Now we’re on the Shenzhen subway system, on our way to our 2 plant tours for the day, giving me a few minutes to write. In case you haven’t noticed, I am backdating these posts to when I start writing even though it may take a while for me to actually finish writing AND have internet reliable enough to publish it.
Monday started at 7:30am sharp, when Josh and Julian knocked on our door. Oops, my alarm didn’t go off. Anyway, we rushed downstairs just in time to run down the street to catch the Asia Optical company shuttle to Dongguang, where they are based. From there our day was super exciting, we saw 4 product lines + 2 window tours at Asia Optical (lens polishing and optical prisms, high precision injection molding, light engine modules for pico projectors, scanner modules, laser range finders, lens modules for consumer cameras), a tour of the IC production process at GTBF, and a tour of the crystal oscillator facility at Failong. It was incredible.
We saw so many things at Asia Optical, including my dad’s line (pico projectors for Microvision), and even got to eat in the cafeteria along with everyone else. The food was pretty good, but there are different lines in the cafeteria for office workers (management, engineers, etc.) vs. the operators, so I can’t really say much about their food. At GTBG, I saw my new favorite machine ever, a piezofeeder, which uses various vibrations along a circular frame to orient tiny components (chips) such that they feed into the next system properly. Also, because of the nature of the manufacturing process, we wore bunny suits for a good portion of the tour, and we learned that they actually color the bunny suits to distinguish process engineers from maintenance engineers from customers from shift leaders from operators. Failong actually has a brand new campus. Apparently in China, it takes about 7 months to build a new campus of ~10 buildings, and it’s not even the fastest. The technology in Shenzhen today allows for a skyscraper in 21 days or 10 floors per day. Just based on how long it takes things to get built or fixed up on MIT’s campus, I have a feeling it takes much longer in the US. We later had dinner with my aunt (COO of GTBG) and Mike (General Manager of Failong), where we learned about the ritual for washing all the dishes and utensils with hot tea before use, and it was all very pleasant. Because of this meal, I believe that lotus root has been added to my list of favorite foods.