Adept Technology expands into solar-power market

JANUARY 19--Adept Technology (Livermore, CA, USA; www.adept.com) has secured new design wins with four solar-panel manufacturing companies in the international solar-power market.

JANUARY 19--Adept Technology (Livermore, CA, USA; www.adept.com), a provider of intelligent vision-guided robotics and global robotics services, has secured new design wins with four solar-panel manufacturing companies in the international solar-power market. During the quarter just ended, Adept delivered more than $300,000 in its vision-guided robotics to the solar industry, bringing the installed base, into this sector, to more than 75 systems. Solar joins disk drive, medical device and life sciences, and high-speed packaging as defined strategic vertical markets, all of which require cleanroom operation combined with fine precision and flexibility.

"The rapid growth in demand for solar power has created a shortage of solar panels, which has given rise to high-volume manufacturing programs. This includes both traditional silicon-based solar panels and alternate technologies, such as thin-film solar panels and string ribbon production methods," said Robert Bucher, chief executive officer of Adept Technology. Bucher continued, "To get the required production yields, high-volume solar-panel processing plants are combining robotics with on-the-fly inspection. This makes an ideal vertical market for Adept's vision integrated motion software incorporated into our lineup of precision industrial robotics."

The solar power market has had consistent 20%--25% CAGR over the past 20 years, according to Solar Buzz, a solar-power market-research firm. Europe, China, and US demand for photovoltaic modules will more than triple by 2010, driven by innovations, economies of manufacturing, cost of alternate energy sources, and government regulations and subsidies.

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