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4 JULI 2024, 14:40

A love of imaging. An eye for software bugs. And a knack for keeping people, products and fast-evolving technologies on track. Over the years, Celine Pinoncely’s skills have served customers well. Now, as Test and Validation Manager at Mycronic, she’s constantly discovering new ways to expand her impact with the help of a growing global team.

Advances in imaging

“I’ve always loved imaging,” says Celine with an eager smile. “I’ve been doing photography as long as I can remember. I’ve worked with everything from medical CT scanning to electronics inspection. And now we’re building neural networks that are incredibly powerful in classifying images, finding defects and really using imaging to drive improvements in other electronics manufacturing processes. Compared to the image processing I studied in engineering school, it’s a completely new world.”

A passion comes full circle

After graduating from engineering school in Lyon with a specialization in electronics and image treatment, Celine landed her first work-study program working with CT scanning technologies at Siemens in Erlangen, Germany. This was followed by a decade-long career at leading technical consultancies in Grenoble, France, as well as at Hewlett Packard and Orange. “For a time, I worked on VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) for telecom companies,” she reflects, “and when I joined Vi Technology in 2011, I learned that the same Siemens office I first worked for was one of our biggest customers! So, when I decided to get back into imaging, it really came full circle.”

Bigger teams, bigger perspectives

Today, following the acquisition of Vi Technology by Mycronic in 2017, Celine is responsible for guaranteeing the quality and specifications of every product her teams deliver. Based in Grenoble, she manages validation projects across multiple sites in France, Sweden and the Czech Republic. “It’s a really fulfilling job with a lot of variety, from planning with R&D to validation and release,” she says. “It’s about managing people and release dates as much as it is about managing product development. It’s great because I have a lot of contact with everybody in R&D, production, and customer support teams.”

This daily contact with all parts of the company’s departments, together with direct product feedback from customers, gives Celine a unique perspective on the full product development cycle. Over the course of a six-month or two-year project, she explains, a lot of questions arise that demand close collaboration. “For example: Is the documentation okay? Is the price list okay? Are you ready to produce? Do you have the spare parts? You get to be part of the whole process and engage with everyone, so it’s not just about checking details off a list. You really have to make sure that, after this long journey, everyone is on track to release the final product.”

Linking up the line

As an example, Celine mentions a product she’s especially proud of: the latest release of MYPro Link, a program creation software suite for solder paste inspection and 3D automated optical inspection.

“Our goal at Mycronic is to really bring together the line,” says Celine, “to get as close as possible to one-click programming. And our customers don’t care how complex it is for us to solve – they just need to produce. They don’t have time to waste on setup and programming. So we’re all focused on the goal of a coherent programming experience for the whole line. It’s not always easy, but it’s very interesting!”

Right now we’re working on deep learning for automated defect classification and polarity feedback and it’s amazing how much faster everything goes.

Celine Pinoncely, Test and Validation Manager, Mycronic

The AI train has left the station

A major accelerator along this journey, improving programming involves artificial intelligence. Due to the sheer amount of image data generated by electronics inspection equipment, together with the variability of production and component supply chains, advanced AI systems are an essential part of most next-generation product releases. 

“Right now we’re working on deep learning for automated defect classification and polarity feedback,” says Celine, “and it’s amazing how much faster everything goes. You have your brain, but now it’s multiplied by AI. It’s an incredibly fast technical revolution! Of course, we have a lot of customers who want to work with AI, and they all know you have to get on the train now or be left behind. Naturally, change has always happened, but this time it’s a high-speed train!”

In the pursuit of cutting-edge applications like AI, Celine emphasizes the advantages of working for a global company that provides ample opportunities to apply new tools and resources.  “We’re all so curious, and Mycronic gives us the time and support to go on this journey. It’s really an opportunity to produce some extraordinary products. And I can’t wait to see where it will take us!”

Growing together

“This encouragement is really important,” adds Celine, mentioning a number of new tools she has learned since joining Mycronic, including JIRA for product development by sprints, planning and bug-tracking, Confluence for documentation, and Xray Test Management for the creation of test cases, test plans and coverage follow-up. “I learned about all these tools from my colleagues in Täby, and they’re becoming even more important as we work more remotely across the world. This is one of the great points about Mycronic: If you want to try something new and you can motivate it, they’re really supportive.”

Whether it’s AI, new agile development tools or simply fresh faces and inspiration, these opportunities for continuous learning are a core part of what it means to work for Mycronic, according to Celine. “It’s a breath of fresh air to be part of a global company,” she says. “I can always challenge myself, share my ideas and exchange new ways of working. We’re getting the best of everyone and growing together — a lot faster than we could do alone.”

Text: Grant Baldridge

About Celine Pinoncely

Age: 47
Title: Test and Validation Manager, Mycronic (St-Egrève, France)
Education: Engineering degree, CPE Lyon
Family: Married with three teenage children
Interests: Photography, hiking, skiing, stand-up paddle
Quote: “Hiking is a lot like my work: It’s a long journey and a lot of hard work, but it’s so satisfying to reach the summit.”