Applied Materials (AMAT) Announces Launch of HCT MaxEdge Wire Saw

Applied Materials just launched a revolutionary new product called the HCT MaxEdge Wire Saw.  Why is this revolutionary? The saw uses a dual-wire management system with four independently-controlled direct drive motors and advanced process control to reduce wire tension. Lower wire tension reduces wire wear, decreases ingot scrap and unplanned downtime, and most importantly, allows silicon to be cut into thinner wafers without reducing their throughput capacity. So, solar PV manufacturers will be able to produce more PV cells with the same amount of silicon. Applied Materials expects the new saw to reduce the cost per watt of PV cells by up to $0.18 per watt.

In a company press release, Stefan Schneeberger, vice president and general manager of Applied Materials’ Precision Wafering Systems division, commented on the new product:

"With the MaxEdge system we’ve boosted the wafer output and lowered the operating expenses of our industry-leading Applied HCT B5 system, making the best wire saw on the market even better. The MaxEdge system builds on a 25-year history of wire saw innovation and incorporates key feedback from our customers. Since the wafer is the most expensive component of crystalline silicon-based PV manufacturing flow, reducing wafer fabrication cost is critical to the goal of making solar energy competitive with grid power."

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