Machine vision technology gives solar cell manufacturers new opportunities to increase productivity and lower costs
WATERLOO, ONTARIO - March 18, 2008 - DALSA Corporation (TSX: DSA), a global leader in machine vision technology, today announced its entrance into the solar cell inspection market. The company's efficiencies and expertise in area scan, line scan, and embedded processing for inspection in the flat-panel display industry are now being successfully applied to solar cell inspection, resulting in high quality, yet cost-effective inspection capabilities for the solar cell industry.
"The solar cell inspection market demands high quality and high volume production; this is where DALSA's capabilities provide a distinct competitive advantage," comments Philip Colet, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at DALSA. Machine vision is used for three general purposes by solar cell manufacturers: product inspection; identification and tracking; and lastly, product assembly. "DALSA's cameras and hardware are used in the initial part of the quality inspection process to verify patterns and edges, inspect coatings, and to check for micro-cracks. The precision of DALSA's image capture and processing technology contributes to the immediate and accurate detection of defects in this critical stage of the manufacturing process."
Solar cell manufacturers are under pressure to drive down costs in order to achieve "grid parity," the point at which the cost of solar energy is roughly equivalent to the cost of conventional power distributed on electric grids. Analysts forecast that his may occur in 2011 as module prices continue to drop. Ted Sullivan, Lux Research analyst and lead author of the report "Finding the Solar Market's Nadir," says, "As costs come down, you unlock bigger and bigger portions of the market."
Advantages of DALSA's new capabilities in line scan, area scan, and embedded processing:
o High Accuracy: DALSA's TDI (time delay integration) technology is accurate in identifying defects, and efficient in delivering the fastest image capture speeds in the industry (110 KHz), resulting in improved yields and reduced costs
o High Speed: DALSA's patented CMOS sensor technology enables 62 frames per second with 4 megapixel resolution, for greater system throughput
o High Resolution: DALSA's new Pantera 22M camera allows image capture of a solar cell down to 40um with one shot by utilizing its 22 megapixels, with low dark current, low noise and higher dynamic range than any competitive product
o Ideal for 100% inline inspections: Enables real-time embedded acquisition, processing, defect analysis, data reduction, data filtering, defect classification, compact form factor
Success factors for solar cell inspection include: image capture speeds, image resolution, and embedded processing capability. These capabilities are delivered via the following products by DALSA: Piranha HS 4K (the company's fastest TDI camera), Falcon 4M60, Pantera 22M, Piranha3 8K and the Anaconda. For images of DALSA products, please visit our online media kit.
About DALSA's Machine Vision Products and Services
For more than 25 years DALSA has led the design, manufacture and deployment of digital imaging components for the machine vision OEM market, and now offers Vision Appliances for factory floor deployment. Today, DALSA image sensors, cameras, frame grabbers, software, and Vision Appliances are used in thousands of automated inspection systems around the world and across multiple industries including semiconductor, flat panel display, electronics, automotive, medical, packaging and general manufacturing.
About DALSA Corporation
DALSA is an international leader in high performance digital imaging and semiconductors with approximately 1000 employees worldwide. Established in 1980, the company designs, develops, manufactures and markets digital imaging products and solutions, in addition to providing semiconductor products and services. DALSA's core competencies are in specialized integrated circuit and electronics technology, software, and highly engineered semiconductor wafer processing. Products and services include image sensor components (CCD and CMOS); electronic digital cameras; vision processors; image processing software; and semiconductor wafer foundry services for use in MEMS, high-voltage semiconductors, image sensors and mixed-signal CMOS chips. DALSA is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol "DSA" and has its corporate offices in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.
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