Saturday, July 18, 2009

Martifer Solar completes 50MW automated module line

BEDFORD, USA & OLIVEIRA DE FRADES, PORTUGAL: Martifer Solar, located in Portugal, and Spire Corporation (Nasdaq: SPIR), located in Bedford, Massachusetts, jointly announced that Martifer Solar accepted last month Spire’s 50 megawatt (MW) per year automated module production.

Both Spire and Martifer are fully satisfied with the performance of the Portuguese company’s photovoltaic (PV) factory. The fully automated turnkey module manufacturing line uses robotic systems for material handling and processing.

Leandro Bento, Factory Manager of Martifer Solar, said: “It is complex to establish a high-tech automated factory. We are pleased with the support that we received from Spire to reach our designated goals and to achieve unequivocal acceptance. This line makes Martifer Solar one of the most efficient manufacturers in the solar industry and we are proud to have completed our first two megawatts of PV module production.”

Roger G. Little, Chairman and CEO of Spire, stated: “This line is completely automated, making it one of the most advanced module factories in the world. We combined Spire’s process knowledge with our state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment and the latest in robotics and automation. The result is a high speed, high yield cost effective production line producing top quality PV modules.”

Spire has successfully automated the steps that are typically done manually. These included automation of string bussing, encapsulate trimming, module framing, junction box attachment, hi-pot testing and module simulation characterization.

For this project, Spire subcontracted with KUKA Systems GmbH in Germany. The quality robots and engineering expertise provided by KUKA were critical in the success of the program.

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