Interview: Nannan Tian, Product Manager, Nano Measurement Operations, Keysight Technologies

NannanNannan is the Product Manager of the Keysight nanomechanical characterization tools. She is responsible for guiding new product feature development strategy and marketing, and providing sales and technical support to the Keysight nanomeasurement team, as well as to worldwide customers.

Prior to joining Keysight Technologies, Nannan earned her PhD in Materials Engineering from Purdue University. Her graduate research focused on studying the effects of material microstructures on mechanical and viscoelastic properties in various material systems.


Which customer or market demands were the biggest drivers of your company’s growth during the past three years?

The demand for nanomechanical characterization tools for academic research has been dramatically increasing in recent years worldwide, especially in China and the United States. Meanwhile, the industrial needs of production lines, R&D centers and QA labs have also grown rapidly. The measurement accuracy, reproducibility and efficiency of the Keysight Nano Indenter G200 provides industrial users with the ability to test the mechanical properties of various samples that would not be achievable by conventional large-scale tools in their labs.


Do you anticipate that those demands will continue to be your biggest growth drivers for the next three years, or are you anticipating new trends?

The current demands will definitely keep growing in the coming year and beyond. The new high-temperature nanoindentation options will further facilitate ceramic and alloy applications. Their ease of use, failure analysis and quality assurance capabilities will open up more industrial markets.


What are your areas of R&D focus, and what timeline do you anticipate for bringing your next new products to market? Can you tell us anything about those products?

The excellent state-of-the-art performance of the load transducer has been one of the core technologies offered by the Keysight Nano Indenter G200, which provides our customers with the most stable and accurate results. One part of our R&D resource focuses on bringing new enhancements and features that can elevate the user experience, especially the ease of use for industrial customers. The new nanomechanical platform is under development right now among all the projects on Keysight’s R&D roadmap.


What new trends do you anticipate and what market demands do you see evolving/changing over the next five years?

A wide range of applications and new materials will emerge for the scientific instrument industries; for example: 3D printing using metal and polymer materials, ceramic quality control, new and highly efficient materials for energy, and so on.


What would you say are the key challenges and opportunities currently faced by the industry?

Most industries have been using conventional macro-mechanical testers that no longer meet the measurement requirements for thin films and materials of very small dimensions, particularly with meaningful and accurate results. The communities are facing the challenge and necessity to switch from the macro-size mechanical measurement, to the advanced state-of-the-art micro-mechanical testing, as offered by the Keysight Nano Indenter G200. The repeatability and reproducibility of our systems provides the gauge R&R analysis to the QA/FA lab. On top of that, the automatic ultra-fast measurements allow for the most efficient tests with less operation effort and bias.


What is your company’s approach to strategic partnerships or joint ventures, and what kinds of partnerships are you most open to exploring?

Currently our strategic partnerships have mostly been with academic customers in different regions, whose research and applications complement our interest in developing new product modes and features. On the other hand, some industrial customers would like us to provide solutions to their specific problems. We also collaborate with them but mostly under NDA. Keysight also has third-party solution partners who can provide integrated solutions with other tools, hardware or software when some specific requirements cannot be met by Keysight.


What products will you be featuring at the show this year and what response are you expecting?

Our main products at the show will be the Keysight Nano Indenter G200 and the latest released high-temperature nanoindentation system – the laser heater. At Ceramics Expo 2017, the researchers, lab managers and QA engineers who stopped at our booth were amazed by the advanced capabilities and flexibility of the G200. There were a lot of great discussions about how the G200 could help and accelerate their study and work. The outstanding features of the laser heater were really popular and attracted lots of attention from the attendees. The precise, ultra-fast control of temperature and the minimized thermal drift with the G200 laser heater are the key desirable features that people have been pursuing in the past decade. Therefore, we are expecting even more interest and quality leads from a broader audience during the next show.


Why are you exhibiting and what connections do you hope to make there?

In general, the ceramic industry is always one of our favorite customers. The advanced capabilities, superior reliability and highest accuracy that Keysight provides not only meet but also exceed the needs of the ceramic industries. Keysight would like to introduce a series of great products to the ceramics industry while exhibiting at Ceramics Expo 2018. We would also like to take the opportunity to meet people from other fields who are interested in learning about Keysight products and our great business history originated from Hewlett-Packard.

Keysight Technologies, Inc. will exhibit at Ceramics Expo 2018 on Booth 858.