Despatch Industries Drives Photovoltaic Cost Reductions

February 04, 2008 (PRLEAP.COM) Technology News
Minneapolis, Minn., U.S.A. – February 4, 2008 - Despatch Industries, a world-leading provider of innovative solar cell manufacturing equipment, announces a strategic partnership with Wright Williams & Kelly, Inc. (WWK), a cost and productivity management software and consulting services company. Despatch is utilizing WWK’s software system and consulting expertise to reduce the cost of ownership of its key Photovoltaic product lines.

“Despatch is the most aggressive PV equipment supplier we have worked with in the area of cost of ownership and overall equipment improvement,” states Daren Dance, Vice President of Technology at WWK. “When compared to traditional batch furnace operations, we have seen a significant cost reduction.”

“Our goal is to significantly reduce the overall costs of producing high quality solar cells through innovative tool designs and process integration,” says Brian Bunkenburg, Director of Custom Products and New Product Development. “WWK’s analysis of our Inline Diffusion Systems demonstrates a significant improvement for the industry as compared to the traditional batch methods available.”

In solar cell manufacturing, materials and consumables account for the largest costs per cell produced. It is critical for equipment to be reliable and efficient to minimize the amount of materials and consumables wasted in production. Backed by 105 years of experience in heat technology, Despatch has created solar cell manufacturing equipment that features innovations which provide the highest levels of reliability and decrease the cost of ownership to manufacturers. Despatch’s patented drop-down chamber design offers convenient access for routine cleaning and provides superior across-the-belt uniformity. These features increase machine uptime and reduce energy consumption. Overall, Despatch’s equipment requires less power and labor, reduces breakage and minimizes waste.

In the photovoltaic market, Despatch has achieved several milestones. The company has shipped over 4GW of production capacity in metallization firing furnaces and these firing furnaces currently hold the number one market share in China. Despatch has also expanded their integrated, in-line diffusion line to include five different models, including pilot scale and R&D models.

About Despatch:
Since its inception in 1902, Despatch Industries has worked at the forefront of thermal processing technology. Building on the company’s foundation of expertise in engineering and manufacturing, Despatch has grown to become a global supplier of innovative equipment in some of the world’s most sophisticated industries, including: photovoltaic energy, carbon fiber materials, medical devices and electronic components.

About WWK:
Wright Williams & Kelly, Inc. is the largest privately held operational cost management software and consulting company serving technology-dependent and technology-driven organizations. WWK’s client base includes nearly all of the top 20 semiconductor manufacturers and equipment and materials suppliers as well as leaders in nanotechnology, micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS), thin film record heads, magnetic media, flat panel displays and photovoltaics.