SAS and Tech Shop: A Perfect Pair

Remember that great idea you pitched to management? Remember how you were then told it couldn’t be implemented for one reason or the other, even though your idea was solid?

Now, imagine yourself in that same scenario, but you hear: “Great idea. Make it happen.”

What may sound like a pipe dream to some is a reality for those at Samsung Austin Semiconductor (SAS), thanks to our partnership with TechShop.

This illustration describes what a semiconductor is and what it does

This illustration describes what a semiconductor is and what it does

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SAS, home to Samsung Austin Research and Development Center (SARC), is one of the most advanced semiconductor manufacturing facilities in the world. Sitting on a campus spanning 2.3 million square feet, SAS is constantly churning out a full range of large scale integration (LSI) logic components for tablets, smartphones and other devices people use around the world every day.

With Austin serving as a major hub for the U.S. tech industry, it’s a no-brainer that Samsung would seek out valuable partnerships within the local community. Since March of 2016, the Austin TechShop location has been a testbed for lucky SAS employees to bring their creative ideas to life. This 17,000-square foot workshop and prototyping studio space is packed with the latest and greatest industrial tools, equipment and computers loaded with state-of-the-art design software. There are also classes and workshops where community members can learn everything from woodworking, sandblasting and 3-D printing to microchip manufacturing and quilting. It’s pretty much a craftsman’s dream.

SAS entered into a partnership with the Austin TechShop after Ben Eynon, senior director of engineering development as SAS, heard about the company at a tech conference.

SAS Engineer Abdul Shabazz proudly displays one of the early prototypes of the tool he created at TechShop

SAS Engineer Abdul Shabazz proudly displays one of the early prototypes of the tool he created at TechShop

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“When I heard that this partnership was going to launch, I knew I had to be involved with it,” said Bobby Bell, project engineer of engineering development, who manages the work done by Samsung employees at TechShop. “When employees go to TechShop and exercise their creativity they feel engaged and encouraged to continue thinking of innovative ways to address some of the issues we face.”

A great example of what Bobby is talking about can be seen with Abdul Shabazz, a SAS senior technician who discovered a flaw in a tool used in the facility where semiconductor chips are made. After receiving a price quote for it, he realized he could make a part that works just as well—if not better—than anything that was currently available. And save Samsung an estimated $1.2 million in the process.

“I came up with the idea for a prototype in about half an hour,” explained Abdul. “I got a few pieces of scrap metal and started tinkering—eventually coming up with the prototype design.”

The near-final version of the tool Abdul created through the TechShop partnership

The near-final version of the tool Abdul created through the TechShop partnership

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Abdul approached Bobby about his idea, showed him the prototype, got his blessing then started his journey to take his idea from concept to creation. Abdul’s project is just one of many in the works that takes advantage of the TechShop partnership, empowering employees to harness their creativity and expertise while providing what had been to date unimaginable business advantages for the company.

Samsung is a proven leader when it comes to advancing technology. Now, we are creating exciting, new ways to engage our employees to help us become the most successful company in the world.

 

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