New clean room will enable to increase detector production level to 100 thousand units per year
VIGO Photonics S.A. (WSE: VGO), a global manufacturer of the most advanced mid-infrared photonic detectors, detection modules and semiconductor materials, has completed the construction and outfitting of a clean room dedicated to detection chips. The Company is in the process of putting the individual process lines into production. The newly built rooms meet high standards of cleanliness, temperature and humidity control and have the necessary protection against chemical hazards.
Clean room enables cost-effective and scalable production of detection chips that will be used in InGaAs detectors and allow the Company to enter the shortwave infrared (SWIR) market. At the same time, VIGO will be able to enter the mid-infrared (MWIR) market with detectors made of III-V materials, which meet the requirements of new legislation on reducing the use of environmentally hazardous substances, introduced by the RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) Directive. The clean room is also intended to enable the Company to introduce production of trial laser chips.
The realisation of the investment forms part of the Company’s development strategy “VIGO 2026” and thanks to its completion the Company’s products will be able to meet the highest quality requirements necessary for many projects in the military, space and semiconductor industries.
Construction of the new room of ISO 6/ISO 7 purity class was a part of the project of expansion of the entire technological and production park, which also included expansion of the production hall and purchase of the necessary production equipment. The new investment is located on the premises of VIGO headquarters in Ożarów Mazowiecki and occupies nearly 900m2, including 250m2 of cleanroom area.
– Last year, we presented a new development strategy, with future small- and medium-scale production as one of its objectives. The Company’s development in this area could not be realised without high-end clean rooms. The clean room will be used for growth – epitaxy and processing – of detector structures produced by our team. Thanks to the implementation of this investment and the possibility to ensure full control of key production parameters – temperature, humidity and air cleanliness level, we will significantly increase quality parameters of products. This is crucial for the most demanding customers from the dynamically growing industry of semiconductor materials or the military. Moreover, we will be able to increase the market share of near-infrared detectors based on indium, arsenic and gallium compounds (InGaAs), which will find application, for example, in biosensors and personal electronic devices of the future, such as smartwatches with various types of sensors enabling measurements of processes occurring in the human body – says Adam Piotrowski, President of the Board of VIGO Photonics S.A.
From the end of 2021 and for the first months of 2022 the so-called start-up of the new clean room investment took place, the equipment for the target production was commissioned and scaled up. This affected the planned lower production in this period, while in the long term, the new clean room will significantly increase the production capacity of VIGO Photonics. The Company also upholds its performance plans for 2022 at PLN 80 million revenue.
– The new clean room will enable us to increase the production level to around 100 thousand detectors per year. This will allow us to increase the volume of orders executed in the prospective markets and maintain dynamic growth of the Company’s revenues in accordance with the adopted development strategy – explains Łukasz Piekarski, member of the Board of VIGO Photonics S.A.
Investment outlays for the construction and launch of the new clean room, modernisation of the current technological hall and supplementing it with additional production equipment amounted to approximately PLN 34 million. For this purpose, VIGO Photonics obtained PLN 6 million subsidy from the European Union funds under the Operational Programme Intelligent Development (POIR), while the remaining part consists of own funds and a loan of EUR 2 million.
Over the last 5 years, VIGO Photonics invested about PLN 90 million in development of production capacity, new organisation and automation of processes, transforming itself from a manufactory of advanced detectors into a modern production plant.
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