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Metallization Line "In A Box" Helps Solar Cell Start-Ups and Enables "Pay As You Grow" Flexibility

Metallization Line "In A Box

DEK has announced a complete metallization line for solar-cell production rated at 1200 wafers per hour, saving manufacturers the time and expense of commissioning and integrating equipment from multiple suppliers. The first showing of this new line will be at BTU's Solar Lab Grand Opening, in Shanghai, 18-19 March 2008.

DEK has developed in-house solutions to loading, buffering, inspection and wafer-flipping, integrated with dryers from its drying technology partner BTU. The PVL1200 loader, PVB1200 buffer, PVI1200 inspection station and PVF1200 buffer/flipper combine directly with three PVP1200 high-precision screen printers, also announced recently by DEK. Together, these functional units create a three-stage metallization solution capable of producing high-quality and energy-efficient solar cells. Line integration is easy and glitch-free using standard machine interfaces.

The PV1200 line provides the ideal host for DEK's complete process solution for metallization, comprising technical support, productivity tools, fast-turnaround consumables and tooling, and precision emulsion screens produced in-house under class 10,000 cleanroom conditions.

"The PV1200 line offers PV cell producers a valuable turnkey solution, which we are able to deliver and install within a short timeframe. Capacity is 1200 units per hour, which matches the current industry benchmark with a roadmap to higher performance in the near future," said Darren Brown, Alternative Energies Business Development Manager for DEK. "New entrants to the solar cell market will benefit by being able to get productive quickly with minimal training. Companies already active in this sector will appreciate enhanced support, low cost of ownership and short delivery times for the PV1200 line and supporting deliverables including emulsion screens, to respond rapidly to developments in the market."

The entire PV1200 line occupies a small footprint on the factory floor, in relation to its capacity of 1200 wafers-per hour. Capacity can also be scaled in the future, by upgrading equipment in the line or by implementing a complete extra line at competitive price.

DEK is able to support all equipment in the line, through its global infrastructure. This includes machine maintenance and servicing, equipment optimisation, application support, and process-oriented services including process development and optimisation. Customers will also be able to call on extensive training opportunities, including machine operation and management as well as process development assistance.

The PVL1200 wafer loader has capacity for six magazines of 42 wafers capacity, and is calibrated to load wafers into the PVP1200 screen printer to meet the line's rated speed of 1200 wafers per hour. The three PVP1200 printers in the line are able to deposit current-collector, bus-bar and back-side metallisation features at high speed, using cost-effective tooling including high-quality emulsion screens designed and produced by DEK. The PVF1200 is custom-designed to flip wafers safely and quickly after drying, to enable deposition of back-side features, and also provides buffer capabilities to enhance line balancing for ultimate productivity. The PV1200 line also features the BTU D909 three-zone dryer, rated at 400°C to ensure optimal drying at the line beat rate.

DEK is able to deliver the PV1200 line as a turnkey solution for customers wishing to expand capacity or install new manufacturing capacity to service the rapidly growing world market for solar, or photovoltaic (PV), cells.

About DEK
DEK is a global provider of advanced pre-placement manufacturing solutions and innovative deposition technologies for a wide range of electronic materials. For more information, visit DEK at

Company Contact
Karen Moore-Watts

Laura Sims
Tel: 404-661-0348

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