Sales of PV manufacturing equipment saw strong growth in the second quarter of this year, according to figures released by semiconductor trade body SEMI.
SEMI’s quarterly ‘book-to-bill’ analysis offers insights into toolmakers’ order books by comparing the value of orders with that of completed sales.
According to SEMI’s latest figures, the Q2 book-to-bill ratio surpassed parity to reach 1.58, up from 0.88 in Q1.
Worldwide bookings, representing net new orders for PV manufacturing equipment, surged 166% on the previous quarter and were 57% higher than the same quarter last year.
Billings increased 49% from Q1, but were down 27% year on year.
On a regional basis, SEMI said quarterly billings grew the most – 145% – in the Americas, also increasing in Europe and Asia. Asia remained the largest regional market with 60% of the total quarterly billings.
The figures underline the recent recovery for PV toolmakers, which have seen sales begin to rebound after they were hit particularly hard by the recent industry-wide downturn prompted by manufacturing overcapacity.
SEMI figures show that aside from Q2 of this year, the book-to-bill ratio for manufacturing equipment suppliers has only been above parity once – in the first quarter of 2014 – since the beginning of 2012.
The data for the book-to-bill analysis is collected by SEMI and German manufacturing association, VDMA, which recently took over from SEMI as the lead body in producing the annual International Technology Roadmap for Photovoltaic, which charts trends and developments in PV technology.