SEMI has created the new PV Automation Standards Committee, located in both Japan and Europe. The Europe committee is co-chaired by Tino Korner of Q-Cells, Eberhard Teichmann from the Peer Group and Martin Zenning of Jonas & Redmann. In Japan, the PV committee is co-chaired by Terry Asakawa from Tokyo Electron and Emi Ishikawa from Atelier Ishikawa. The new committee’s preliminary focus will be on efforts related to equipment-to-equipment communication, cell transport carriers and single substrate tracking while the existing PV committee will handle non-automation matters.
Currently, the PV automation committee has two task forces: the Carrier Task Force and the PV Equipment Interface Specification Task Force (EIS). The Carrier Task Force will focus on standardization of equipment load parts and transport systems, which lead to direct and indirect cost savings in the supply chain, fewer risks during ramp-up and less energy for the integration of production lines. The EIS task force will be looking at reducing costs where software interfaces subsists between different pieces of equipment.
As the automation of PV manufacturing process continues to evolve, costs for solar cells and panels should be reduced. Automation is said to increase throughput, improve product quality and yields while requiring less maintenance and operational expenses.