Spire Corporation, which provides solar electric manufacturing equipment and solar systems for distributed power generation, announced the sale of a solar assembly line to Shell Solar Industries, of Camarillo, California.Bedford, Massachusetts – July 25, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] The Spi-Assembler 5000 will join a wide range of Spire’s solar electric module production equipment used by Shell in its worldwide renewable energy operations. This will be the fourth of these units that Shell has ordered from Spire. Shell’s module production process also incorporates numerous other pieces of equipment supplied by Spire including Spi-Sun Simulators and Spi-Laminators. “Spire is committed to supporting Shell’s goal of developing a commercially viable solar energy business for the long term” said Roger G. Little, President and CEO of Spire Corporation. “Our automated assembly equipment is designed to give module manufacturers a competitive edge by lowering module production costs.” “Shell Solar is very satisfied with the performance of Spire soldering equipment and has adopted it as our standard around the world,” Terry Jester, Shell Solar’s Senior Director of Engineering & Development. “By partnering with Spire, Shell is assured of having access to the most advanced manufacturing process technology for our expanding PV business.” The Spi-Assembler 5000 is a key element in the photovoltaic (PV) module manufacturing process. The unit automatically interconnects solar cells into strings by aligning and soldering copper ribbons to the cell contacts. The strings are then assembled into finished modules. The programmable equipment can assemble a variety of cell sizes and shapes with minimum downtime, and has been successfully used on all types of crystalline, multicrystalline, and ribbon silicon solar cells, said the company.