Three years ago, Menno van Os started in a summer job at NTS. He liked it very much. That is why, for his level two professional practical skill course, he chose for an apprentice position as a Cleanroom Mechanic at NTS. Menno is now working on finishing a level three course. That is going well. So well, that he has taken over a number of tasks from his former team leader. He appreciates the confidence he gets: "I am really happy that I can do things like this."
“A few years ago, I started at NTS as a holiday worker,” says Menno. “I came in contact with NTS because my brother works here as a mechanic. I enjoyed the summer job so much that I opted for a learning workplace at NTS for my level two professional practical skill course. I am now working on finishing my level three training and I am still working at NTS. For four days a week I work here as an apprentice mechanic and one day a week I take theory courses at school.”
Assembly of a complex module
“My official title is apprentice mechanic. John Vogels is my supervisor and trainer. I work with a team of about seven people in the cleanroom on a complex module: an automatic sample loader witch is connected to an electron microscope.”
Assembly and testing
“About 15 to 16 sub-modules are integrated into the total module. Those sub-parts are cleaned first and then we receive them so that we can assemble the parts. The assembly of this module takes about one week time and then we still have to test the module. "
Buddy check to guarantee quality
“For testing purposes, we use a test module supplied by our customer. We test the movements and we test the performance in vacuum and under cryogenic conditions at temperatures of -180 degrees Celsius. We also work very accurately during the entire assembly process. After having assembled the sample loader we perform a cross-check. For each module we have a checklist to check the quality and to cross-check each other's work. That keeps us focused."
Gradual growth and taking more responsibility
“When I arrived at NTS, I first got a cleanroom training. You start by assembling simple parts and work towards the more difficult parts, step by step. I have now reached the stage where I have taken over a part of the work of my former team leader. In addition to assembly, I process parts that are not correct and I make sure that we receive the correct parts in the cleanroom. I do that together with the quality department. Moreover, I represent our team in a daily meeting with all departments involved in the module.”
Happy to get the responsibility
“I am really happy that I get to do things like this. John and NTS confide in me and I gradually got more and more freedom to develop myself. I don't really know what I want to achieve when I am older. I take things step by step and want to finish everything I do well. The managerial aspect of my current tasks appeals to me. I appreciate the confidence I get and I like taking the responsibility to deliver a product in a proper way. "
Working in a clean way is a huge challenge
“I get a lot of energy out of working at NTS. To be able to perform this role properly, you must be able to handle computers and the software that is relevant for an electron microscope. You should also not be afraid to make mistakes and resolve them. Besides, you must be able to communicate well and think ahead. I like working with my hands. The work in the cleanroom appeals to me and I see it as a challenge. You have to pay attention to what you are doing and work very carefully.”