Arena Technologies : B2B service, silicon etching for the photovoltaic industry (PV industry).
What we brought :
the original process,
the work methodology,
the process validation with the first prospect,
the creation of the company,
the investment strategy,
the commercial action,
Arena Technologies is a silicon etcher located in Provence.
The process was adapted from the semiconductor wafer reclaim business, at a time when the photovoltaïc industry was just starting to grow.
At that time, the idea was to optimise the use of silicon : the growth of the PV market was already generating a silicon shortage in 2005.
And everybody in a silicon related business knows what happens when a shortage occurs. Prices run mad.
The semiconductor industry has experienced periodic shortages, and the ramp up of the PV industry is increasing drastically the WW demand.
One of the strategy to face shortages is to improve the use of silicon :
- in the semiconductor industry, the 'wafer reclaim' business has ramped up tremendously during the 90's. Despite the reluctance of the technical team dealing with top of the edge technologies, the shortages were the strongest, and reclaimed wafers have penetrated deeper and depeer into the production lines at more and more sensitive stages, facing more and more stringent specifications.
- in the PV business, the reuse of ingot cuts was facing in the early 2000 the same reluctance from the technical teams. And not only the shortage but also the stress on prices has quickly driven the industry to recycle it's scraps.
Having a good experience of the semiconductor silicon environment, Cross Technologies has been able to answer quickly and efficiently to it's first customer : the French company Photowatt.
The process chart was developped and proven at laboratory scale in Cross Technologies facilities.
In december 2005, Arena Technologies was created, running a pilot line in Marseille area.
The pilot line was turned into a production line when the customers started sending material to recycle.
In 2009, Arena entered its fab line in Gardanne, with upgraded facilities, industrial infrastructures, and improved output quality.
The production increased rapidely upto 35 metric tons per month by the end of 2011.
The year 2012 was supposed to be the year of the facility full load, at 120 metric tons per year : the company was fully qualified at Schott Solar Wafers who was able to order the recycling of upto 100 metric tons per month.
Then the collapse of the solar industry in Europe occured in 2012.
What can a SME do when global changes destroy the industry of a whole continent ? Adapt and survive !
This is possible only if no error has been done in the past decisions and if the right decisions are taken quickly to stick to the market situation.
Arena Technologies did not desappear as so many PV related companies in Europe : the company is still running, at low level, but running.
Ready for the next market rebound.
How was this possible ? Call us, we can discuss about it.