On behalf of Intel, I am happy to join the U.S. Department of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers in celebrating National Manufacturing Day.
I joined Intel’s manufacturing group almost 22 years ago, and it’s been my pleasure to be part of a journey that showcases the best of U.S. manufacturing. Our manufacturing capability helps us continuously advance Moore’s Law, delivering faster, more affordable and energy-efficient computing power. Today, more than 50,000 Intel employees in the United States are celebrating National Manufacturing Day the same way we do every day: by designing and building the world’s most advanced semiconductors – the technology that powers our daily lives as well as America’s innovation economy.
The ripple effects of our manufacturing and related R&D investment are enormous. Intel’s operations support almost a half-million other U.S. jobs across a range of industries, including semiconductor tooling, software, logistics, channels, OEMs and other manufacturers.
While we sell our products all over the world, the majority of our manufacturing and advanced R&D is done in the United States. Earlier this year, we announced plans to invest more than $7 billion to complete Fab 42, the most advanced semiconductor factory in the world. This high-volume factory in Chandler, Arizona, will directly create nearly 3,000 high-tech, high-wage jobs at Intel, and is expected to indirectly support more than 10,000 long-term jobs in Arizona.
Manufacturing has undergone much change over the past 50 years. One way of thinking about this change is to consider past industrial revolutions. The first was fueled by steam and coal. The second was electrification, oil and mass production. The third was with information technology and automation. Now we are heading into the next revolution, the Internet of Things (IoT), which opens doors for us to get new kinds of information both in our manufacturing environments as well as in the world as a whole. Machines we interact with will be able to sense their environments and utilize that data so they are able to do some of the basic intelligence on how they need to operate. This revolution will increase the use of data and enhance the power of data analytics in the manufacturing environment, which will make us more effective and more productive.
While Intel operates some of the most advanced manufacturing facilities in the world, their smooth operation still ultimately depends upon our skilled and dedicated employees. I want to spotlight just a few of the amazing people who keep our factories operating smoothly.
Among other things, these employees are a daily reminder of the important role that manufacturing still plays in the United States.
I am a fab production manager for Arizona Fab Sort Manufacturing and have worked at Intel for almost 15 years. My job is like weaving the world’s most complex and sophisticated process flow with highly specialized tools. I am proud when I see our teams rallying behind a tough challenge where we are required to stretch our ingenuity beyond what we thought was possible. I’m also proud of the results of the things that happen inside an Intel fab. We help doctors make medical breakthroughs, we enable new technologies like self-driving automobiles, and we connect families and loved ones to each other – all through the computing power we deliver. That’s pretty exciting!
My background is in atmospheric chemistry and chemical engineering. For my Ph.D., I did a two-year postgraduate research position in atmospheric chemistry where I built, developed and fixed mass spectrometers. Coming to Intel was a really nice transition because I was interested in learning about the factory environment.
I am a process engineer, which means I get dressed up in a bunny suit and go into the factory every morning. It’s kind of nerdy but it’s exciting, because you feel like it’s a different world in there. We spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to make really tiny holes. You might think it’s exciting that you can make a tiny hole just once. But our job is making sure it’s repeatable – that’s the whole point of high-volume manufacturing. By the time the chip comes out of the factory and goes into a computer, everybody expects the same performance. The fact we have enough control to produce that same tiny hole a million times over and over again is incredible to me.
There is an effort for the manufacturing environment to be more inclusive. When I was pregnant with my first daughter, the team was very supportive. I work with lots of men, so it felt like I had a lot of brothers helping me, and I felt very included. The nice thing about working in a clean room is that we all wear the same costumes. The bunny suit is a great equalizer.
I started at Intel in November 2013 and was recently promoted to an Engineering Group Leader. My team of engineers manages diffusion furnaces in the front and back end of the manufacturing process. I always wanted to be an engineer. The technology we produce is amazing, and so is the scale – we are creating things that are the size of 1/10,000th the width of a human hair. Manufacturing is important to helping our company grow. We’re probably the largest manufacturing company in the Hillsboro, Oregon, area, and we are creating a lot of great jobs. I’ve heard that for every Intel job, about three other jobs are created in the community, so we have a very positive effect.
As a manufacturing technician, my role is to ensure the safety of those I work with and partner with engineers to ensure quality, availability, cost and cycle time are achieved for my primary toolset. I have been at Intel for 21 years and have been given the freedom to use my skills, acquire new knowledge, and excel in a complex but rewarding environment. A lot of people are fascinated by the complexity of what we manufacture, the bunny suits, the clean room environment, the complexity of our equipment and how we are able to achieve Moore’s Law. But what makes me most proud of working at Intel is the people. I work with a group of individuals from diverse backgrounds, religions and political views who put all differences aside when it is time to solve some of the world’s most complex problems.
I am a process engineer in one of the modules in Fab 11X and have worked at Intel a little over five years. For process engineering in general, we take a look at controlling the product and the manufacturing to make sure that it’s within all of our limits and we’re making good product. The amount of teamwork and cooperation that goes into everything is amazing. While we don’t always get to see our end product, there is a lot of pride when we see that “Intel Inside” sticker on a computer and know that somewhere along the line we had a hand in making it.
Dr. Ann B. Kelleher is corporate vice president and general manager of the Technology and Manufacturing Group at Intel Corporation.