Vitronic reports double-digit growth in Q1

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PV cell manufacturing expansions in Southeast Asia, but also in Korea, Taiwan, and China are delivering robust growth to inspection technology provider Vitronic. The company reported this week that its orders for Q1 2016 have exceeded "the excellent result" registered in Q1 last year.

Vitronic does not provide specific revenues for its individual business units, such as solar. Although, it did report its PV revenues "in the double-digit million range" in 2015.

The German company appears to be building on its 2015 performance this year, with Vitronic reporting that it has produced over 300 solar cell inspection systems "in the past few months." It has expanded its German manufacturing operations "on a massive scale" to meet the demand.

"The continuous expansion of our customer base is an important step," said Richard Moreth, head of PV sales at Vitronic. "Many of the major photovoltaics producers [now] use our VINSPEC solar inspection systems."

Vitronic reports that it has hired additional staff at its service center in Shanghai to support the growing demand and is leveraging its partnership with Korean partner ECA System.

Vitronic confirmed to pv magazine that both the expansion in PERC cell production capacities and new facilities in Southeast Asia have both had a positive impact on demand. The company added that there is increasing demand for automated production processes, including inspection, to reduce costs.

While a mere shadow when compared to boom times earlier this decade, German PV production equipment suppliers have reported growing order books in 2015 and 2016.