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Analyst ranks top 10, 2008 suppliers of solar PV manufacturing equipment

VLSI Research Inc has ranked the top 10 suppliers of solar photovotalic (PV) manufacturing equipment worldwide for 2008.

According to VLSI's numbers, Applied Materials goes straight to the number one spot in its first full year with revenues falling just short of US$800M - related to its equipment for manufacturing crystalline solar cells as well as integrated thin film solar production lines.

Oerlikon Solar, the largest supplier of turnkey silicon thin film module lines in 2008, came in at second place, and GT Solar International, a supplier of turnkey solutions for polysilicon, wafer, cell, and module manufacturing equipment, followed closely.

Rounding out the top 5 with revenues in excess of US$500M were Gebr. Schmid and centrotherm photovoltaics AG.

“The top 10 list is dominated by European companies with 7 based in Europe", commented John West, managing director, VLSI Research Europe. "Applied Materials and GT Solar International are headquartered in the United States and Ulvac in Japan. European equipment suppliers got a head start in PV Manufacturing equipment markets through strong European government incentives, forcing companies around the world to play catch-up”, West continued.

The PV capital equipment industry is complex and suppliers offer a wide range of solutions. During 2008, the PV equipment industry went through rapid growth and shaped into its current state. The companies represented in the table are the top 10 companies of over 200 that VLSI tracks on an on-going basis.

According to the company, this top 10 ranking includes total 2008 calendar year worldwide revenues from PV equipment suppliers. The revenues of the companies with non-calendar year based fiscal years are adjusted to reflect 2008 calendar year revenues. Some of the revenues are double counted because they include sales from turnkey lines that are then sold to end customers.

The ranking includes revenues for polysilicon material, silicon ingot, silicon wafer, cell and module manufacturing equipment, as well as service and support revenues.


Top 10 suppliers of PV manufacturing equipment
  Revenues (US$million) Rank
Company 2007               2008 2008
Applied Materials 73                     797 1
Oerlikon Solar 222                   552 2
GT Solar International 130                   535 3
Gebr. Schmid 305                   512 4
Centrotherm Photovoltaics AG 197                   502 5
Meyer Burger 149                   391 6
Roth & Rau AG 188                   375 7
Ulvac inc. 83                     288 8
Manz Automation AG 70                     207 9
Von Ardenne Anlagentechnik 96                     132 10

Source: VLSI Research Inc


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