© ASM Assembly Systems Electronics Production | September 05, 2011

Melvyn Chan: 'A family that plays together stays together'

A new month - a new company: equipment manufacturer Siplace. We have talked to Melvyn Chan (Manager - System Integration Engineering - at Siplace in Singapore) and Konrad Korzenietz, Sales Engineer & Account Manager for Germany.
As said before, employees are as important for the success of a company as its management. And this is precisely the reason why we talked to Melvyn Chan and Konrad Korzenietz.

When did you join Siplace?

Mel: I joined Siplace in April 2005 as one of the pioneers in Siplace Centre Asia (SCA) with the newly set-up System Integration department.

What has changed over time?

Mel: I believe that the biggest change for Siplace is to be assimilated with our new parent company ASMPT where we will work towards achieving new milestones and reaching for greater heights with the goal to be #1 in our industry.

What makes Siplace a good place to work?

Mel: We have a set of shared values which form the acronym TCPRO - Team-work, Communication, Proactive, Respect, Ownership. And it is by these very values that I am proud to say that Siplace is no doubt in my opinion one of the BEST place to work.

Has the work become more demanding and/or faster?

Mel: As time goes by, with the advancement of technology and customers’ expectation becoming more and more demanding, it is inevitable that pace of work has became faster and challenging.

What does the interaction with coworkers and colleagues look like? Do you consider yourselves one big family?

Mel: In any big organization, it is common for people to have different views, eccentricity, personal differences and silly squabbles at times but it is with people like them, it just makes work a little more INTERESTING...

They say that the office is like a 2nd home... And if it is our home, then the people in it is considered "FAMILY"...

As an old saying goes, “A family that plays together stays together”… and it is by this mantra that our management has set up a recreation committee to ensure that the staff not only have a good work life balance but also for each and every one from the various department to get a chance to mingle and know one another on a more “intimate” note.


When and why did you start in the Siplace team?

Konrad: Despite my rather advanced age, I am still a very young member of the Siplace team. As someone who worked for many years for a Japanese company that is also active in the SMT placement machine field, I considered it a personal challenge and also a goal to work for the Number One in placement technology.

In my opinion, Siplace has always been the technology leader. As far as I am concerned, this means that Siplace is the company with the greatest claim to innovation, quality and reliability in the SMD placement world, and so far my experience in my new job at Siplace in Munich has confirmed these expectations.

I have also learned that the success of the Siplace team is based among other things on smart management, a very good working atmosphere and the consistent implementation of guidelines and policies such as the Kanban-based control of production flows with short and optimized material supplies and the implementation of hardware and software development criteria according to the latest lean manufacturing principles.

What were your expectations and were they fulfilled?

Konrad: Looking in from the outside I always had the following impression:

- Terrific equipment, but only for the highest performance category.
- Relatively expensive, which was justified because of the performance and quality, but not necessary for many applications.
- A great team that comes across as quite cohesive, but sometimes also as a little arrogant and interested mainly in big corporations as customers.
- Not really of interest for mid-sized companies, because the solutions are over-engineered for their needs.

In that case, why was Siplace interesting to you?

Konrad: I wanted to work for the market leader. I also believed that someone with my experience would be a valuable addition to the Siplace team, especially where dealing with small and medium-sized European producers is concerned, who tend to be quite successful on the global stage.

You do not believe that anymore?

Konrad: Yes, I do, but I had to correct my impression of Siplace. I can see now that my Siplace colleagues are truly concerned about each and every customer. Siplace is no longer part of a huge conglomerate, but itself a mid-sized company. As a result, the company’s attitude has changed considerably. You can see this everywhere.

I have also dispelled my reservations with regard to our products. Today I can see that our machine portfolio, the kind of which I have never before seen in the market, really offers the right production solution for any customer – for the high-volume lines of the big boys as well as for the medium-sized segment clamoring for super-flexible solutions.

What surprised me most, however, was the openness of my colleagues and the level of teamwork. I am thrilled to see how well people from different departments and different countries work together. The general level of openness is really great and beneficial for getting work done. It is also quite apparent that this is not a new development, but that Siplace has invested in teamwork for quite some time.

Being a member of this team is not only fun, it is also a professional enrichment, because it opens the door to new development opportunities for me.

Note: All images © ASM Assembly Systems
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