Machines are capable of many things. But you still need to take many steps to produce a final result. According to a designer’s drawings, we still need to select suitable materials and processes as well as develop supply chains. That’s where our mold and process research and development department comes into play. All of the above, including cost control of mass production, is their work scope and expertise. I have always believed no matter how advanced technology is, we can’t replace humans.
Billy is the assistant technical manager of our mold and process development department. There are not many opportunities to work with him face-to-face in the design center, as he is usually busy in the field. But he has been working in the design center for many years. Asus recently introduced the B9 business laptop. It is only 880 grams, which is 160 grams lighter than the previous generation of the ExpertBook. “How is it so lightweight?” I wondered to myself. In a work-sharing session, Billy explained the development process to our colleagues. He had my full attention.
Billy, who is usually quiet, effortlessly explained the team’s thorough process. Through his methodical sharing, my head was unexplainably able to digest his theories: I was able to somehow grasp what magnesium-lithium alloy is. Now I need to somehow find a way to reiterate…
The ASUS Expertbook B9
Billy just reached his 18th year at ASUS. I have been working for over 10 years and thought that was an accomplishment, but Billy has me beat. His boyish good looks make it hard to believe he has the accumulated experience of an industry veteran. Originally from a single-parent family, he didn’t want to burden his mother, so he joined the working force at a young age. Being so demanding of himself, he realized the importance of obtaining a college diploma. So while he was busy working full time, he lived a parallel life actively studying at the National University of Science and Technology on the weekend. He obtained a degree in Applied Foreign Language.
Looking at the metal parts Billy brought, I couldn’t help touch each one as he explained the characteristics of each metal type. He went on to explain some manufacturing methods and some exclusive ASUS patented processes. Finally, I have a full understanding of how ASUS can continuously innovate and make breakthroughs in the materials process of products. It is because of Billy and his team. He told me that when he first joined the design center, the supervisor at that time expected and hoped that Billy was to become a metal expert. Since then, Billy has continued to work towards this goal. Taking a look at the different metal parts he brought, you could see the breadth of the projects and materials as well as work methods Billy participates in. He said that this is thanks to the trust of his supervisor so that he can boldly take risks and find out how to “break the mold”.
Billy has prepared different projects in which he was intimately involved, explaining one by one the development process.
Billy shared an interesting story with me.
He said that when he first joined the Design Center, one time another designer asked him what material a camera was made of. Billy was nervous at the time and couldn’t answer for a moment. He held on to this feeling for a long time. It is something most people would have forgotten, but Billy remembers it firmly. After that, he vowed to never be without the answer to a question related to his work. Billy loves challenges. He can answer questions at any time in the Design Center and discuss issues with industrial designers at any time. The Mold and Process Research and Development Department is included in the Design Center, this is not common in our industry. Most companies outsource this type of work. However, he realizes the importance of working closely with designers to quickly solve problems.
Billy is an expert in explaining the innovative technology of molds and materials.
Billy and colleagues all have rich practical experience in the factory. I remember when Billy presented the process development of the ExpertBook on stage, he thanked his colleagues who worked hard in the factory to help everyone complete the complex task. Sometimes the working conditions of a factory are not very comfortable. Usually, the temperature hovers around 40 degrees. And of course, the factories have to take extra precautions when performing dangerous experiments. Billy mentioned these conditions create a strong comradery between his coworkers.
I can relate to his emphasis on teamwork. “I hope for a win-win situation. The fruits of everyone’s hard work should be shared. Short term benefits can destroy long-term cooperation.” In my career, I have seen that in addition to my professional progress, I have learned to cooperate with experts from different fields. I have become more considerate. Billy agreed this is very important.
I love Billy’s outlook on life. He is very easy to talk to, and he has a warm voice. I mentioned to him that he is generally a quiet guy. He smiled and told me that he was the most talkative in his department. I thought about it and realized everyone I’ve interfaced with from the Mold and Process R & D department is very quiet. They each have their specialization: some are plastic masters, some are stamping masters, and of course, there are metal masters like our protagonist today. A big group of masters gathered together.
Billy has such a wealth of qualifications, but he is very humble, and always gives a lot of credit to the team intentionally or unintentionally. Billy told me that the Design Center is a great stage. You can experiment and cooperate with people in different fields. There are so many things you can learn in the process. This is the biggest reason he likes working in the Design Center. He also told me that in the Design Center, every designer attaches great importance to the products they design, so their imaginations often require different types of processes or solutions. The practical limitation is a challenge and a driving force for him to improve the industry.
I asked Billy with a smile, “So are you a metal dictionary?” Billy answered without hesitation, “I’m not a dictionary, I’m more like a textbook getting republished: updating and evolving with time.”
After the interview, I thought over our conversation. I now know so much more about our metal team, products, and the professional investment behind it all. Dictionary, textbook, or whatever–Billy is worth sharing!