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Odds And Ends

Inside Western Digital: How Tomorrow's Storage Gets Made
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Odds And Ends

There was so much ground to cover in these facilities that I’m only showing you the barest fraction of what we saw. I’ve tried to focus here on some of the more cutting-edge, high-ticket machinery that showcases just how much a company like Western Digital has to ride on the nano-scale edge of R&D to keep the industry advancing. Of course, in any operation of this size, not everything can be ultra-impressive. In this image on the left, for example, a fab operator stands near the bake ovens used to cure photoresist (photo-sensitive) chemicals. I just thought those turbine-ish looking things seemed cool.

In the photo on the right, an operator loads wafers into a PVD tool. These particular wafers are about to receive their alumina overcoat layer. This is the last (top) layer covering the entire head, and it serves to protect the head from ambient environments. But what caught my eye was how the tech was wearing his glasses in a way you never could without that suit pinching your head. Funny, I thought, all the little ways employees adapt to their tasks in this bizarre place.

If you can handle a little Blair Witch-style footage, I have this clip for you. It might give you some idea of just how large and sprawling WD’s cleanroom facilities are.

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