FORT COLLINS, Colo., July 18 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Advanced Energy Industries, Inc. (Nasdaq: AEIS) today announced it has received a multiple-system order from a leading European provider of solar-cell manufacturing equipment. This customer ordered four Summit(R) DC power systems for physical vapor deposition (PVD) applications based on their success with AE Pinnacle(R) DC products. AE's Summit family optimizes critical zinc-oxide-layer deposition processes with its advanced arc management, enabling higher-quality manufacturing with greater throughput and yields. The Summit power systems have been delivered to the customer's facility in Europe, where they will be integrated into manufacturing equipment to be shipped to a solar-cell maker based in Germany. (Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20030825/AEISLOGO ) Industry sources estimate that currently over 90 percent of solar cells are manufactured using non-thin-film processes with silicon wafers and other thick substrates. By 2007, production of solar technology will grow by 18 percent with a substantial portion of the growth coming from thin-film solar panels, according to a report from investment bank Piper Jaffray. AE's DC power systems enable solar photovoltaic (PV) thin-film processes by reducing the requirement for large quantities of increasingly scarce and expensive silicon for high-volume solar-cell production. As the industry attempts to lower system costs, thin-film technology is providing cost efficiencies to meet the escalating demand of the high-growth, thin-film solar-cell market. "We are very pleased by the rapid adoption of our power systems within the thin-film solar-cell market sector," noted Dr. Hans Betz, Advanced Energy president and CEO. "Our collaborative partnerships with equipment OEMs help us to understand their specific requirements and allow us to provide them with enabling products that optimize their critical processes for thin-film solar-cell manufacturing. This market's projected growth represents a significant opportunity for our process-optimization solutions, and we look forward to continuing our development efforts in the area of solar power." One critical process for thin-film solar-cell production is transparent conductive oxide (TCO) layer deposition. Key to depositing a successful TCO layer is the arc management within the PVD process step. The Summit DC power system offers state-of-the-science arc management-managing 4,000 arcs per second to allow use of targets with cost-effective, relaxed-material requirements. This results in high repeatability and precision for tight plasma process control for consistently higher yields. It accommodates all regional input voltages, enabling superior operating flexibility in the vast majority of electricity supply circumstances, including brownouts. Integration of AE's Summit DC 50 kW power system allows this leading customer's manufacturing equipment to provide higher quality and greater yields for thin-film solar-cell manufacturing. About Advanced Energy(R) Advanced Energy(R) develops innovative power and control technologies that drive high-growth, plasma thin-film manufacturing processes worldwide, including semiconductors, flat panel displays, data storage products, solar cells, architectural glass and other advanced product applications. AE(R)'s product portfolio includes precise, flexible power systems; reliable gas and liquid flow-management systems; accurate thermal instruments; and global support services. Leveraging this focused product portfolio and technology leadership, AE creates solutions aimed at maximizing process impact, improving productivity and lowering cost of ownership for its customers, including original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and end-users around the world. AE operates in regional centers in North America, Asia and Europe and offers global sales and support through direct offices, representatives and distributors. Founded in 1981, AE is a publicly held company traded on Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol AEIS. For more information, go to www.advanced-energy.com Advanced Energy(R), AE(R), Pinnacle(R) and Summit(R) are trademarks of Advanced Energy Industries, Inc.
SOURCE Advanced Energy Industries, Inc.