
However, as more and more new/optimized materials are introduced into our production line, material control becomes increasingly complicated, especially during the phase in/phase out period. This means we need to work systematically with material planner, Process Engineer, and production supervisor to ensure that the right material is used at the right production station.
When I was a child, I was very fond of detective stories, especially Sherlock Holmes. Later, I chose Chemistry as my undergraduate major at college. After receiving my Master’s Degree from Nanjing University, I was attracted to the Management Trainee Program at Infineon Wuxi. Here I was provided with a platform for rapid growth and continuous development. With the job rotation defined by the program, I worked in three key departments and also got a half-year’s overseas training. These invaluable experiences enabled me to gain an overview of these functions and to understand backend manufacturing processes. They also taught me the importance of quality sustainability, which has served me very well in my current job as a Material Engineer.