Growth in LED demand—driven by broad adoption of general lighting applications—is expected to come at a fast, furious and sustained pace which analysts predict may last for a few years before the market once again pauses.
The way I see it, the current lull in LED market growth actually may be a great opportunity for LED manufacturers: Those who invest in productivity improvements now, while there is still the luxury of time, could potentially benefit significantly and outpace their competitors during the next high growth cycles.
This is the last post in a series running this week looking at the interrelated building blocks that are key contributors to producing solar modules at a cost of less than US$1 per watt.
Advances in Automation
Many solar factories today operate with little or no tool or factory automation. Those which have automation on individual tools often use custom hardware and software which are expensive to create, acquire and install, and are labor-intensive to maintain. The solar industry is increasingly turning to well-known productivity methods from other high-volume manufacturing industries, including intelligent, affordable factory and process control software.
Scott Rothenberg of Applied Materials speaks with Debra Vogler with Photovoltaics World Magazine at Solar Power International 2010 about manufacturing execution system (MES) software for our solar cell manufacturing customers.
Applied Materials is participating in this year's Solar Power International 2010 (SPI) which is touted as North America's largest business-to-business solar event, running from Oct 12-14th in Los Angeles, California.
Micron Technology, Inc. announced today that it has started the deployment of the Applied Materials E3 framework within its 300mm fabrication facilities. Applied E3 is an integrated engineering system that allows sophisticated control strategies aimed at increasing product performance, raising product yield and improving quality.