May 27 – The Comet Group, a global leading innovative technology company, based in Switzerland with a focus on plasma control and X-ray technology, expanded their capacity with a new manufacturing site in Pulau Pinang, Malaysia. This important milestone looks to strengthen the Group’s presence in Asia to meet not only local demand but also future demand for their technologies from customers worldwide.
The project was approved by the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) last year, for the manufacturing of integrated radio frequency (RF) power modules for front end semiconductor machinery.
Despite the challenges of COVID-19 restricting economic activities and movement, the Comet team was impressed with the ease and speed in implementing their Malaysian project. “I have been part of similar projects before, but I have never seen a team working so energetically and with such motivation to set up a new manufacturing site in record time”, said project leader, Mr. Stephan Runge, Vice President Global Operations.
The sentiment was also shared by Mr. Chai Huat Yeoh, General Manager, Penang, Malaysia, “It has been exciting to work in this highly collaborative team. Whether from the headquarters in Flamatt, San José or Shanghai or local team members in Malaysia, we have been working together on the same goal, to make this project in Pulau Pinang a success.”
The first RF matching networks were assembled on the production lines and released for manufacturing use in August 2020. Since the beginning of 2021, the manufacturing facility in Malaysia is also officially certified by the company’s customers and has successfully ramped up to high volume production in the last few months.
Mr Arham Abdul Rahman, Chief Executive Officer of MIDA, commented on the speedy implementation of Comet’s project. He also conveyed the Government’s assurance to investors in facilitating their investments, “The pandemic has somehow been a game-changer for all of us. However, taking it in stride, the PACU@MIDA or the Project Acceleration and Coordination Unit has been established as part of the PENJANA initiative to flow the nation back on the road to recovery. This team is taking up the challenge to provide professional support and assistance to our investors, enabling the efficient and timely realisation of approved projects in the country. We strongly urge all our stakeholders to fully leverage this Unit‘s network and expertise to get their projects off the ground.”
He added, “MIDA is pleased to see Comet tapping upon Malaysia’s well-connected and established semiconductor industry cluster in Pulau Pinang. Their presence here will undoubtedly be a welcomed addition, given their long standing reputation as a high-tech supplier that can deliver flexible, quick and reliable solutions, particularly Malaysia looking to develop our very own front-end semiconductor equipment ecosystem.”
Currently, the company is well supported by Malaysian talent, and it is expected that over time the company vision is to employ more Malaysian. Among the roles to be filled include the positions in engineering, plant and machinery operations and assembling as well as quality management.
On the path to revitalise the national economy, Malaysia is focused on attracting high quality investments into the country in line with the National Investment Aspirations (NIA). This framework bears the foundation for Malaysia to become a regional investment hub, by (1) increasing economic diversity and complexity through the development of sophisticated products and services, with high local Research and Development (R&D) and innovation; (2) creating high skill jobs to provide better income for its people; (3) expanding and integrate domestic linkages into regional and global supply chains, by improving their resiliency; (4) developing new and existing clusters focusing on high productivity sectors, including local products and services; and (5) improving inclusivity to contribute towards the socio-economic developmental agenda. Ultimately, the NIA looks to ensure Malaysia continues to remain competitive and serves as the epicentre for economic and business activities in the region.