HOW DID IT ALL BEGIN?
Last year we were proud to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the current joint venture agreement between GLOBALFOUNDRIES and Toppan. Thereby everything started in 2002 with completely different investors / partners. AMD, Dupont and Infineon decided to merge. The respective business fields of these companies and the already existing semiconductor location Saxony suggested the idea to establish a mask center in Dresden. In this context, Infineon decided to close its mask house in Munich and to transfer some employees to Dresden. Things were ready to start.
WHAT DOES A REVIEW OF THE AMTC'S 20 YEARS OF EXISTENCE LOOK LIKE?
Shortly after the startup of the mask store, the transfer from Dupont to Toppan Photomasks took place and later the partner change from Infineon to Qimonda. Thanks to the technological orientation of the new partners, we intensified our activities in the field of high-end photomasks. This technological orientation of the Advanced Mask Technology Center was significantly determined by Qimonda as a technology leader and driver in the semiconductor sector, up to the Qimonda insolvency in 2009.
Now the cards had to be reshuffled, a decision on the future of AMTC was pending. At that time AMD was already considering a transfer of the operational business to GLOBALFOUNDRIES and the negotiations of the partners led to the signing of the joint venture agreement between Toppan Photomasks and GLOBALFOUNDRIES in 2010, which still exists today. As a result of this merger, there was a change in the direction or priorities of our business activity. If before technological development was clearly the first priority, now the focus is on manufacturing with short lead times at competitive costs. We have met these new requirements very successfully in recent years, as demonstrated by the numerous investments and the various expansion stages of our production.
WHAT WERE THE SPECIAL HIGHLIGHTS?
In a growing but also volatile industry, we have managed to double our workforce since 2010. We are also proud of the investments in the 3-digit million range that led to the expansion of capacities. However, I want to emphasize that we owe this success to our outstanding employees. Our team here on campus is something to be proud of!
WHAT CHALLENGES WILL WE FACE IN THE COMING YEARS?
The key for us is to stay true to our vision and constantly question how we manage to remain/become the first choice for our extensive customer base. For us, this guiding principle is closely related to high quality and lean, stable processes.
HOW DOES THE JOINT VENTURE WORK TOGETHER?
The current joint venture agreement has been in place for more than 10 years, which shows that this form of cooperation is a very successful one for us. A joint venture is a very exciting form of enterprise in which several independent partners realize a joint project. In the process, the interests of the various decision-makers have to be aligned. This affects areas such as the product portfolio and commercial issues. It is an enormous advantage to be able to draw on the expertise and input of the partners in technical and commercial matters.
14 MONTHS OF THE PANDEMIC ARE NOW BEHIND US. WHAT HAS THIS DONE TO THE COMPANY AND ITS EMPLOYEES?
The past few months have presented us with major challenges at various levels. We had to tackle these with a great deal of flexibility and commitment. Thanks to the flexible deployment of our employees and the adaptation of workflows and processes, we were able to create new workdays. We quickly understood what mobile working meant.
THE AMTC IS DESCRIBED AS A FLEXIBLE, COMMUNICATIVE COMPANY WITH FLAT HIERARCHIES. HOW DOES THAT WORK WITH THE NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES?
This description fits our company very well. For us, the formula for this clearly lies in communication. This is the only way that technological, fast-paced processes can take place and be coordinated smoothly. Communication is a key issue in any company, and we direct our continuous focus on improving this process. Regarding hierarchies, I ask you, what are flat hierarchies? Our workforce is structured in such a way that every manager can establish a close connection with his or her employees and communication is ensured at all levels.
WHAT MAKES AMTC A LUMINARY?
FINALLY, A PERSONAL QUESTION:
How does the general manager switch off? What is a good balance to the extreme dynamic workday in a fast-paced industry?
The AMTC is very close to my heart as Managing Director and admittedly it is sometimes difficult to switch off. But with the focus on family, friends and acquaintances, it is possible to maintain a balance in order to muster the energy for this strenuous task. Add to that compensatory sports and participation in clubs, and job and free time are very much in balance.