Infineon Technologies uses the edX Professional Program in Lean and Six Sigma from the Technical University of Munich to train hundreds of employees worldwide and set a standard of excellence globally.
Infineon Technologies A.G. is one of the largest producers of semiconductor chips in the world, with over €14.2 billion in revenue. It boasts over 56,000 employees and 76 manufacturing locations for semiconductor chip fabrication, packaging, and testing worldwide. This semiconductor manufacturing process requires a global standard of production that is consistently error free. With a vast workforce, maintaining consistency requires high-quality education programs that can be rolled out at scale. To address this challenge, Infineon turned to the experts in high-quality educational resources for learners to access anywhere in the world.
Infineon is committed to decarbonization and digitalization, leveraging initiatives such as sustainable mobility, efficient energy management, and intelligent IoT. This focus drives the company to innovate, develop, and market cutting-edge semiconductor-based solutions for the automotive, industrial, and consumer sectors.
Producing a semiconductor (or chip) remains an incredible feat that involves placing microscopic metal and other components on round wafers of semiconducting material. The complex manufacturing process takes three to six months to complete in an ultra-clean environment, using highly specialized, precise machines. Indeed, one lithography machine, which prints the patterns on the wafer, layer by layer, can cost $200 million. Every step must be perfectly aligned, even at the nanometer level, and a single speck of dust can destroy a chip. Yet, these products must also be tough enough to function in extreme conditions. Given the long production times and high production costs, quality is paramount, and process variation must be avoided at all costs.
Partnering with edX and TUMx to solve a business challenge
Given the high risk and significant cost of errors, Infineon required education partners capable of providing both assistance and a specific catalog of educational resources and programs to address its unique upskilling needs.
In 2020, Infineon partnered with edX and the Technical University of Munich to launch the Blended Green Belt Certification, designed to train hundreds of employees and set a global standard for excellence. The certification combines the edX Professional Program from the Technical University of Munich, Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt: Quantitative Tools for Quality and Productivity program, with Infineon’s custom-developed continuous improvement and problem-solving program.
The design and roll out of a certification that blended these two problem-solving methodologies ensures that Infineon can maintain the highest manufacturing and process standards across all operations. Currently, the initiative is a cornerstone of the company’s global quality excellence program serving the automotive and security industries, and is deployed at all production sites worldwide.
An impactful partnership with edX and TUMx
The collaboration between Infineon, edX, and TUMx highlights the power of skills development in solving a business need; and provides numerous benefits to the organization and its employees.
The in-depth program structure includes 30+ hours of videos, over 500 practice and homework problems and interactive exercises, mini case studies, and projects.
Additionally, the program includes an active discussion board tailored for Infineon’s topics in semiconductor production. This platform provides challenging and consistent training material Infineon employees can directly apply to their areas of responsibility.
Certification empowers Infineon employee to excel in a new role
Maria Roma, a Principal Process Engineer at Infineon, earned her TUMx Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt Certification with edX, and can directly link her learnings to her career outcomes. For example, her newfound knowledge meant that she could assist in resolving a customer issue. “[I used] problem analysis and resolution, earning a Spot Award for helping out,” she says. Even with 25 years of management experience and three post-graduate degrees, the program has significantly improved her day-to-day work, resulting in a promotion for which she previously was ill-experienced.
As a busy, full-time professional and mother of two, Maria needed a program that fitted into her schedule. “I don’t have the spare time to attend programs that require in-person attendance. Online learning was the best and only option for me.”
She explains why the edX platform was ideal: “I could listen to or watch videos while exercising, doing chores, waiting at airport gates, in flight, and during idle times when attending my children’s tournaments and competitions.”
“I’ve taken online certificate learning programs before, but this is definitely the best so far,” she adds. “The program’s structure and the method of communication have set a high bar for the next ones. I definitely recommend this course.”
Celebrating the 100th TUMx Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt at Infineon
Since the launch of the first pilot projects at three Infineon sites in Germany, Austria, and Hungary, the program has expanded to three more locations in Europe and Asia. So far, 100 Infineon employees have received their Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt certifications, helping them to achieve work excellence.
Ready to upskill your employees from anywhere in the world? Speak to an edX enterprise consultant to learn more about the TUMx Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt Certification — a top program already completed by over 350,000 learners.
About the author
Stephan Tente is a Six Sigma Master Black Belt and Lead Principal for Problem Solving & Continuous Improvement at Infineon. He works in the corporate quality department in the Infineon Headquarters in Munich, Germany and is responsible for the worldwide Thinking Six Sigma and Lean program with its 700 Green and Black Belts, and over 50 in-house trainers.