Having noted last month that it expected a new resurgence in equipment orders, Manz Automation has said it has received several orders over the last few weeks that total €15 million in new business. The order backlog now stands at €65.3 million, though down from €78 million, reported in November. As has been a common theme in recent months, China-based PV manufacturers have dominated order books as they continue to add capacity and upgrade technology to boost solar cell conversion efficiencies.
Manz noted that several key Chinese solar cell manufacturers were responsible for the largest orders as well as receiving an order for complete backend lines for the production of c-Si solar cells and for several of its latest generation of wafer testers. The backend production lines include its newly developed HAP 2400 high accuracy printers. These printers are reported to have a throughput of 2,400 solar cells per hour.
“We have set new standards with our highly efficient, highly integrated machines,” noted Dieter Manz, Manz Automation’s CEO. “Our backend in particular is characterized by several innovations, which significantly increase the effectiveness of the solar cells and optimize the production process. This means that we are living up to our role as an innovation driver, and offer the industry the technologies it needs to be able to act successfully and profitably on the market after the crisis is over.” He added: “The new orders we have acquired revitalize our business and confirm our corporate strategy of investing in research and development in particular.”
A follow-on order from a major Taiwanese PV manufacturer for the supply of automation equipment was also received. Manz noted that this was a long-standing customer and the order was intended to aid a new capacity expansion phase.
Manz also noted that an unidentified thin film customer, affected by the challenges in the market will now take receipt of laser scribing machines previously ordered but that an agreement had been reached on restructure an existing equipment order.
All the new orders will be shipped in the first half of 2010, according to Manz, which also has assembly and service operations in Asia.
Additional key orders in the solar and LCD sectors were under negotiation and expected to be confirmed in the New Year.