Applied Materials, Inc. today announced that Hareon Solar Corporation has selected Applied'sSmartFactory(TM) manufacturing automation software to improve productivity across Hareon's solar photovoltaic (PV) cell manufacturing operations in China.
Hareon Solar will deploy Applied's software at its cell subsidiaries Jiangyin Hareon Solar Technology Co., Ltd. and Altusvia Energy Co., Ltd. Hareon Solar selected the SmartFactory system because of its unique ability to combine wafer and cell production lines into a single virtual factory, enabling the system to increase megawatt output and drive down costs by synchronizing production across different geographical locations in real time.
"We have identified factory automation as an enabling technology that will allow us to balance multiple parts of our internal supply chain to maximize manufacturing efficiency," said Dr. Tobby Wu, vice president of operations at Hareon Solar. "Applied has demonstrated a deep understanding of the PV industry and the SmartFactory technology offers a single, proven platform to support our world-class manufacturing operations. We plan to expand the scope of our SmartFactory system in the near future to include our solar wafer production lines, creating a fully-integrated, ingot-to-cell manufacturing operation."
"Our solar customers are recognizing the need for advanced manufacturing solutions to give them a competitive edge in this fast-growing industry," said Charlie Pappis, vice president and general manager of Applied Global Services. "We're seeing strong momentum for SmartFactory software for crystalline silicon PV production, especially in China, demonstrating that Applied is meeting this need with an affordable solution that can be easily tailored to accommodate rapid capacity expansion."
Applied's SmartFactory is the only MES solution capable of controlling the entire solar PV manufacturing process, from ingot and wafer to cell and module manufacturing. Applied's software features pre-built operating scenarios to enable rapid initial deployment and simplify subsequent expansion. In addition, the SmartFactory system can be enhanced with optional plug-in components such as the Applied E3(TM)advanced process control technology, which interfaces directly with production equipment, enabling customers to achieve higher and more consistent factory output.