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  • Manz Captures $61M Order
Aug 2007
RAUTLINGEN, Germany, Aug. 15, 2007 -- Manz Automation AG has received an order valued at 45 million euros (about $61 million) from Applied Materials Inc. for laser scribing machines to be used in thin-film solar applications.

Applied Materials, is a Santa Clara, Calif., provider of equipment, services and software products for the fabrication of semiconductor chips, flat panels, solar photovoltaic cells, flexible electronics and energy efficient glass.

Manz, a Reutlingen, Germany-based provider of automation, quality assurance and laser process technology for the photovoltaic and LCD industries, said the order will mostly impact its revenues in 2008 and will lead to a significant increase in its growth. CEO Dieter Manz said, "This key order has a volume in excess of our entire 2006 revenues. It provides renewed confirmation of the significant technology synergies between the LCD and photovoltaic divisions."

The company received an 18-million euro order for laser scribing machines from Applied Imaging in the spring. With the new order, Manz said it will become "the market leader for laser scribing machines in the thin-film solar market by mid-2008. The total order volume for Manz has now reached more than 120 million euros" -- a record for the 20-year-old company. "The order volume reaches far into the fiscal year 2008," Manz said.

Applied Materials announced last month that it hired Chris Eberspacher to lead its Solar Business Group's research and development programs for both silicon- and nonsilicon-based solar materials. Eberspacher was formerly chief scientist at Nanosolar Inc., a solar startup focused on roll-to-roll processing of thin-film photovoltaic products. He has made significant contributions to nanoparticle-based thin-film CIGS solar cell technology.

Manz Automation was formed in 1987 and has branches in the USA, Taiwan, Korea, China and Hungary. It has automation divisions for photovoltaic, LCD and components and OEM systems for various markets. The company said it also plans to equip laboratory systems in the pharmaceuticals and life science sectors.

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The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
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