Tuesday, September 18, 2018
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Comet Opens Lab One Facility in Silicon Valley
 From left: René Lenggenhager, Sam Liccardo, Ajit Manocha, and Paul Smith inaugurate Lab One.
Last week, October 4th, U.S. Tech publisher Jacob Fattal and I attended the grand opening of Comet Group’s brand-new Lab One facility in San Jose, California. We’d like to thank Comet Lab One for their incredible hospitality and for the pleasure of attending the successful event. The ceremony was attended by customers and colleagues, members of the press, Comet Group executives, and the mayor of San Jose, Sam Liccardo.

The grand opening was hosted by Paul Smith, senior VP of Comet and general manager of the new facility. The company management was present in force, including René Lenggenhager, CEO of Comet Group, Michael Kammerer, president of Comet Plasma Control Technologies (PCT), Charles Flükiger, president of ebeam, and Detlef Steck, president of YXLON.

The Comet Group, which comprises Comet PCT, ebeam, and YXLON, represents a full range of inspection and surface modification technologies. The spacious lab contains two plasma chambers, four various X-ray and computed tomography (CT) systems and a fully-functional electron beam laboratory.

The vision behind the new lab, driven largely by Smith, is that it becomes a place for collaborative research and problem solving. The layout and the staff of experts in the lab encourage discussion, even between those from competing companies. Its prime location in Silicon Valley offers customers quick access to highly sophisticated technology.

A keynote presentation delivered by Ajit Manocha, president and CEO of international trade association SEMI, headquartered in nearby Milpitas, also struck the collaborative note strongly. The free association among bright minds of various companies and research groups has been behind some of the most important developments in the semiconductor industry.

In a fascinating panel discussion, moderated by Trevor Galbraith of Global SMT & Packaging, topics including the use of X-ray in manufacturing to increase quality, yield and line speed, RF plasma applications, possible uses for electron beam technology, and goals for the facility were explored.

We are pleased to have been a part of the opening of Comet Lab One. We believe in the vision that it represents and hope that more members of the industry follow Comet’s example. Working together with others will always accomplish more than working alone. We hope that the new facility becomes a hub of cooperation and brainstorming and look forward to the developments that arise through experimentation and discussion there.

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