Recently I had the opportunity to travel to another company and run some tests on a slightly different instrument. As I have mentioned before, there are tons of variables and factors that affect voiding in solder joints. This makes it very difficult to have the capabilities to test every variable necessary. With that in mind, I visited another facility that had the capability to test the variable I needed.
This was a great experience. It was interesting to see how another company was set up and operated. It was great to meet new people, learn more about different instruments, and see different perspectives about my studies.
This was also a major learning opportunity, but thankfully not a negative one. One of the major things I learned was how prepared you have to be to run your own tests somewhere else. I thought I had prepared for everything, and had all the utensils and tools I would need to run my tests; I was wrong. I had expected a research/testing lab-like facility, and so I had assumed that certain basic tools would be available to use. When I arrived, the man helping me asked if I needed anything. I gave him my short list of paper towels, a spatula, and a pair of tweezers. The spatula we simply could not find and had to use an alternative method, the tweezers we eventually found after about 45 minutes of searching the entire building.
Aside from my assumption being wrong, everything went very smoothly. I had planned out what I was going to do and how I was going to run the tests, so I moved quickly once I started. I actually finished much faster than expected. The tests went well, and I have many samples to run voiding analyses on and hopefully get good, quality results that I can use to support the company.
The visit was a success, and an excellent chance to see and learn about another company, as well as how testing and cooperating with other companies works. It was also a great opportunity to see how prepared and ready you have to be to run experiments at other facilities. I believed I was totally prepared and had everything I could possibly need; I was wrong. Thankfully, it did not affect my ability to gain results, and, overall, it was a great experience.