Quality Engineers juggle a multitude of tasks and communications with internal and external stakeholders. But they never lose sight of their target, namely to give customers the best possible quality – every single day. Thomas Indlekofer from Warstein, Germany, tells us what that means for him.
Our products are everywhere in our daily lives: They are in our smartphones, ID cards, the cars we drive and the trains we ride. In many applications they even help save lives. This is why there can be no compromising when it comes to quality. We want the customer to come back and not the product!
I’m responsible for assuring the quality of our HybridPACK™ Modules. These power modules charge electric cars with up to 100 kW quickly and efficiently. I need to understand what defines quality, and I make sure we reliably deliver just that – or better – to our automotive customers. My tasks involve analyzing the raw materials that go into the module and then examining the final product. I also deal with physical failures and address customer complaints. The error reports and quality requirements I write help us to make strategic decisions and systematically improve. And then, there is the high-adrenaline troubleshooting when issues arise in the production line. It’s my job to solve them. Complexity and variety make quality engineering a great mix for me.
In the morning, it’s mostly desk work. I check my e-mail as soon as I hit the office – I need to know if anything critical came up during night shift. I also use the morning hours to do analytical or conceptual work. System-based analyses, for example, give me a complete picture of the status of our processes. The outcome goes into a report I share in the team daily.
Meetings rule my early afternoons, first and foremost our daily briefing attended by process engineers and my colleagues from development. We provide updates for one another, discuss next steps and distribute work packages. I document our decisions and derive to-do lists.
I like to use the late afternoons for reporting. My reports are an important tool that supports management processes. It’s also the time of day I like to use for calls and conversations with the many stakeholders involved in the production of the HybridPACK™ Modules. Before I pack up to go home, I debrief with my coworkers. Mission accomplished for today.
I think the real challenge lies in the contrasts I bridge every day.
My days are full and very structured, but I must be able to switch gears instantly. Errors in the production line and customer issues can pop up at any given moment. In the blink of an eye, they turn my day into an adrenaline-packed challenge. I go into problem-solving mode instantly: I discuss damage control on the phone, shoot out an e-mail to the concerned customer and quickly reschedule meetings – all at the same time! Good thing I feel in the zone when I’m multitasking.
I not only thrive on lively interaction – I also love solitary and precise work, such as defining quality testing requirements, strategizing and analyzing. Our stakeholders – customers, coworkers from production, our managers – have highly diverse backgrounds and, sometimes, competing goals. It’s my job to align them all to work toward a shared objective. It takes de-escalating, validating, educating, negotiating, persuading and even outright pushing. You need people skills, an assertive attitude, a sense of diplomacy – and good instincts that tell you which approach will work best in each situation.
Being part of Infineon means working on innovation projects. To be at the forefront of things like electromobility is an honor and my passion. Another definite highlight is the rich variety of tasks I encounter in a single workday. There is constant movement, from changes in my schedule to shifting tasks.
I reprioritize fast, multitask well, love details but draw satisfaction from working toward a bigger picture. Honestly, this job is the perfect speed for me.
Here at Infineon, hierarchies are flat. You are an integral part of things from day one. You get to take responsibility. You dive into learning everything there is to know about the lifecycle and value chain of your product. You can build up a network with all the different internal stakeholders. Quality engineering at Infineon is a great starting point for career planning. Come to think of it, for friendships, too: many of us have become friends and meet up outside work for activities like hiking, dinners and barbeques.
As a Quality Engineer, you need a background in natural sciences, such as physics or chemistry. A background in electrical or mechanical engineering can be similarly valuable in this field.
Self-organized and diligent, you enjoy working independently and value a structured approach. You not only make sound decisions but know how to prioritize between projects, measures and tasks. You have excellent problem-solving skills and stay focused under pressure.
As a talented communicator, it’s easy for you to get internal and external stakeholders on-board to work toward a common goal. You know the importance of your topic for the customer and can defend seemingly unpopular decisions against your colleagues from process engineering or development. You have the flexibility to smoothly switch between roles – from master of analyses to motivator, from advocate to coach, from troubleshooter to challenger – and apply different methods.
You feel at home in intercultural teams in which members bring diverse social and cultural backgrounds into the mix. You have a head for theory and technical details. What’s more, you find ways to explain complex matters to both internal and external stakeholder in terms they can understand.
As a Quality Engineer at Infineon, you are a multitasking wizard who enjoys a lot of variety in your job. You switch between independent work and teamwork, deskwork and action, quiet thinking and team interaction, theory and practice.
You get to know the entire value chain of your product. You learn a lot and have the possibility to build up a big network for your next careers steps within the company.
The tangible results and successes at the end of each day give you a great sense of accomplishment.
You find rich diversity within the collaborating teams consisting of lateral entrants from very different backgrounds and international colleagues and customers. That is very stimulating and inspiring.
You are the manager of your resources and enjoy the freedom of organizing your own workday. And the open and relaxed atmosphere at Infineon gives you a feeling of belonging.
Our Quality Manager Thomas Indlekofer contributes to quality in key technologies of tomorrow, such as for the equipment found in his own electronic vehicle. And that is just one example of our many exciting markets that stretch from making autonomous driving a reality to creating smarter and more sustainable lifestyles.
In our headquarters in Neubiberg near Munich, more than 4.500 employees are working in research & development, several central functions, IT and many more.
In Warstein we like it sustainable, healthy, balanced, sportive and diverse.
This is the world’s first high-volume production site for power semiconductors on 300 mm wafers.
Singapore is our regional headquarter for Asia-Pacific and consists of production, research & development, sales & marketing, supply chain and many central functions.
In our wafer production in Kulim we are producing more than 100.000 wafer each month.
Cegléd is a backend production site and produces and tests IGBT Modules and other components.
Almost 4.600 people work at five different sites in Austria.
Our only site in which frontend and three different back-ends come together.
Infineon has various sites all over the world. Find out where you can work, what we offer, and how you can approach us at each location.
As the eminent driving force of innovation in the hybrid and electric vehicles segment, Infineon offers creative and powerful semiconductor solutions that spark the development of sustainable applications in electromobility. In the segments electric drives, charging, and other electric vehicle systems, Infineon provides viable solutions for start-stop systems, for mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles as well as for pure-electric vehicles.
Our HybridPACK™2 power module is on the move, for example in the BMW models i3 and i8. With electric cars rising in popularity, we are constantly expanding our capacities to meet global demand.