Although a measured capacity expansion phase is already underway, increased sales have been cited by two vision inspection systems suppliers to the PV manufacturing sector.
Driven by PV module assembly expansions as well as new cell lines and start-ups, both ISRA Vision and VITRONIC have noted increased orders and sales in the first half of 2014.
Publically listed ISRA recently noted overall sales to all market segments had risen 9 12% over the first nine months of the year, generating €70 million (US$92.0 million) in revenue.
The company noted in financial filings that its PV sector business, enhanced by the previous acquisition of GP Solar had experienced “high demand” earlier in the year, notably from manufacturers in Taiwan, Korea, Japan and the US.
VITRONIC noted similar developments in a recent press release, highlighting an upturn in sales, even before the beginning of the year. The company noted “several dozen systems” sold to PV customers that included new solar cell production lines as well as to retrofit existing lines.
Inspection systems orders also included equipment specifically for cell texturing, coating, and metallization/printing stages, according to the company.
ISRA indicated strong order momentum in the fourth quarter of the year for its Surface Vision segment, which includes the PV sector.