Rapid Production Ramp in Solar Cell Processing

Leading crystalline solar panel manufacturers face on-going price pressures as the industry matures. Innovative proprietary processes to reduce costs must be quickly implemented into production using custom equipment. Owens Design is able to leverage our prior experience to accelerate the integration of these new process technologies to help our customers meet their cost reduction roadmaps.

Business Proposition

The world’s largest solar companies must continuously develop innovative technologies to remain competitive. While new innovations may be promising in R&D, any cost reduction innovation must also meet reliability and performance specifications when manufactured at high volumes. In some cases, the invention may be so unique that no existing equipment could make it, so new manufacturing systems must be developed. Since the market is very price sensitive, a rapid launch is highly desirable.

While an internal design group can be tasked with the new equipment development project, progress can be slow given the many competing priorities. This is where Owens Design can contribute significantly. With extensive prior experience in the industry, Owens Design can take full responsibility for the design, software, build, integration, and test of any custom solar cell manufacturing equipment, and deliver the systems on an accelerated schedule.

Technical Details

  • Wafer and Cell Handling
    • Standard and non-standard cell dimensions
    • Thickness: 150 to 300 um
    • Throughputs up to 7,000 wph
    • Cell breakage less than 0.2%
  • Inspection and Testing
    • Automatic breakage rejection
    • Front and rear inspection
    • I-V, electrical, performance measurements
  • Processing Integration
    • Laser scribe & cleave
    • Micro dispense
  • Input and Output Configurations
    • Standard and custom conveyors
    • Cassettes (standard, custom); Coin stacks
    • RFID and carrier ID integration
  • Factory Integration
    • HMI, Recipe Management, Data Tracking, Factory Control I/F
    • Safety, regulatory, ergonomic requirements
    • Integration to material handling systems


“Owens Design’s work impressed me on multiple levels. They really listened effectively to what we needed, even if it wasn’t entirely clear in our own minds. They helped us analyze the tradeoffs in performance versus machine cost. Overall, the project was executed in a timely manner and with excellent communication skills. I recommend Owens Design unequivocally and would hire them again in a heartbeat.”

 Chief Technology Officer