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Improving c-Si factory productivity and efficiency via an effective automation software strategy

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By James Moyne, Applied Global Services Group, Applied Materials, Inc.; Jeremy Read, Vice President and General Manager of Manufacturing Automation Solutions, Applied Materials, Inc.

This paper presents a strategy for improving c-Si factory productivity and efficiency via software, focusing on software systems that improve yield and reduce cost. Specifically, the role of automation software systems and example areas where they can provide impact will be discussed. Key requirements of these software systems will then be identified that guarantee reusability, reconfigurability and extensibility, and thus high and continuing ROI. Case studies will then be presented illustrating how Advanced Process Control (APC) software has been successfully applied in the semiconductor and FPD industries to improve productivity and efficiency. The paper concludes with a roadmap for automation software implementation to support PV factory productivity and efficiency improvements.

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The fifth edition of Photovoltaics International was published in August 2009. This issue grants a first look at SolarWorld’s new U.S. facilities, IMEC tackles inline processing of thinner c-Si wafers in Cell Processing and our PV Modules section reveals a new method of EVA encapsulant cross-link density measurement by BP Solar.

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