At the end of the first quarter of 2010, the total shipments of DEK Solar’s PV1200 metallization platforms exceeded the industry measure of 1 Gigawatt of energy generation capacity. The achievement is all the more notable as DEK only re-entered the Alternative Energy sector 18 months ago with a new screen print platform designed expressly for the solar market.
The company’s PVP1200 solar screen printer secured early acclaim and quickly established itself as the metallization solution of choice for progressive solar cell manufacturers looking to push process boundaries. John Knowles, DEK’s Chairman, personally heads up the DEK Solar team. He believes that key factors behind the Solar Business Unit’s success include the small and responsive team focused exclusively on the solar market and DEK’s unequalled global reputation for materials deposition process expertise and high accuracy, high reliability print platforms (the company is pre-eminent in screen and stencil printing in the electronics assembly and semiconductor packaging sectors).
“DEK Solar is driven by a small group of resolute individuals within the DEK organisation who remain agile, responsive and receptive to change,” states Knowles. “The other is that the industry has moved in our direction as requirements for absolute print accuracy, precision alignment and advanced process expertise escalate with the wide scale adoption of processes like print-on-print. With 40 years of experience behind us, printing standard current collector patterns on crystalline wafers was as easy as falling off a log,” Knowles claims. “Now, these new requirements and others still emerging have raised the bar, and play to our strengths,” he adds.
Knowles acknowledges that the DEK solar business also benefits from the support infrastructure and lean manufacturing capability already in place for DEK’s global business in electronics and semiconductor. A cornerstone of DEK’s brand promise to all its customers is short equipment lead times, and this is equally reflected in the company’s approach to the solar marketplace. “We have cut expected lead times from many months to just a few weeks for new equipment orders, and there’s no doubt that this has contributed to our rapid success as we can deliver against the fast ramp up strategies of many progressive solar cell manufacturers,” Knowles confirms.
About DEK Solar
DEK is a global provider of next-generation technologies and process support to solar cell manufacturers with solutions that include modular metallization platforms, precision screens and materials applications used in back side field coating, current-collector pattern and termination deposition for photovoltaic substrate production. For more information, visit DEK Solar at www.deksolar.com.