Manz AG in Reutlingen, Germany, is a global high-tech equipment manufacturer. Over the past few years, the company has developed from an automation specialist to a provider of integrated system solutions for the production of crystalline silicon solar cells and thin-film solar modules, as well as the manufacturing of flat panel displays.
Manz focuses its R&D efforts on production systems for the photovoltaics industry, flat panel displays and lithium-ion batteries. Research facilities are located in Germany, Taiwan and Israel.
In the summer of 2010, Manz signed a cooperation agreement with Wurth Solar, Schwabisch Hall, Germany, that gives Manz access to exclusive know-how in CIGS thin-film technology. CIGS modules are currently considered the most efficient on the market. Thanks to the agreement, Manz is the first manufacturer in the world offering a turnkey production line for CIGS solar modules that can be operated profitably today.
Reported by Jeanny H. Lim
What do you see as the trends and market forces driving PV technology in the second half of 2011?
Advanced equipment is the key to further success since costs need to be further cut. In the second half, uncertainty about development of c-Si market still remains.
How are PV prices expected to develop in the second half?
I expect they will further decrease.
Where do you put your focus this year, in terms of business growth and technology development?
Manz will put a strong focus on cost reduction by increasing standardization and thus reducing production costs and making the straight use of the low-cost facilities in Eastern Europe, Taiwan and China.
Manz puts strong focus on further development of our processing machines such as laser processes, wet chemistry processes and metallization.
Asia is the most important market for Manz. In February, we had our groundbreaking ceremony for our new plant in Suzhou, China.
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