29 March 2012

AQT Solar transitions to a fully automated WIP management system run by Sapphire Automation’s Emerald software

AQT Solar Inc of Sunnyvale, CA, USA, which makes copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) thin-film photovoltaic (PV) solar cells, says it has transitioned to a fully automated WIP (Work in Progress) Management System to complete the integration of its Sunnyvale production facility. AQT partnered with Sapphire Automation of Fremont, CA to drive greater operational efficiencies and further improve equipment utilization and planning.

AQT’s WIP Management System is run by Sapphire’s Emerald software platform, which the firm says is highly modular and provides complete visibility, control and coordination into manufacturing processes and production operations. The system provides a complete view of the factory floor through real time data captures from various factory floor tools and 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. It offers immediate return on investment by delivering centralized data that improves productivity, automates traceability and eliminates manual paperwork. It can also record manufacturing cycle times and other critical data to empower engineers to spot bottlenecks and increase production output.

“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. “We will continue to expand our manufacturing capacity with the assistance of the Sapphire System and further improve our factory equipment utilization and throughput.”

AQT Solar’s 24x7 manufacturing operations have been operational since Q1/ 2012, and will ramp up substantially over the next few quarters.

Tags: AQT Solar WIP management system

Visit: www.aqtsolar.com

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