SEMI has published a new technical standard that offers a framework to unify equipment communication interfaces in the solar photovoltaics manufacturing sector. The trade association says that the standard, PV2-0709, better known as “PV2,” marks a significant industry milestone, since it defines a unified equipment communication interface for PV production systems.
The standard should provide multiple benefits to the PV industry including shorter ramp-up times, increased functionality, simplified requirement specifications, and increased potential cost savings for manufacturers, according to SEMI.
PV2 “was developed by the European Equipment Interface Specification Task Force (EIS TF) to reduce the effort equipment suppliers have to spend to develop and maintain a variety of equipment communication interfaces, and establish the foundation for deploying advanced factory management and control software systems,” the trade group says.
“Up until now, the PV industry has lacked a unified communication standard between production equipment and the shop floor,” said James Amano, SEMI’s director of international standards. “Through the creation and implementation of the PV2 standard, major production line processes can now be fully automated by shop-floor IT systems that rely on communications with production equipment.”
Matthias Meier, who works for the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation and was a key leader in the development of the new standard, notes that “tasks such as equipment efficiency monitoring, maintenance management, scheduling, dispatching, work-in-progress tracking, yield optimization, and process monitoring and control are either fully automated or at least strongly supported by shop-floor IT systems that depend on being able to communicate with production equipment.
“The ability to communicate with production equipment from an IT point of view is a prerequisite to operate PV manufacturing systems at maximum efficiency,” he concludes.