REUTLINGEN, Germany and LAUSANNE, Switzerland-- Manz Automation AG, a leading systems and components supplier, and Synova SA, the world pioneer of water jet-guided laser technology, today announced an exclusive technology licensing agreement. Manz will integrate Synova's innovative Laser MicroJet(R) technology into its advanced manufacturing equipment for photovoltaics (PV) applications. The new Synova-enabled Manz solutions will be used to improve the efficiency, and substantially reduce the cost of cutting, drilling and edge isolation, of mono- and multi-crystalline solar cells. Under the terms of the agreement, Synova will spearhead all R&D efforts for the combined toolsets, while Manz will drive the manufacturing, sales and service operations on a worldwide and PV-exclusive basis.
"Synova's unique technology -- which guides a laser beam through an ultra-thin water jet -- will substantially increase the efficiency of current laser processes. Moreover, completely new uses in the manufacture of crystalline solar cells will arise," explained Manz's chairman of the board, Dieter Manz. "Synova's Laser MicroJet technology will help us improve and expand our market position as one of the leading worldwide suppliers for laser processing systems for photovoltaics manufacturing," added Manz.
The collaboration with Manz allows Synova to rapidly expand adoption of its Laser MicroJet technology into the photovoltaics market. Synova Chief Executive Officer Bernold Richerzhagen commented, "The Synova-Manz partnership provides an excellent vehicle to extend the advantages of our Laser MicroJet technology into a fast-growing market. Given Laser MicroJet's superb price/performance record in the semiconductor industry, our solution is a natural choice for deployment in the cost-sensitive PV manufacturing space. Our mutual collaboration combines cutting-edge laser technology with state-of-the-art manufacturing tools to deliver a new breed of efficient and cost-effective laser processing solutions to global PV producers."
Synova already has an installed base of tools in the field for PV manufacturing, and it will continue to sell and support systems to its existing PV customers. This agreement is one of several licensing partnerships Synova is establishing to facilitate explosive growth in its diverse served industries. These branches include semiconductors, flat-panel displays, PV (solar cells), medical instrumentation and automotive devices, among others.
About Manz Automation
Manz Automation AG develops and manufactures systems and components for the automation, quality assurance and laser process technology. The core competencies of the business lie in the areas of robotics, image processing, laser technology and control technology. Using these, the Manz Automation AG unifies the combined know-how from basic technology areas in order to reach an optimal solution for its customers. The company is divided into divisions for photovoltaics (systems.solar), LCD (systems.lcd) as well as for components and OEM systems (systems.aico) for use in automation in various industries. In addition, Manz Automation AG plans in the future, to also equip laboratory systems of the Pharmaceutical and Life-Science industries with its technology (system.lab). Manz Automation AG was established in 1987 and is based in Reutlingen, Germany, with agencies in the U.S., Taiwan, Korea, China and Hungary. In fiscal year 2006, the Manz group earned revenues of approximately 44 million EUR, almost 50% more than in the preceding year. Over 60% of the revenue came from abroad, especially from Asia. Since the 22nd September 2006, the shares of Manz Automation AG have been quoted in the Entry Standard of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange under ISIN DE000A0JQ5U3 and the stock number A0JQ5U.
Founded in 1997, Synova is the world pioneer and patent holder of Laser MicroJet(R), a state-of-the-art water jet-guided laser technology that combines the advantages of a laser beam and water to address the exacting manufacturing specifications and low cost-of-ownership (CoO) requirements associated with volume production of semiconductors, flat-panel displays, photovoltaics (solar cells), medical instrumentation and automotive devices. Thanks to this innovative technology, Synova is revolutionizing the engineering playing field and fast emerging as the ideal provider for high-precision laser applications in these core markets. Additionally, Synova is satisfying growing demand across diverse markets through strategic licensing partnerships with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), end users and R&D institutes. Headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland, Synova is a privately held company with subsidiaries located in Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan and the United States. Additional information about the company is available on the Internet at http://www.synova.ch
About Laser MicroJet(R)
Synova's Laser MicroJet is a revolutionary cutting process combining a laser beam and a water jet, where a hair-thin water jet guides the laser beam onto the wafer. Utilizing the difference in the refractive indices of air and water, the technology behind Laser MicroJet creates a laser beam that is completely reflected at the air-water interface, similar in principle to an optical fiber. This lack of deviation is maintained through and beyond the work piece, facilitating the accurate cutting of porous or layered materials. Also, contrary to standard laser processing technology, the Laser MicroJet uses the water jet to cool the material surface for optimal protection against thermal damage. At the same time, water is used as a natural layer of protection to prevent deposition or contamination. Both of these surface protection features offer significant improvements to standard cutting processes that boost device yields.
Laser MicroJet(R) is a registered trademark of Synova.
SOURCE Synova SA
/CONTACT: Birte-Christina Benecke of Manz Automation AG,
+49 (0)7121-9000-21, fax, +49 (0)7121-9000-99, firstname.lastname@example.org; or Ulrich Wiehle of Cometis AG (Investor Relations, Manz),
+49 (0)611-205855-11, fax, +49 (0)611-205855-66, email@example.com; or Arnaud Brule of Synova SA, +41-21-6943500, fax, +41-21-6943501, firstname.lastname@example.org; or Karen Do of MCA, Inc. (Press Relations, Synova), +1-650-968-8900, fax,
/Web site: http://www.synova.ch /