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KLA Israel Showcases Sustainability-Themed Hackathon Projects

Jun 15, 2022 3 min read

Sixty-five hackers in 10 project teams at KLA Israel came together in their third annual hackathon, with this year’s event focused on a common goal of developing ideas that can show real potential for reducing environmental impact.

Employees from 10 business groups across two KLA Israel sites demonstrated the power of collaboration and the spirit of friendly competition by brainstorming impactful ideas to reduce waste and carbon footprint and developing their concepts at the hackathon in Migdal HaEmek.

“Engagement among employees from different disciplines, business units and across both sites was especially impressive as they worked together to find productive ways of helping us work more efficiently, improve our products and contribute to KLA’s environmental initiatives.”

Orna Hitron, KLA Israel project manager and Hackathon board member

Cross functional and multidisciplinary teams representing business groups from both Yavne and Migdal HaEmek proposed a wide range of green initiatives ranging from carpools and remote computer shutdown to smart packaging and an internal marketplace for surplus and used items. At the end of the two-day event, each team had 10 minutes to present their ideas to an internal judging panel. Three projects were selected as the winning projects and awarded with additional resources and support being scheduled and coordinated to further develop and/or implement their ideas.

“The hackers’ investment was exceptional, and the judges had a hard time choosing,” says Mor Azarya, who heads EPC R&D and the central engineering group and is a hackathon board member. “This year in particular, projects that did not even win first place also received a lot of interest and some of them will be integrated into our work plans as part of our ongoing sustainability efforts.”

Top Projects

Coming in third place was a smart packaging idea. The team looked at the current method of packaging and storing replacement parts and developed a smart packaging alternative that would use less packaging material, could be stored flat when not in use and still provide the same level of safety to the parts during transportation. The proof of concept demonstrated a potential savings of about 85% in transportation and storage costs, and a similar percentage of waste reduction. This idea will be further investigated with relevant teams.

In second place was the idea of ​​reducing the power consumption of optical scanners in the dead time between scans. The team was able to implement a prototype that demonstrated a savings of approximately 20% in the power consumption of each scanner head. The team will further explore this idea.

Drum roll please…

First place was given to the idea of ​​establishing a country-wide internal marketplace for unused surplus supplies. The team noted that across the organization there is an untapped resource of surplus hardware, components of all types, from screws and cables through to cameras, cards, cabinets, monitors and any component not used in one department but can be used in another department. “A quick survey that we conducted showed that an internal marketplace like this has the potential to provide cost savings to the company, help improve operational efficiencies and provide environmental benefits associated with reducing the purchase of new goods,” said Tamar Tavdyoglo, a software architect in the PCB division and member of the winning team.

“It’s great to see environmental and sustainability initiatives throughout our global operations. Platforms like this hackathon provide employees with the opportunity to come up with proposals that can directly contribute to improving how we do things. When employee ideas are implemented and validated as feasible at a site, we will look at opportunities for expanding them throughout the company.”

John McLaughlin, global ESG lead and Ann Arbor site lead, KLA

In the run-up to the hackathon there were several training classes, lectures, seminars and meet-up sessions focused on green environment, innovation, marketing of ideas and Python programming.

During the hackathon participants had opportunities to develop their skills, get support from mentors and experts and meet and interact with colleagues in a fun and friendly, but also productive and inspiring atmosphere.

Employees had a fun and productive time brainstorming ideas to reduce KLA Israel’s environmental impact at their third annual hackathon.

To start your career at KLA, a World’s Most Admired Company, browse our job openings in Israel and our many global locations.

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