Goals and strategies
By continuing the work on our ongoing major projects in the CIGS-solar area, we further strengthened our core business in the fiscal year 2018 and developed further growth potential. Our activities centered around the manufacturing and installation of the production equipment ordered and the acquisition of follow-up orders from our key customers in order to be able to generate sustainable profit in the future.
In fiscal year 2018, in the market of equipment to produce crystalline high-efficiency cells, e.g., heterojunction (HJT) solar cells, the Company introduced the GENERIS PVD vacuum cathode sputtering system for the PVD process step and entered into corresponding agreements with international customers that are expected to be converted to firm orders in fiscal year 2019. The GENERIS PECVD vacuum deposition equipment (PECVD = plasmaenhanced chemical vapor deposition) is offered for manufacturing so-called PERC (passivated emitter and rear cell) solar cells and the objective is to market them for this application.
SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES' strategy is to leverage and expand its existing core skills for production solutions in the area of photovoltaics to other cell designs. This includes vacuum coating technologies, surface engineering, wet chemistry, and thermal processing technologies.
In the medical technology field of activity, SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES saw the first orders placed for new wet-chemical processing equipment for manufacturing contact lenses in 2017. In early June 2018, the Company signed a follow-up order. All of the equipment ordered will be delivered to an internationally operating company in the medical industry. In this field of activity, we are working on developing new applications both in the field of wet-chemical processing as well as in the field of vacuum coating technology.
Optical Disc segmentc
SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES currently does not see any new growth in the market for physical storage media. The trend for films and music continues in the direction of downloading and streaming. In the coming years, we will continue to focus our activities in this segment on the global replacement parts and service business for the extensive range of existing equipment installed and anticipate disposing of individual production plants to existing customers as part of investments for replacing this technology.
Surface refinement is one of the core skills of SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES. With the integrated production line DECOLINE II and the inline vacuum coating system POLYCOATER, we have launched two systems on the market in past years that offer surface refinement of all types of consumer goods such as in the cosmetics and automotive industries.
In the Semiconductor segment, SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES introduced two equipment platforms onto the market for memory chips for applying extremely thin layers of coatings of less than one nanometer with the utmost precision. In the future, these magnetic layering systems are expected to be used for various application areas in modern sensor technology.
We offer the TIMARIS and ROTARIS system platforms for such applications and plan to market these more heavily in Asia. Despite further success in the past fiscal year, this segment remains the Company's smallest.