The PV equipment industry appears to finally be recovering after four years of market collapse. As further evidence that order volumes are returning, last Thursday Amtech reported that its subsidiary Tempress has received $22 million in new solar orders during its most recent quarter, which ended on December 31.
This is over 40% of the order volume of the four previous fiscal quarters. In a brief press statement, Amtech reported that 50% of the orders were for Tempress’ plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) tools, and also mentioned significant orders for High Throughput Diffusion tools.
The company notes that the majority of orders came from an un-named top-tier PV cell maker in Asia, and expects to ship the products in the next six to nine months.
2015 was already a good year for Amtech, in line with broader recovery in the PV equipment space. During the year Amtech’s revenues increased 86% and its bookings 79%, with solar orders making up roughly half the company’s business. The company also makes equipment for semiconductor and LED production.
Overall, the PV equipment industry reported both its largest order volume at around $300 million and its highest book-to-bill ratio in three years during Q2 2015, the latest quarter for which statistics have been made public.