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A clear target of improving yield and throughput while maintaining quality

As Director of Sales and Marketing of the Optical Sensor Systems Group for
Carl Zeiss MicroImaging GmbH, Jürgen Gobel is at the beating heart of the PV industry. Having witnessed several revolutionary changes, he’s upbeat about the future of the industry and the technical progress his company continues to make.

Welcome back to PES. How has your business been progressing in the PV market since we last spoke?
With the increase of the requirements on the product quality and the production process, the demand for our solutions is of course growing too.

Today solar cell manufacturers are confronted with an enormous cost pressure, increasingly stringent quality standards and the necessity to optimise efficiency. This requires not only the identification of disruptions in the production process at an early stage, but also an improved understanding of processes in general. That’s where our systems come into play.

The inline spectrometer systems from Carl Zeiss for the non contact measurement of transmission, reflection and other optical parameters supports the solar cell manufacturers in reaching there ambitious goals.

When we last spoke, you identified North America as a strategic region for growth. Is this still the case and are you beginning to capitalise on this?
There is certainly no doubt that North America has a very big potential of growth in fields which are related to new sources of energy and protection of environment.

Quite a few investments have been announced – and some of this investment has reached the industry and research. Watching the current disaster in front of the southern coast won’t leave anyone in any doubt that the US government will spend additional efforts and money for supporting alternate sources of energy. We receive more and more requests for offering and presenting metrology solutions for the photovoltaic and glass industry from North America. There have been the first successful installations since we last spoke and now we are looking forward to work on the next projects.

In general CZ is well known for its swift development of products. Why does this work so well for PV production, too?
It is true, it took us, for example, only a few months to develop a new generation of measurement tools providing the quality parameters which are crucial for optimising coating processes in the thin-film solar cell production.


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