The very lean times for thin film equipment suppliers may appear to be drawing to a close but they have not been without their casualties. The latest appears to be Smit Ovens, which has issued a statement in which it advises that it has filed for bankruptcy.
The insolvency notice says that the move has been taken to facilitate the restructuring of the company.
"It is the intention to continue with the majority of the business on very short notice.
Work is continuing in the meantime to minimize impact on the business of our customers," the Smit statement reads.
Smit Ovens produces a range of thermal solutions for thin film PV manufacturing including equipment for the selenization of CIGS thin film active layers, the activation of CdTe, and atmospheric-pressure chemical vapor deposition (AP-CVD) systems that can be used for TCO layer deposition.
Major thin film players are currently adding production capacity, with First Solar adding new lines to its U.S. and Malaysian production facilities and increasing throughput on existing lines. Solar Frontier too has been adding capacity through its 150 MW Tohoku fab, and some orders have been coming in from Hanergy, with both Spire and Singulus having announced orders that are likely for Hanergys CIGS expansions.
Smit Ovens reported booking orders from major thin film players in the U.S. and Asian in March 2014. pv magazine has contacted Smit Ovens for comments as to its order outlook in 2015.