Manz Automation AG: Turnaround confirmed with additional new orders from Asia with a volume of more than EUR 25 million

02/19/2010 07:32:00 CET

  • Manz acquires LCD orders with a volume of EUR 13 million and solar equipment orders worth more than EUR 12 million thanks to its strong market position
  • Technology leadership leads to additional orders for backend lines for crystalline solar cells and corresponding automation
  • Order backlog at end of January 2010 lifts to EUR 70 million

Manz Automation AG, one of the world’s leading technology providers for the photovoltaic and LCD industries has underscored the turnaround which started in the fourth quarter of 2009 with additional new orders from Asia. In total, the Reutlingen-based high-tech engineering company acquired new orders with a volume of more than EUR 25 million from customers in China and Taiwan. The order backlog thus increased to EUR 70 million as of January 31, 2010.

The significant revival in demand for LCD TVs in China and the high-growth segment for touchscreen displays (touchpanels) has led to a substantial increase in capital expenditure by Asian manufacturers, from which Manz is also benefiting. Existing customers ordered items including wet chemical glass-cleaning equipment and automation systems with a volume of EUR 13 million. This proves yet again that the acquisition of Manz Intech was the right strategic decision – as customer proximity and local machine production as well as Manz Automation’s local service network were once again key factors in placing the order.

In addition, the intense research and development work in the last year has also paid off. This has resulted in Manz Automation becoming the global technology and cost leader for the production of highly efficient silicon solar cells. This new concept includes high-performance laser equipment to produce selective emitters and the newly developed high precision printers to create front contacts. This technology, which can also be retrofitted in existing production lines, allows the efficiency of solar cells to be increased by up to 0.5 percentage points. “As a result, manufacturers reinforce their competitive position while keeping operating costs, the so-called total costs of ownership, to a minimum. That’s why our systems enjoy great demand,” explained Dieter Manz, Manz Automation’s CEO. He added: “At present we are running customer tests practically non-stop in our technology and training center in Reutlingen. A key factor is that we not only promise high levels of efficiency, but that we also prove that we can do it with real cells from our customers on genuine production systems. And this has allowed us to successfully place additional end-to-end backend lines with corresponding automation on the market in the shortest of timeframes.” Manz has received new orders from the solar sector with a total volume of more than EUR 12 million from existing customers in Taiwan and China as well as two new customers, also from the Peoples’ Republic.

Dieter Manz has a very positive opinion of further operating growth in the solar sector: “The planned reduction in feed-in fees in Germany means that now more than ever manufacturers have to cut production costs still further. And we supply the perfect solutions to do just that. Increasing efficiency and production output and reducing breakage rates are the key levers for our customers to be able to continue to operate successfully in a highly competitive environment. That is why we believe that demand for our innovative and highly efficient products will continue to increase.”

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