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Luvata records first official Lean status

Finnish photovoltaic-wire facility receives Lean certification

(16 July 2013) Luvata, a world leader in metal solution manufacturing, heat-transfer technology and engineering and design services, announces its PV solar ribbon manufacturing facility in Pori, Finland has received its Lean certification. Lean is a world-renowned production philosophy made famous by Toyota, which focuses on minimizing waste in the pursuit of quality and value.

Luvata committed to the pursuit of Lean certification in 2006, establishing strict benchmarks and measuring systems across its businesses. The assessment, based on principles which are recognized across many industries, requires a score of 3 for certification. In the June 2013 audit, Luvata Pori scored 3.2.

Pori demonstrated past and planned systematic analysis and actions towards improving processes, with an emphasis on Flow, Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE), Performance Management and People. These efforts contribute to short, predictable lead times and consistent product quality that are now industry best in class.

“Pori Sunwire set the bar high to begin with and they’ve been working hard to achieve Lean certification. Yet they still don’t seem satisfied,” says Chris Russell, Head of Luvata Operating System.  “This is what we want. Lean is not a destination, but rather an ongoing pursuit of excellence to be the absolute best we can be.”

In the early 1990s, Luvata pioneered the technology that made the automated mass-production of photovoltaic solar panels possible. The solution, branded Sunwire, is a copper-based ribbon used to create high performance connections to the silicon cells at the heart of photovoltaic modules.  Today Luvata manufactures Sunwire in Pori, Finland; Pasir Gudang, Malaysia; Appleton, Wisconsin; and Suzhou, China.

In addition to a manufacturing process that ensures full solder coverage on all sides of the ribbon, Luvata employs a proprietary vision system developed exclusively for PV ribbon to monitor the ribbon surface.  This system continuously inspects both the top and bottom of the ribbon to ensure its consistent quality, cleanliness and dimensional conformity from the beginning of one spool - to the end of another.  All of these factors contribute to reduce scrap and downtime, while improving yields for PV module manufacturers.




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Sunwire® is a copper-based flat wire used in thin-film solar panels.

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In May 2017, the Special Products division of Luvata was acquired by Mitsubishi Materials Corporation.


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