Manz Automation AG acquires new orders with a total volume of more than EUR 15 million

12/10/2009 07:49:00 CET

Turnaround in order intake in all divisions

  • First orders for new back-end system for crystalline solar cells from China
  • Agreement with key account for laser scribing equipment for further cooperation
  • Order book currently totals around EUR 65.3 million

Manz Automation AG, one of the world’s leading technology providers for the photovoltaic and LCD industries has acquired several orders with a total volume of more than EUR 15 million over the past few weeks. The largest orders which the Reutlingen-based engineering company received were from several key Chinese solar cell manufacturers. These orders comprise automation systems as well as complete back-end lines for the production of crystalline solar cells and several latest generation wafer testers. The back-end production lines include Manz AG’s newly developed HAP 2400 high accuracy printers. These printers have a throughput of 2,400 solar cells per hour and are the fastest and most accurate high-precision printers on the market to create front side contacts for selective emitter cells. In addition, the use of double-printing technology once again increases the effectiveness of the solar cells.

These orders were conditional upon the successful research and development activities in the past few months, together with end-to-end test series in the company’s own technology and training center, which verified that the newly developed systems both work reliably and increase efficiency. A key factor behind the issue of this order was also Manz AG’s local presence thanks to its production and service facilities in Asia.

At the same time, the company was also able to acquire a follow-on order from a major Taiwanese PV manufacturer for the supply of automation equipment. This order is from a long-standing customer, which continues to attach great importance to Manz AG’s equipment for the further expansion of its production capacity.

The orders will be shipped in the first half of 2010.

Given the appreciable difficulties in the thin film solar industry, a key customer of Manz Automation has agreed to restructure an existing order, having the following effects: Manz will deliver the laser scribing machines that are already manufactured, resulting in a positive impact on revenues and income. The company will therefore realize a slight positive one-off effect, which will be recognized in fiscal year 2009.

Taking the new orders and the agreements with the long-standing key account into consideration, the order book currently totals EUR 65.3 million. Additional key orders in the solar and LCD sectors are currently being negotiated and are expected for the first few months of the coming year.

Dieter Manz, Manz Automation’s CEO, believes that the new orders confirm the R&D strategy and is looking to the future with confidence: “We have set new standards with our highly efficient, highly integrated machines. Our back-end in particular is characterized by several innovations, which significantly increase the effectiveness of the solar cells and optimize the production process. This means that we are living up to our role as an innovation driver, and offer the industry the technologies it needs to be able to act successfully and profitably on the market after the crisis is over.” He added: “The new orders we have acquired revitalize our business and confirm our corporate strategy of investing in research and development in particular.”

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