Greentech Lead America: AQT Solar, a provider of solar
cells, has tied up with Sapphire Automation, to transition to an automated WIP
Management System to complete the integration of its Sunnyvale facility. The
alliance will enable to drive operational efficiencies and improve equipment
utilization and planning.
AQT anticipates that this platform will improve its rapid
technology development and deployment cycles and contribute substantially to
ongoing cost reduction initiatives.
AQT’s WIP Management System is run by Sapphire’s Emerald
software platform. Sapphire Emerald is modular, and provides visibility,
control and coordination into manufacturing processes and production
AQT Solar said the Sapphire solution provides a complete
view of the factory floor through real time data captures from factory floor
tools and powerful dashboards. Emerald’s open architecture supports industry
standards such as E-10 for tool state management and Web services for data
integration with enterprise systems.
The company claims that it offers return on investment by
offering centralized data that improves productivity, automates traceability
and eliminates manual paperwork. It can record manufacturing cycle times and
other critical data to empower engineers to spot bottlenecks and increase
AQT Solar’s 24×7 manufacturing operations have been
operational since the first quarter of 2012, and will ramp up substantially
over the next few quarters. With the automated WIP Management System, AQT Solar
has implemented the requisite infrastructure for this expansion.
“We are excited to work with Sapphire. Their proven
ability to deliver the flexibility required to support dynamic manufacturing
requirements made them a logical and ideal partner for AQT Solar,” said Skip
Wong, vice president of operations at AQT.