The Role of Automation Software in the Solar Industry
InterSolar Europe, the industry’s largest tradeshow was held in Munich, Germany last week. With more than 2,200 exhibitors and more than 75,000 visitors, one ofthe most important industry shows took place at an important inflectionpoint in the industry.
This was Applied Materials’ fourth yearparticipating in InterSolar Europe and our theme this year, ‘Poweringthe c-Si Roadmap’ set the stage for the various activities that tookplace including equipment demos at the booth, executive presentations, a software symposium and customer meetings.
At the booth visitorshad the opportunity to meet with Applied Materials solar executives from around the world to learn more about how Applied Materials is loweringthe cost-per-watt of solar energy and powering the crystalline siliconroadmap with our equipment as well as experience technology demos of Selective Emitter, Precision Wafering Systems and Baccini screens.
In conjunction with the show, Dr. Charlie Gay gave the keynote address atthe Applied Materials Software Symposium and discussed the latestdevelopments in solar technology, manufacturing and the technologiesability to achieve grid party. His talk entitled, A Solar IndustryRoadmap and the Role of Automation Software outlined:
· How companies, now more than ever, must be more efficient and productive and have a clear roadmap to guide research.
· How the large increase in manufacturing capacity added in the last year has resulted in the continued pricing decline for cell and modulemanufacturers—putting pressure on profitability.
· How Applied is helping customers to increase conversion efficiencies,improve productivity, reduce manufacturing costs, and achieve theeconomies of scale needed to compete in this growing, competitivemarketplace.
· How scaling up thesize of manufacturing facilities provides tremendous opportunities formaterials cost reduction, infrastructure cost savings, and improvedefficiencies in logistics planning.
Solar adoption depends on the technology’s ability to match the cost-per-watt of traditional energysources, and one way to achieve this cost goal is to continuously stripcosts out of the manufacturing process. One way to help do this is byautomating the solar factory.
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