Part of the Oxford Instruments Group
Plasma Technology
A day in the life of a Service Engineer

Every day our highly skilled engineers are working across the globe providing tailored services to meet the individual needs of our customers. Whether it’s installation, preventative maintenance, upgrading systems or contract services.

Meet Justin Moreau, Senior Customer Support Engineer based in Boston, USA. Justin has been part of the Plasma Technology family for the past 16years, supporting our customers across the US. Justin enjoys camping, fishing, and travelling with his family. When he’s not working he is driving his 1942 Ford pickup.

Joining the plasma family was luck really.  I wanted to improve my skills and what I was doing then wasn’t challenging enough. My first job out of school was working for a company troubleshooting electrical consoles. I was sent out for a couple local service calls but the job was very repetitive.  At that point I knew what I wanted to do and punching a clock was not for me. In 2001, I found a job listing on Oxford Instruments – Field Service Engineer Boston, I was hired shortly after the interview. It’s great to be part of such a progressive company and operation.

My day always start the same. Digging out a shirt from my suitcase and ironing out the wrinkles. A quick breakfast, followed by an email or phone call to my customer with my eta.  Once onsite I sit down with the customer and go over the action plan for the day based on the requirements. If any parts items were required they would have been arranged to coincide with my visit and held in an area accessible from the lab. Gowning up to enter the clean room consists of wearing a Tyvek suit. The suit has a coned head, long feet and short arms.  I’m convinced it was been tailored to fit an alien! (see below)

In the lab, the Oxford system is evaluated and work begins. If required I will utilise contact with remote technical support desks through our leading connectivity applications. One of the great things about working at Plasma is that everyone is accessible. Being a service engineer means that you’re expected to have every answer. Unfortunately we don’t but we know where to find them. The access to knowledge is always being improved It’s being able to reach out to those people to help work out a problem. This can sometimes involve speaking with the Applications Team or our Engineers at our head office in Yatton, UK.

A couple of months ago, one of our customers reported an issue with high reflected RF in ICP within the recipes that they were working on. The problem took two days of thorough investigation and trouble shooting. The Chamber was inspected, manual matching was done, AMU and RF cables were thoroughly inspected. It was discovered that the second tool was also having similar issues. From the problem solving process one of the main probable causes was the water cooling through the AMU and ICP coil. We did the necessary tests and it turned out that earlier in the week the lab cooling supply system had been worked on and an additive had been added to help with corrosion. The additive dropped the water resistivity enough to short the RF. It took a day or two but the water was eventually replaced, the RF auto matching for both Oxford tools was restored and the problem was solved. It was tested and exercised before a thorough de-briefing of the work and the opportunity to test functionality was given to the customer.  I completed my visit with a detailed report which I shared with the customer.

Author: Justin Moreau, Senior Customer Support Engineer