CaliSolar selects Eyelit manufacturing software for new PV cell facility

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CaliSolar has chosen Eyelit to provide its factory automation, manufacturing execution, quality, and asset management software suite to support the upgraded metallurgical-grade silicon (UMG-Si) solar cell company in its production ramp of a new fully integrated facility in Sunnyvale, CA.

Eyelit said that its solutions will be used to track, monitor, and provide product visibility of material, starting with raw silicon and including ingot, brick, wafer, and PV solar cell production, along with control over CaliSolar’s equipment and other key assets.

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CaliSolar will utilize Eyelit’s FactoryConnect middleware for factory automation and direct tool connectivity, while the vendor’s asset management offering will provide tool monitoring, management of calibration, and preventive maintenance, as well as built-in warnings, alerts, maintenance operations, and tasks all focused on higher equipment utilization.

The solar company also plans to implement Eyelit’s quality software for real-time statistical process control and deviation management.

“We searched globally for the right solution and selected Eyelit over other leading MES providers,” said Vivek Bhachawat, CaliSolar’s director of manufacturing technology. “Eyelit provides us with the feature set needed to expand our production, along with a critical cost of ownership advantage.

“Eyelit already has implementations in several PV factories allowing me to validate the solution with peers in the industry. We’ll benefit from Eyelit’s knowledge and experience in PV manufacturing; their understanding of PV was clear and helpful in providing a flexible software licensing model better suited for the PV industry.”

“We are excited about the opportunity to work with CaliSolar, to help them bring their low-cost UMG-Si PV solar cells to market,” said Dan Estrada, Eyelit’s VP of sales and business development. “Eyelit continues to expand its solar customer base, which includes both silicon and thin-film solar manufacturers.

“We’ve added two new customers in the first month of 2009 and look forward to helping our solar customers reach their goal of producing low-cost, high-value products by utilizing our low-cost, high-value factory product suite.”

Calisolar, which also has an R&D center in Berlin, reportedly raised nearly $102 million in a Series B round of funding late last year, monies that have been used to help finance the construction of its manufacturing plant.

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