Amtech adds ALD specialist SoLayTec to acquisition trail

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PV manufacturing equipment specialist Amtech Systems has acquired a majority stake in atomic layer deposition (ALD) equipment firm SoLayTec from another equipment supplier, RENA. 

Amtech recently announced the planned acquisition of BTU International that would double its expected annual revenue to just under US$100 million. 

The company noted that acquisition was made with an undisclosed amount in cash and that SoLayTec was “expected to contribute modestly to revenue and earnings in fiscal 2015, with significant growth expected in 2016.”

Amtech noted that it planned to offer its Tempress' PECVD and SoLayTec's spatial ALD tools as an integrated solution for the range of passivation and aluminum oxide processes required for p-type and n-type PERC (Passivated Emitter Rear Cell) solar cells. 

Mr. Fokko Pentinga, Chief Executive Officer of Amtech said, “This acquisition further demonstrates our focus on expanding our participation in the solar market with breakthrough technologies that advance the industry and directly address our customers' interest in increasing solar cell efficiency at a lower cost of total ownership. We believe SoLayTec's ‘InPassion’ ALD ultrafast, high throughput systems reflect a significant opportunity for our current and prospective customers.  The system is already installed at several key customers and SoLayTec has additional purchase orders in hand.  We are already executing on sales synergies, with SoLayTec's ALD system part of the second phase n-type expansion at Mission Solar Energy.”

Wet chemistry specialist, RENA has been under financial restructuring in 2014. Consolidation in the PV equipment market has been ongoing due to the significant reduction in capital expenditure from manufacturers across the supply chain for the last three years. 

However, the next wave in capacity expansions at the solar cell and module sectors has already started as major manufacturers have been running existing facilities at full utilisation rates for most of 2014. 

Major solar cell producers are also upgrading existing lines for higher efficiency solar cells, notably PERC-based. 

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