New tools will enable high volume sapphire material inspection, improve yields and lower cost for LED and cover screen applications
GT Advanced Technologies (NASDAQ: GTAT) today announced an exclusive distribution agreement with Intego GmbH allowing GT to market and sell Intego’s automated sapphire inspection tools including the Intego SIRIUS slab and brick inspection tool and a sapphire cover inspection tool currently in development. The new inspection tools are expected to increase the amount of yielded material from sapphire boules and improve the throughput of material during the inspection process thereby lowering the cost for growing and fabricating sapphire for a variety of applications.
In addition, the inspection tools allow full material tracking by linking inspection data with slab and brick layout to downstream computer numerical control (CNC) machine tools. The tools are expected to benefit today’s LED manufacturing industry and also help enable high volume, cost-sensitive applications such as cover screen material for mobile and touch screen devices. Terms of the agreement have not been released.
“Intego is a recognized leader in vision systems and material inspection in a number of industries and we are pleased to be working with them to bring automated sapphire inspection tools to market,” said Tom Gutierrez, GT’s president and CEO. “The agreement gives us the ability to offer the LED and mobile device industries important products that will lower cost and increase productivity in their sapphire supply chains. Automating the sapphire material inspection process will deliver more repeatable and consistent results that drive greater throughput. This will help to lower the cost of sapphire for high volume applications such as cover material for mobile and touch screen devices.”
The SIRIUS sapphire inspection tool was developed by Intego in collaboration with GT’s engineering team utilizing the capabilities of GT’s sapphire R&D facility in Salem, Massachusetts. Using advanced sapphire inspection techniques and optimization algorithms, the SIRIUS tool can quickly provide an optimized core or material layout on a sapphire slab and transfer that pattern to the CNC machine tool. The sapphire screen inspection tool, when fully developed, is expected to perform 2D and 3D inspection of sapphire screens and windows to help characterize and track each piece through all downstream production steps. GT will fully support the tools in the field through its global service and support resources.
Intego GmbH, located in Erlangen, Germany, develops inspection systems for automated production lines used in a number of industries including solar, LED, automotive, plastics and medical technologies. For more information about Intego visit www.intego.de/en.
GT Advanced Technologies Inc. is a diversified technology company with innovative crystal growth equipment and solutions for the global solar, LED and electronics industries. Our products accelerate the adoption of new advanced materials that improve performance and lower the cost of manufacturing. For additional information about GT Advanced Technologies, please visit www.gtat.com.
Certain of the information in this press release relate to the Company’s future expectations, plans and prospects for its business and industry that constitute “forward-looking statements” for the purposes of the safe-harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including but not limited to: the ability of the Company and Intego to successfully execute the terms of their distribution agreement, the ability of the Intego tools to meet their expected performance capabilities, the Company’s ability to successfully market and sell the Intego tools to new and existing customers. These forward-looking statements are not a guarantee of performance and are subject to a number of uncertainties and other factors, many of which are outside the Company’s control, which could cause actual events to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the statements. Other factors that may cause actual events to differ materially from those expressed or implied by our forward-looking statements include the impact of continued decreased demand and/or excess capacity in the markets for the output of our solar and sapphire equipment, general economic conditions and the tightening credit market having an adverse impact on demand for the Company’s products, the possibility that changes in government incentives may reduce demand for solar products, which would, in turn, reduce demand for our equipment, technological changes could render existing products or technologies obsolete, the Company may be unable to protect its intellectual property rights, competition from other manufacturers may increase, exchange rate fluctuations and conditions in the credit markets and economy may reduce demand for the Company’s products and various other risks as outlined in GT Advanced Technologies Inc.’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the statements under the heading “Risk Factors” in the company’s report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2012. Statements in this press release should be evaluated in light of these important factors. The statements in this press release represent GT Advanced Technologies Inc.’s expectations and beliefs as of the date of this press release. GT Advanced Technologies Inc. anticipates that subsequent events and developments may cause these expectations and beliefs to change. GT Advanced Technologies Inc. is under no obligation to, and expressly disclaims any such obligation to, update or alter its forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.
Source: GT Advanced
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