July 27, 2009 – Matthias Meier, manufacturing engineering & automation at the Fraunhofer Institute, discusses his role as “coach” of the PV Equipment Standards task force in an interview at SEMICON West. SEMI released the new PV2-0709 standard at SEMICON West. Driven by the needs of solar PV manufacturers, the standard, which focuses on data acquisition and access, is expected to be widely adopted.
The key features of the standard are to allow access to data generated on production equipment for PV manufacturing — following substrates through the line, collecting all data generated on the way, using processes to establish quality measures, e.g. figure out where glitches occur in the production line and detecting them early.
There is a clamor to adopt such standards from all sides, notes Meier. Manufacturers complain that they have to specify systems for every factory, what the interfaces should be. Equipment suppliers need to build and maintain those interfaces. Software firms find it hard to integrate all the equipment. And now some initial manufacturing lines are now using at least part of the standard, he notes.