Sunday, May 16, 2010 @ 11:15 PM
First Week of Training

I started my industrial training/internship last Monday at Asahi Chemical Research Lab, which is near Amy’s house! Very near, in fact. My workplace is just behind Hillcity Hotel if anyone wants to visit (yeah, right…it’s so far) The training lasts for 2 months…and I get minimal pay (RM15 per day if you’re curious) Yeah it’s not that much, but still, better than nothing! And the people there are pretty nice… So I’ll just summarize up my first week…

Day 1:
Feeling super sluggish, I dragged myself to work…working hour’s from 8am to 5.30pm. (I thought companies were supposed to start at 9am??) So anyway, I was told to sit at the mini pantry area cos the workers are in a meeting. I later found out that they have a meeting every morning…and there’s usually more random meetings later in the day. The lady from the accounting department explained that the company makes soldering paste and all, and then took me on a tour around the place. The company’s small, so there’s not that many people.

I’m under the R&D department, and was told to treat some copper plates with acid to remove the oxidized layer. I bet most of you have done that somewhere during school. There wasn’t really much to do that day so I sat around feeling sleepy lol. Not good…oh, and I also washed some beakers and stuff. Pretty uneventful day. There’s also a Malay girl doing her training there from UTM Johor, but she’s already been there for 2 weeks, so she’s pretty much an expert at everything. So that’s it for my pretty uneventful day.

Day 2:
Was sent to do some stock checking in the R&D lab…basically it’s just jotting down names of all the chemicals in the cabinets. Unfortunately, all the cabinets were located under the counter and poor me had to squat to list all the chemicals. And there was a lot of it. I did 4 cabinets worth of listing. T.T My thighs started to ache later in the day…ugh. Later in the afternoon, I was taught how to do an E-Type test with the viscometer. It measures the viscosity of their flux medium, you see. Soldering paste is made of 2 things: flux medium aka. yellow gunk and powder (which contains lead and stannum) Also observed how to use the auto titration machine, which can measure the halide content etc of the flux medium. It looked fun, once you get the hang of it lol.

Day 3: 
Was given a mini project/assignment…I was to carry out a stability test on their yellow gunk. There’s 18 samples divided into groups of 3. One group’s placed at room temperature, the other in the powder room (aka air conditioned room…dunno why they call it powder room though) and the other’s placed in the cold room (it's soo cold in there, like those freezer things you find in kitchens of restaurants). I was to measure their viscosity and stuff every 2 days for the room temp. ones, and after 2 weeks for the ones placed in the powder and cold rooms. I also used the auto titration machine on my own, yay! And I can now proudly say I’m a pro at using it :D Also learned how to do a copper wetting test, solder ball test, slump test…I just observed it though. Yeaa it was a blur though…cos I was so tired and feeling sleepy through the day. And by the time I get back, I usually just pass out on the couch. =/

Day 4:
Tried doing the slump test…it was an epic fail. Basically it’s just using a template and a metal scraper…and you put some solder paste in the scraper and then scrape it HARD along the plastic board thing so that the pattern from the template will be printed on it. Looked easy enough, but lol it’s actually harder than it looks. Mine had gaps and some were half printed on the board *facepalm* Also made some solder paste today…basically it’s just mixing their flux medium and powder. I fear for my health…though we’re told to wear a mask while pouring the powder, it’s still kinda dangerous. It contains LEAD!!! And inhaling lead isn’t good for one’s health…lead poisoning and all O_O Eeek! The quality control lab reeks of isopropyl alcohol/rubbing alcohol, too…I wonder if inhaling too much can lead to unwanted side effects. I mean, they use the alcohol to clean everything…unlike in school where we just use water. Also observed how to do printing…it’s just putting solder paste onto those electrical boards using a much larger template. And it has to be super precise and you have to drag the scraper REALLY HARD.

Day 5:
Ooh turns out on Fridays they have longer lunch breaks cos of prayers! Went out to Simpang Pulai with the other workers for some Indian curry rice. Apparently it was the boss’s idea to go there. Didn’t really feel like going cos it’d be awkward o_O Oh and we paid for our meals ourselves…when I told my parents, they were like ‘Huh? The boss didn’t pay meh? So stingy one!’ hahahahahaha Normally I just have bread for lunch…and sit and read the papers in the pantry area.

Not much work to do today…went around asking the senior workers if they had any work for me, but most of them were busy with their own stuff. At the last minute, like 15mins before 5.30, I was asked to do continuous printing. It’s a test to see how long before the soldering paste starts to dry up, they use paper for it…I was asked to do 15 pieces…and by the time I finished, it was like 5.45pm.

I didn’t really leave at 5.30pm every day…sometimes I left around 6pm cos I couldn’t finish some stuff. The workers there actually do a lot of overtime work, some of them are used to going back late cos there’s not enough people in the company. One of them went back at 11pm the other day O_O Crazy huh?? All in all, it was an interesting (and veeery tiring) week…but I learned some useful stuff. Some of my coursemates mentioned they had nothing much to do, and even had time to go online to Facebook, MSN etc etc!

Ugh tomorrow’s a brand new week already…I’m laaaazy. Can we just fast forward to the weekend already?? Now, I can definitely say that studying is much, MUCH better than going to work. Sorry if I put you to sleep with all the chemistry jargon…lol