Newport Corporation was formed in 1969 to provide vibration control solutions for laser-based laboratory applications. In the 40 years since, as technology has advanced, the company has grown and developed significantly and now offers a comprehensive range of products meeting the needs of the optical industry. We spoke to Ron Hartmayer, Director of Marketing, PV Systems about the company and its philosophy.
PES: Can you explain a little about the history of the company and what you offer the photovoltaic industry?
Ron Hartmayer: Newport Corporation was founded almost exactly 40 years ago in 1969. Our initial product offering was vibration control solutions for laser-based laboratory applications. Newport Tables have since become the de facto standard in research labs worldwide, with more than 50,000 optical tables installed. Over the decades, Newport has broadened its product portfolio extensively and is nowoffering a multitude of products related to making, managing and measuring light – from lasers and other light sources, optics and optomechanical components, to optical metrology instrumentation.
About 10 years ago, we began offering integrated solutions to our OEMcustomers in the semiconductor and life health science markets. These products typically included a light source, optics and opto-mechanical components. In some variants more complex motion systems and measurement instruments are integrated into the assembly.
Our entrance into the PV market followed a similar path. For more than three decades, Newport’s Oriel SolarSimulators have been used extensively in the characterisation of PV materials in research labs worldwide. These light sources have also been installed in manufacturing plants for in-line testingand quality control.
Additionally our Spectra-Physics lasers have been used extensively in thin film PV scribing and for via drilling and edge isolation of crystalline silicon-based solarcells for almost a decade by researchersand system integrators alike.Starting in 2008, Newport introduced a complete range of turn-key production tools, focusing on thin film PV panelscribing and edge deletion. Thesetools combine many of Newport’s core competencies in lasers, motion,optics and opto-mechanics into ahigh throughput solution, used in 24/7 production environments.