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CHAT - Cognitive Head Alignment Tool

Project type

Machine Engineering


June 2023 - Present


San Jose

As part of the Tape Technology team, one of my primary responsibilities is working as an engineer on the cognitive head alignment tool, designed by fellow coworker Cory Yee.

The cognitive head alignment tool, or CHAT for short, is an incredibly complex machine that is crucial to the manufacturing process of tape drives. CHAT, as the name suggests, creates the "head" of the tape, the part of the tape drive that is responsible for reading and writing data from the electromagnetic film. This is an elaborate process that involves ensuring that the three cable modules that must be bonded together meet very precise specifications in the micron range, and CHAT has automated this process to drastically increase yield rates in the manufacturing process as well as decrease cycle time.

CHAT was built with various tools, such as collimators, hexapods, microscopes, and UV lights, and is controlled through an application built with C#, .NET, C++, and python. As a CHAT engineer, it is my job to maintain and improve this software to guarantee that our "heads" continue to build smoothly.

Currently, I am working on a complete overhaul of the python code, as it is currently written in iron python 2.7. To modernize the application and make future development quicker, I have decided to upgrade the code to run in an environment with Iron Python 3.4 and refactor it.

Working on CHAT has been a great experience for me as an engineer. Although much of the engineering falls more into the computer engineering realm, it has been fun to learn more about C# and .NET, two areas of computer science that, at the time, I had not been exposed to.

Unfortunately, due to the proprietary nature of the project, images / source code cannot be shared. The images shared are examples of components we use in the overall machine and are controlled through the program we have written.

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