IT infrastructure in PV factory lifecycle
The photovoltaic industry has grown rapidly over the past years. Due to the decreasing government subsidies in several countries the PV industry has to reduce costs and to optimize their value chain. One promising approach for cost reduction is to pass through the different lifecycles of a PV-factory such as planning and ramp-up more efficiently. For this reason, IT infrastructure is required to be - according to PV-factories which get larger and larger - more sophisticated. Such an infrastructure may include tools and functionalities which support the whole factory lifecycle from equipment evaluation and choice up to ramp-up, operation and upgrades. In addition to this, current manufactures face challenges like the integration of new equipment into existing production lines, flexibility concerning material flow requirements, integration of external software systems and adoption to changing production capabilities. This paper gives an overview of IT applications which can support the deployment of a PV mass production line during all lifecycle phases and shows how such an IT infrastructure could be realized.