Encirc teams up with Siemens
Electronics giant Siemens, and leading glass manufacturer and contract bottler Encirc, have entered into a memorandum of undertanding which will see the companies becoming partners in strategic digitalisation.
This partnership is designed to spearhead the deployment of advanced digital technologies and services across Encirc’s operations. The company manufactures container glass for the food and drink industry at its two sites in Northern Ireland and England, and offers a multi-faceted logistics offering as well as sustainable supply chain options.
The technology deal with Siemens comes into effect immediately, and will be based on three core themes: a commitment from Siemens‘ Digital Factory and Process businesses to supply innovation and new products across Encirc’s sites; a unique energy partnership designed to significantly reduce emissions; and Siemens‘ commitment to deliver a wholesale digital transformation project.
Adrian Curry, Managing Director of Encirc, said: “We are looking forward to developing this strategic partnership with Siemens, which will enhance our reputation as leaders in technology, innovation and sustainable manufacturing. It represents Encirc entering a new phase in terms of digitalisation and future technologies. Further reducing our energy use and emissions will also build on our commitment to provide customers with the most environmentally friendly route to market possible.”
Siemens UK and Ireland CEO, Juergen Maier, added: “This is a landmark technology partnership which is about two central challenges – industrial digitalisation and reducing carbon emissions. We’re delighted to be partnering with Encirc who understand this deal is a platform to showcase industrial digitalisation in the UK glass sector. We’re looking forward to joining Encirc on this important journey over the coming years.”
Follow @ManufacturingGL and @NellWalkerMG
First Solar to Invest US$684mn in Indian Energy Sector
First Solar is about to set up a new photovoltaic (PV) thin-film solar manufacturing facility in Tamil Nadu, India. The 3.3GW factory will create 1,000 skilled jobs and is expected to launch its operations in Q3 of 2023. According to the company, India needs 25+ gigawatts of solar energy to be deployed each year for the next nine years. This means that many of First Solar’s Indian clients will jump at the chance to have access to the company’s advanced PV.
Said Mark Widmar, First Solar’s CEO: ‘India is an attractive market for First Solar not simply because our module technology is advantageous in its hot, humid climate. It’s an inherently sustainable market, underpinned by a growing economy and appetite for energy’.
A Bit of Background
First Solar is a leading global provider of photovoltaic systems. It uses advanced technology to generate clear, reliable energy around the world. And even though it’s headquartered in the US, the company has invested in storage facilities around the world. It displaced energy requirements for a desalination plant in Australia, launched a source of reliable energy in the Middle East (Dubai, UAE), and deployed over 4.5GW of energy across Europe with its First Solar modules.
The company is also known for its solar innovation, reporting that it sees gains in efficiency three times faster than multi-crystalline silicon technology. First Solar holds world records in thin-film cell conversion efficiency (22.1%) and module conversion efficiency (18.2%). Finally, it helps its partners develop, finance, design, construct, and operate PV power plants—which is exactly what we’re talking about.
How Will The Tamil Nadu Plant Work?
Tamil Nadu will use the same manufacturing template as First Solar’s new Ohio factory. According to the Times of India, the factory will combine skilled workers, artificial intelligence, machine-to-machine communication, and IoT connectivity. In addition, its operations will adhere to First Solar’s Responsible Sourcing Solar Principles, produce modules with a 2.5x lower carbon footprint, and help India become energy-independent. Said Widmar: ‘Our advanced PV module will be made in India, for India’.
After all, we must mention that part of First Solar’s motivation in Tamil Nadu is to ensure that India doesn’t rely on Chinese solar. ‘India stands apart in the decisiveness of its response to China’s strategy of state-subsidised global dominance of the crystalline silicon supply chain’, Widmar explained. ‘That’s precisely the kind of level playing field needed for non-Chinese solar manufacturers to compete on their own merits’.
According to First Solar, India’s model should be a template for like-minded nations. Widmar added: ‘We’re pleased to support the sustainable energy ambitions of a major US ally in the Asia-Pacific region—with American-designed solar technology’. To sum up: Indian solar power is yet the next development in the China-US trade war. Let the PV manufacturing begin.