Applied Materials, Inc. announced today that its Precision Wafering Systems division has set an industry record, shipping its 2,000th wire saw system.
These saws are the preferred choice of major solar manufacturers worldwide for cutting silicon ingots into wafers to fabricate solar photovoltaic (PV) cells. Half of these shipments were for the world-class Applied HCT B5TM wire saw, representing sufficient capacity for manufacturing over 10GW of solar cells each year.
Applied Materials has seen significant market momentum for its B5 wire saw - with recent orders from four large wafer manufacturers in China that total more than 250 additional systems.
Wafering is an important part of driving down cost in solar manufacturing. By the time a finished blank wafer reaches the cell manufacturer, half the final cost of a complete module is already fixed. Helping to reduce the cost of wafering, Applied's B5 system delivers 15% higher annual output and lower overall cost per wafer than any wire saw available today. This benchmark performance, achieved through best-in-class yield and uptime, coupled with unique flexible loading architecture, offers customers a compelling economic advantage, with up to 20% higher net revenue per system than competing systems.
"This achievement underscores our position as the solar industry's productivity and technology leader in advanced wafering solutions," said Dr. Charlie Gay, president of Applied Solar. "Our wafering systems combine engineering excellence with R&D programs across three continents, powering our customers' growth strategies and helping to drive down cost per watt."
To help solar manufacturers optimize productivity and improve yield, Applied Global Services (AGS), the industry's largest support organization, offers a comprehensive portfolio of service solutions including innovative remote diagnostic technologies and factory automation software.