Manz: CIGS factory transfer complete

In January, CIGS module production at Schwäbisch Hall will begin under the sole direction of the Reutlingen, Germany-based equipment manufacturer. Manz has also secured licenses and expertise relating to CIGS technology. Both of the companies reported that the production line with its 118 employees was guaranteed to remain in place for at least two years. Until now, the circle of CIGS experts at Manz comprised 50 development engineers. They will now be joined by the experienced process technicians from Würth Solar.

Manz and Würth Solar have been cooperating since 2010. The PV manufacturing equipment producers tested their own technology in the line at Schwäbisch Hall. Following the recent transfer, the production facility opened in 2006 and started as a CIS factory with an output of 30 MW, will serve as an innovation line producing 6 MW of CIGS modules annually. Until now, the CIGS business has been an area with little impact on turnover at Manz. CEO Dieter Manz justified the takeover of the CIGS line by pointing out that due to the current earnings crisis, the module manufacturer would have to reduce its cost over the next 9 to 12 months in order to remain competitive. CIGS technology, he said, had been developed into a record-breaking thin-film technology (14%) in cooperation with Würth. He also noted that its production costs were low. "We believe that the CIGS thin-film technology is the final step toward the competitiveness of solar power without subsidies”, Manz said. (vu)

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