A Look at Lab One – One Year Later
In October 2017, Comet Group opened Lab One, the first testing center of its kind to offer a service-model approach (“pay as you go”). This allows customers to test under real-world conditions and gather the data they need to improve quality, increase yields and achieve repeatability. Lab One is a hands-on, applications center that encourages engineers to work on tomorrow’s problems today. The open, collaborative environment creates thought tangents that result in new ideas and solutions, sometimes even beyond what the engineers originally came in to work on.
Over the past 12 months, the lab has been extremely successful, broadening its reach and inviting industry partners to participate.
Paul Smith, Senior Vice President of Global Product Marketing, said that since the grand opening, the lab has hosted multiple events with the goal of exposure. “We have had more than 400 visitors and potential customers at Lab One since it opened last October. These companies have used test services and learned about technology. Before the year end, we anticipate at least 100 more, bringing the yearend total to more than 500 visitors and potential customers. Over the past months, we have enjoyed the positive customer engagement, and look forward to strengthening it even more as we move into our second year.”
Comet Group’s Lab One is more than just a technology showcase. For customers, it is a working lab and testing environment that will act as an extension of their business — providing testing services and access to a Think Tank of leading industry experts that are available for consultation, brainstorming and problem solving. Smith added that the heart of Comet Group’s success with customers in the Silicon Valley is the trusted and collaborative relationships it has developed. “The Lab One center allows us to work closely with our customers earlier in the product development process and that creates tremendous learning opportunities and value for all parties.”
While there are other labs available to the industry, Lab One is different because of the variety bundled technological competence that customers encounter at Lab One based on the depth and breadth of technologies and real-world testing environments it can create. This provides customers with solutions that best fit their specific needs. No other company can offer both the deep technical expertise that comes from 50 years of experience and the Comet Group’s ability to collaborate with customers very early in their product development processes. Lab One brings together key technologies to allow multiple customers to explore multiple technologies.
In addition to machines and technological systems, Comet Group plans to add educational presentations from experts such as NASA. To be a true industry resource, education must play a role along with the testing, consultation, brainstorming and problem solving. Visitors to the lab will learn about the latest technologies and how they fit into the industry, along with the newest challenges and more. Lab One also is open to budding scientists. Comet Group provides tours to student groups in the Bay Area, educating them about the industry and its technologies. “We welcome our community to the Lab, especially future scientists,” said Smith.
Three key Comet Group technologies are represented at Lab One:
Comet Plasma Control Technologies (PCT): Designs and manufactures high-tech plasma control products used to make semiconductors, commonly referred to as computer chips. Comet PCTs Radio Frequency (RF) power products improve the performance of the equipment used by our customers to manufactures chips or integrated circuits (IC) used in cell phones, computers, and tablets. As a result, their customers can deliver products that run faster, last longer and store more information.
YXLON X-ray and Computed Tomography (CT) technology provides the best imaging and analysis data, using industry-leading hardware and software for quality testing and assurance. The YXLON X-ray systems can diagnose real yield issues on next-generation designs for global customers in aerospace, automotive, electronics, medical, as well as museums and universities to view potential defects during the industrial inspection process that are 200 times smaller than a human hair. These non-destructive testing capabilities help customers optimize yield and produce safe and resource-optimized products.
ebeam: ebeam Technologies designs, manufactures and integrates electron beam technology solutions for global customers in the semiconductor, medical and industrial industries. By mastering the small electron, ebeam is helping customers refine existing materials and create new ones, develop cleaner processes and achieve greater resource efficiency for the good of the planet. ebeam helps customers by reducing energy consumption in some industrial processes by 50-80 percent, and also by eliminating the need for toxic chemicals in certain industrial processes.
However, Comet Group is constantly collaborating with key customers to ensure the services it is providing are helping to solve their biggest business challenges. By doing so, Lab One is enabling companies to build better components that enable their customers to bring high-quality and reliable products to market faster. To best accomplish this goal, Comet Group has been collaborating with other industry OEMS to bring their equipment to Lab One to help create smart factory interfaces between equipment. Currently, three companies have their equipment displayed in Lab One:
• MIRTEC’s automated inspection systems
• Korea-based AP Plasma Co. Ltd.’s atmospheric plasma systems
• Ireland-based Impedans’ plasma metrology systems
These partners have been chosen because they met specific technology needs and are aligned with Comet Group’s vision of making Lab One a true resource for the industry.
Looking into year two and beyond, Smith foresees more success. He anticipates moving equipment, upgrading X-ray base equipment, and further strengthening and expanding the Lab’s relationship with its West Coast partners and customers through events, open houses and more. “Lab One’s purpose is to provide access to the technologies our industry needs to meet today’s and tomorrow’s challenges. We want to exceed potential new and existing customers’ needs by helping them learn about new, state-of-the-art technologies, some that are not even readily available to the industry yet. It is our hope that these technologies can provide them with advanced opportunities and value,” Smith concluded.
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