PCB007 Magazine

PCB007-Mar2019

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88 PCB007 MAGAZINE I MARCH 2019 If you have ever wondered what it is like to work as a travelling engineer for a machine supplier, then perhaps I can give you a small insight into how the reality matches up to the job description. After 15 years of working for Viking Test Ltd. and having the opportunity to visit a variety of interesting locations around the world, any illusions I previously held have been shattered. The details that follow may not be 100% accurate, but they are how I honestly remember the experiences. Before I started working for Viking, I had a series of jobs based in different factories. These factory roles were each based on a single site with a regular commute to work and reason- ably regular working hours. Some travel was involved from time to time. I made visits to various machine suppliers to look at new and updated equipment, and at the time, I felt that I was reasonably experienced at negotiating airports and finding my way to foreign locations. Little did I know that I had hardly started to scratch the surface! I knew Jake Kelly who runs Viking long before I was offered a job with the company. I had been involved in the purchase of flying probe testers supplied by Viking for a backplane factory where I worked for seven years. The testers worked really well for the unusual re- quirements required by the The Travelling Engineer, Instalment 1 products we made. Based on that experience, I felt comfortable taking up a position work- ing with that and other equipment that Viking supplied. Day one with Viking was straightforward. They handed me the required tools for the job, which included a laptop computer and a cell- phone along with a company credit card. At this stage, I could only see the positives, and it never even crossed my mind that along with the cellphone came the possibility that people may call it at any time regardless of whether I was working or not. My first substantial assignment was to look after the supply and installation of a special fly- ing probe tester for a customer in Holland. The machine was pretty technical and could make a test based on Latent technology as well as being able to make very ac- curate resistance measure- ments. The machine was manufactured in Japan, and I was asked to attend the sign off of the machine to help the customer through the sign off process. I was excited about making my first long-haul trip. It was made even better as Jake suggested that my wife, Linda, should accompany me, so we could share the experience in Japan. We flew to Osaka via Par- is, and everything was ex- citing and new to me. Japa- nese Airlines (JAL) were and still are the most polite Ladle on Manufacturing by Marc Ladle, VIKING TEST LTD.

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