My name is Philipp Wode. A former micro technology trainee, I am now a Frontend Operator in nozzle production, which involves putting a microscopically small nozzle structure on silicon discs known as “wafers”. The structure is designed in such a way as to atomise the medication coming out of the inhaler.
The blank wafers first need to be coated then exposed, processed, etched, and bonded. Finally, a kind of class lid is put on top of the etched, trench-like structures in the wafers in order to create small canals. Everything takes place in a cleanroom under yellow light as a photosensitive coating is used in nozzle production. The yellow light has the same effect as red light in photo developing.
To produce the nozzles, I work with optical and mechanical measuring systems, wet chemical facilities as well as dry etching and bonding equipment. There are lots of parameters and even the tiniest of deviations can lead to nozzles being rejected. We produce things that are 1,000 times smaller than a millimetre, so it’s no job for heavy-handed people! The product is a world leader and incredibly successful. And I contribute to this.
My typical working day at BI
The first 10 minutes of my day as a Frontend Operator are spent putting on my work clothes: cleanroom sweatshirt and trousers with a white laboratory coat on top. Then I go into the cleanroom airlock where the white coat is exchanged for cleanroom overalls, head cover, face mask and nitrile gloves in order to avoid contaminating the cleanroom with particles. I then spend the day creating something big from tiny things.
That's why I work for BI
There are always new tasks and challenges, even alongside your own everyday work, for example acting as a training supervisor, leading training sessions in quality control or being the test equipment officer for the area. It’s a great deal of responsibility, but I also receive a great deal of appreciation and respect from my line manager and colleagues. This was even the case when I was a trainee back in the day. Starting my career here was a very good decision, and the right one!