North Vancouver, October 26, 2021 – Aurora Solar Technologies Inc. (TSX.V: ACU) (“Aurora”, the “Company”) provides an update on the commercialization of the Company’s new InsightTM data science product and organizational strengthening for market readiness and rollout, including the promotion of Tricia Pederson, CPA, CMA to Chief Financial Officer.
Aurora is pleased to announce that a second InsightTM Essentials evaluation agreement has been signed, with a major solar cell and module manufacturer in China. This new evaluation, starting in the current quarter and expected to complete during the first half of 2022, aligns with the Company’s plan for a staged rollout of Insight, culminating in general market availability later in 2022.
The current evaluation that is underway with an industry technology leader is progressing favorably and as anticipated. Leveraging the capabilities of Insight Essentials associated with yield management and quality control, elimination of costly special diagnostic operations was pinpointed by our lead customer as a valuable use case for Insight. Detailed workflow definition and an associated enhancement to the Insight platform took place during the summer and into the first part of October. This strategic project is now expected to be finalized within the current quarter.
These special diagnostic operations – requiring the routing of a series of raw material batches through a selected set of paths in the factory – are regularly used to confirm and/or quantify suspected faults or poor performance in individual manufacturing tools. Each operation requires hours of labour, reduces plant throughput, and can only confirm what is already intuitively suspected.
Conversely, Insight not only eliminates the throughput reduction and labour, but also automatically pinpoints the highest-priority issues over any selected period and identifies the specific tools causing those issues – all based on actual production data rather than intuition. Insight’s novel and unique data analysis algorithms isolate, quantify, and compare individual tool performance by filtering out “noise” caused by fluctuations in other tools’ behaviour and by calibration discrepancies amongst different measurement devices in the plant. These fluctuations and discrepancies are common and difficult to overcome for meaningful diagnoses, due to the large amount of equipment in each plant. Insight makes this easy and reliable by fully automating the data collection and analysis.
Aurora estimates that use of Insight for elimination of special diagnostic operations alone – in a mid to large scale plant – can materially reduce costs and increase throughput.
DM customer acceptance
As described earlier, the Company has implemented DM product enhancements at selected customer locations. These updates have systematically improved product performance and operational utility at these locations. Most of the DM products at these locations are now in production use, with four units now having received formal customer acceptance. We are continuing this systematic approach to achieve further acceptances and to position the Company for the next buying cycle, which is now anticipated to be in early to mid 2022 due to supply issues associated with power outages in China and raw materials shortages within the industry in general.
Organizational Strengthening for Market Readiness and Rollout and CFO Appointment
To continue building the Company’s market readiness and capability for the Insight rollout, and to position for the anticipated 2022 industry buying cycle, the Company has further strengthened its commercial team by adding product management experience in SaaS offerings critical for the Insight subscription-based business.
The Company is also pleased to announce that Tricia Pederson CPA, CMA has been promoted to Chief Financial Officer, succeeding Joseph Lee as interim CFO.
Ms. Pederson is a Chartered Professional Accountant who brings over 18 years of public and private company financial experience to Aurora, having held several senior financial positions over a wide range of industries. Her most recent experience was as Controller for Aurora, where besides managing all finance and administration operations, she led this year’s audit with our external audit firm and was involved in the Company’s recent capital financing. Prior to Aurora, she has held the role of Senior Director, Finance and Operations for a U.S. domiciled product manufacturing and wholesale company and held executive operational finance roles in both public and private companies.
About Aurora Solar Technologies:
Aurora Solar Technologies is a leader in the development and delivery of inline process measurement, analysis, and control systems for solar cell manufacturers. We believe that solar power will be a dominant element in the renewable energy field, and our mission is to bring quality and profitability to every customer through superior control of critical processes during solar cell manufacturing.
Aurora’s products are used by some of the world’s most advanced and respected solar cell manufacturers. With headquarters near Vancouver, Canada, Aurora has operations in Shanghai, China, and partners in all major solar manufacturing markets. Aurora is a public company, traded on the TSX Venture Exchange (ACU) and is a two-time TSX-V Top 50 winner. Aurora’s website is located at www.aurorasolartech.com.
For further information contact:
Phone: +1 (604) 317-3936
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