As Meyer Burger plans to shut down its Thun production facility (in the pic) and move its manufacturing operations for diamond wire saws closer to its major client base in China, the cooperation agreement with Mondragon makes sure its interesting multi-busbar SWCT module production equipment remains available to solar panel manufacturers. (Photo Credit: Meyer Burger Technology Ltd)
- Meyer Burger from Switzerland has signed a preferred partnership agreement (PPA) with Spain's Mondragon Assembly to manufacture its SWCT Equipment
- Mondragon will start production of SWCT equipment by the end of Q4/2018
- Meyer Burger says it will benefit from Mondragon’s global manufacturing network and established supply chain
- The Swiss company will continue to manage patents, marketing and all sales activities for this technology along with driving research and development
Spanish solar panel equipment maker Mondragon Assembly has been selected by Meyer Burger as outsourcing partner for the production of the Swiss company’s SmartWire Connection technology (SWCT). The two have signed a preferred partnership agreement (PPA) to this effect. Financials of the deal have not been disclosed.
Mondragon will start production of SWCT equipment for the Swiss company by the end of Q4/2018. That’s the time limit Meyer Burger has given itself to close down its Thun located production site where it has been manufacturing SWCT equipment.
When it announced its restructuring in November 2017, Meyer Burger said it will focus on establishing SWCT as an industrial standard, a next generation interconnection cell technology in module manufacturing. But at the time it had already said that its “proprietary busbar technology and JT laminator technology will be discontinued” (see Meyer Burger To Close Down Thun Production).
Meyer Burger and Schmid from Germany are pioneers in multi-busbar technology, which is considered the next development step in solar module design. However, leading Chinese companies have not embraced the pioneers’ products so far but have been waiting until local equipment makers have also designed machines for this technology at much lower prices (for details on multi-busbar technology see TaiyangNews Market Survey on Cell Interconnection Equipment 2017).
However, Meyer Burger will continue to drive research and development, marketing and sales of the SWCT technology and also manage patents, it stated in an online statement.
Spanish automation company Mondragon operates from its six production plants located in Spain, Mexico, France, Germany, China and Brazil. It also has a subsidiary in India. Mondragon Assembly also designs and provides turnkey production lines and machinery for PV module manufacturers. For the TaiyangNews Market Survey on Cell Interconnection Equipment, Mondragon provided data for two stringer models, of which one was introduced to the market last year.
Mondragon said the deal with Meyer Burger offers an opportunity to produce manufacturing equipment for the ‘most cost effective cell connection technology on the market today both for mono- and multi-crystalline solar cells’. Meyer Burger says it will benefit from Mondragon’s global manufacturing network and established supply chain.
“The collaboration with Mondragon with their strong experience in contract manufacturing and automation ideally complements our in-depth PV module equipment expertise,” said Daniel Lippuner, COO of Meyer Burger. Adding, “By outsourcing the production of our SWCT equipment to Mondragon, we are able to benefit from their flexible, cost-competitive manufacturing structure. This will help us to expedite the industrialization of our innovative SmartWire Connection Technology.”
A day before the deal with Mondragon was announced, Meyer Burger reported bagging a repeat contract for its MAiA 4.1 PERC cell production tool and a first industrial order for its FABIA system from an unnamed Asian customer worth 16 million CHF ($16.82 million).