Under the hammer: sneak look at First Solar’s tool selection

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Bids for the first tranche of manufacturing equipment at CdTe thin-film leader, First Solar’s shuttered lines in Germany close today.

The online auction is being organised by GoIndustry DoveBid, which is showcasing, predominantly wet processing and related non-critical tools.

It is also a very unique peak into the equipment selection of the worlds largest solar cell manufacturer, according to recent analysis by NPD Solarbuzz.

The highly secretive module manufacturer employs a ‘copy smart’ manufacturing approach so it is highly likely that the equipment on sale in Germany is the same versions employed at its plants in the US and Malaysia.

Of course the most interesting aspect will be in seeing whether the complete suite of process and inspection tools will actually go under the hammer or whether First Solar has retained critical/expensive tools such as sputtering equipment to be used in other plants.

Below is a list of tools going under the hammer first:

Module washers Billco 330 Brushless Washer (Yom 2006, Qty 2)
Glass washers Billco 330 – 8SP FGW (Yom 2006, Qty 4)
Photoresist exposes Bürkle UV Belichtereinheit (Yom 2006, Qty 4)
Photoresist rollcoaters Bürkle AKLE-L 700 (Yom 2006, Qty 3)
Tack dry ovens Bürkle TRDUE (Yom 2006, Qty 3)
UPS units Eaton 9315-300 (Yom 2006, Qty 4)
Recycling labelers Fox IV SATO M-8490Se (Qty 4)
Double edge grinders Glaston/Bavelloni Linea V3 SX (Qty 4)
Bar code markers MAG (Qty 2)
XY film mapping MAG
Photoresist room enclosures Metallbau Gottschalk GbR (Qty 4)
Buck unloader Olbricht Double Side Loader (Yom 2006, Qty 4)
Washers Schmid 25 (Yom 2006-2011, Qty 8)
PMHT ovens Smit (Qty 4)

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