Archive (12/05/06) Oerlikon acquires UK laser specialist Exitech Ltd.

Extension of value added chain at Oerlikon Solar

Pfäffikon SZ, December 5, 2006 - Last week, OC Oerlikon Corporation Ltd., Pfäffikon, acquired the laser technology, staff and equipment of the UK company Exitech Ltd. in an asset deal. Exitech is considered one of the leading providers of nano and micro laser systems worldwide. Oerlikon's Optics, Solar and Wafer Processing business units in particular stand to benefit from this acquisition. Exitech will be integrated in the Oerlikon Optics business unit.

Lasers play a key role in the production of minute surface structures measuring a few billionths of a meter (nanometers). This technology is highly significant for Oerlikon. In the production of thin film solar modules, for instance, the coated glass surface is divided into solar cells by what is known as laser scribing. Thanks to the cutting properties of lasers, the solar cells are formed into functioning modules without having to be specially assembled. So far, Oerlikon has had to purchase external technology for this important process. "With Exitech's expertise, which we will now integrate in Oerlikon, we will be able to control the full value adding process in the solar segment," says Oerlikon CEO Thomas Limberger.

The acquisition of Exitech's laser technology opens up valuable know-how for other Oerlikon business units, too, in fields such as the manufacturing and structuring of color filters and optic sensors or the production of semiconductors. In the words of Thomas Limberger: "Exitech will provide crucial impetus for the development of our competencies in nano and laser technology. We are happy that we are not only taking Exitech's technology on board, but also their staff. They will play an important part in the growth of Oerlikon's solar business."

 

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