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News Article | May 10, 2017
Site: www.prnewswire.com

Mr. Fokko Pentinga, Chief Executive Officer of Amtech, commented, "Our second quarter financial results show that our three segments, solar, semi, and polishing, all contributed to the 46% increase in revenue and the significantly improved operating margin compared to one year ago." Mr. Pentinga continued, "We are pleased with our $68 million of total bookings in the second quarter, including $47 million of solar orders, which is the highest solar bookings since the second quarter of 2011.  With those bookings, our March 31, 2017 backlog is $87 million, a 67 percent increase since December 31, 2016 and the highest in six years.   As announced on April 25, 2017, we received a follow-on order for the second phase of a multi-phase 1GW project, in addition to the order for the first phase announced in January 2017.  The Company's total order backlog as of April 25, 2017 was approximately $125 million. We expect financial results for the second half of this fiscal year and first half of fiscal year 2018 to benefit from this activity including the initial and follow on orders received this calendar year for our bi-facial N-type technology which includes our distinguishable high throughput PECVD and diffusion systems." At March 31, 2017, the Company's total order backlog was $87.4 million (solar $66.9 million), compared to total backlog of $51.5 million (solar $35.8 million) at December 31, 2016. Backlog includes deferred revenue and customer orders that are expected to ship within the next 12 months. Net revenue for the second quarter of fiscal 2017 was $32.9 million compared to $ 29.1 million in the preceding quarter and $22.5 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2016. The sequential increase and the increase from the prior year quarter is due primarily to increased demand for our solar PECVD and ALD tools, as well as our semiconductor equipment. Gross margin in the second quarter of fiscal 2017 was 25%, compared to 29% in the preceding quarter and 27% in the second quarter of fiscal 2016. Sequentially and compared to prior year, the gross margins were lower in our solar segment primarily due to a net deferral of profit compared to a net recognition of previously deferred profit, but were partially offset by higher gross margins in our semiconductor segment due to favorable product mix.  Gross margins in our semiconductor segment were also higher in the second quarter of 2017 compared to prior year due higher sales volumes and higher capacity utilization. Selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses in the second quarter of fiscal 2017 were $8.3 million compared to $7.0 million in the preceding quarter and $7.4 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2016.  Sequentially, the increase results primarily from the collection in Q1 2017 of approximately $1.0 million of previously reserved accounts receivable.  Compared to the same quarter in fiscal 2016, the increase results primarily from higher selling expenses related to higher revenues. Research, development and engineering (RD&E) expense was $1.5 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2017 compared to $1.6 million in the preceding quarter and $2.2 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2016. Depreciation and amortization in the second quarter of fiscal 2017 was $0.6 million, compared to $0.7 million in the preceding quarter and $0.7 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2016. Income tax expense in the second quarter of fiscal 2017 was $0.2 million compared to $0.1 million in the preceding quarter and $1.7 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2016.  Income tax expense in Q2 2016 is primarily related to tax on the $2.6 million pre-tax gain on the sale of the exclusive sales and service rights for the Kingstone ion implanter. The net loss for the second quarter of fiscal 2017 was $1.4 million, or $0.11 per share, compared to a net loss of $53,000 or $0.00 per share in the preceding quarter and a net loss of $1.5 million, or $0.11 per share for the second quarter of fiscal 2016.  The second quarter of 2017 did not benefit from any items comparable to the gain on the sale of the exclusive sales and service rights for the Kingstone ion implanter in the same quarter last year. Unrestricted cash and cash equivalents at March 31, 2017 were $38.9 million, compared to $23.6 million at December 31, 2016. The increase in cash and cash equivalents is primarily due to customer deposits received from the turnkey order announced on January 24, 2017, and good collection on receivables for both Solar and Semi, partially offset by cash used to begin work on the turnkey order. Revenue in the second half of fiscal 2017 is expected to be much higher than in the first half of this fiscal year and is expected to lead to an improvement in the results of operations for the second half as compared to the first half of the fiscal year due to the shipment of the equipment for the large turnkey order announced in January 2017 ("Phase I").  Even so, a meaningful portion of the revenue and profit from Phase I will be deferred until the installation and acceptance, which is expected in fiscal 2018. The large follow-on turnkey order announced in April 2017 ("Phase II") is not included in the backlog as of March 31, 2017 and is expected to ship in the first half of fiscal 2018. The company expects revenues for the quarter ending June 30, 2017 to be in the range of $39 to $42 million. Gross margin for the quarter ending June 30, 2017 is expected to be in the low to mid 20s percent range, with operating margin slightly negative, both influenced by product mix and revenue deferrals. Operating results could be impacted by the timing of system shipments, particularly the first shipment of equipment for the turnkey order, the net impact of revenue deferral on those shipments, and recognition of revenue based on customer acceptances, all of which can have a significant effect on operating results. A substantial portion of Amtech's revenues are denominated in Euros. The revenue outlook provided in this press release is based on an assumed exchange rate between the United States Dollar and the Euro. A significant decrease in the value of the Euro in relation to the United States Dollar could cause actual revenues to be lower than anticipated. Amtech Systems will host a conference call and webcast today at 5:00pm ET to discuss second quarter fiscal 2017 financial results. Those in the USA wishing to participate in the live call should dial (844)-868-9329. From Canada, dial (866)-605-3852, and internationally, dial (412) 317-6703. Request "Amtech" when connected to the operator. A replay of the call will be available one hour after the end of the conference call through May 17, 2017.  To access the replay please dial US toll free (877) 344-7529 and enter code 10104917. Internationally, dial (412) 317-0088 and use the same code.  A live and archived web cast of the conference call can be accessed in the investor relations section of Amtech's website at www.amtechsystems.com. Amtech Systems, Inc. is a global supplier of advanced thermal processing equipment to the solar, semiconductor / electronics, and LED manufacturing markets. Amtech's equipment includes diffusion, ALD and PECVD systems and solder reflow systems. Amtech also supplies wafer handling automation and polishing equipment and related consumable products. The Company's wafer handling, thermal processing and consumable products currently address the diffusion, oxidation, and deposition steps used in the fabrication of solar cells, LEDs, semiconductors, MEMS, printed circuit boards, semiconductor packaging, and the polishing of newly sliced sapphire and silicon wafers. Amtech's products are recognized under the leading brand names Tempress Systems™, Bruce Technologies™, PR Hoffman™, R2D Automation™, SoLayTec, and BTU International. Certain information contained in this press release is forward-looking in nature. All statements in this press release, or made by management of Amtech Systems, Inc. and its subsidiaries ("Amtech"), other than statements of historical fact, are hereby identified as "forward-looking statements" (as such term is defined in Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended). In some cases, forward-looking statements can be identified by terminology such as "may," "will," "should," "would," "expects," "plans," "anticipates," "intends," "believes," "estimates," "predicts," "potential," "continue," or the negative of these terms or other comparable terminology or our management are intended to identify such forward-looking statements.  Examples of forward-looking statements include statements regarding Amtech's future financial results, operating results, business strategies, projected costs, products under development, competitive positions, and plans and objectives of Amtech and its management for future operations.  These statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions that are difficult to predict. The Form 10-K that Amtech filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") for the year-ended September 30, 2016, listed various important factors that could affect the company's future operating results and financial condition and could cause actual results to differ materially from historical results and expectations based on forward-looking statements made in this document or elsewhere by Amtech or on its behalf.  These factors can be found under the heading "Risk Factors" in the Form 10-Ks and investors should refer to them.  Because it is not possible to predict or identify all such factors, any such list cannot be considered a complete set of all potential risks or uncertainties.  Except as required by law, we undertake no obligation to publicly update forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/amtech-reports-second-quarter-fiscal-2017-results-300455566.html


News Article | May 3, 2017
Site: www.prnewswire.com

The dial-in details for the live conference are as follows: A live webcast of the conference call will be available in the investor relations section of the Company's website at:  http://www.amtechsystems.com A telephone replay will be available 1 hour after the end of the conference through May 17, 2017 at 9:00am ET. The dial-in details for the replay are as follows: Amtech Systems, Inc. is a global supplier of advanced thermal processing equipment to the solar, semiconductor / electronics, and LED manufacturing markets. Amtech's equipment includes diffusion, ALD and PECVD systems and solder reflow systems. Amtech also supplies wafer handling automation and polishing equipment and related consumable products. The Company's wafer handling, thermal processing and consumable products currently address the diffusion, oxidation, and deposition steps used in the fabrication of solar cells, LEDs, semiconductors, MEMS, printed circuit boards, semiconductor packaging, and the polishing of newly sliced sapphire and silicon wafers. Amtech's products are recognized under the leading brand names Tempress SystemsTM, Bruce TechnologiesTM, PR HoffmanTM, R2D AutomationTM, SoLayTec, and BTU International. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/amtech-systems-to-announce-second-quarter-financial-results-on-may-10-2017-300451112.html


Peelamedu R.D.,BTU International Inc. | Seccombe D.A.,BTU International Inc.
Ceramic Engineering and Science Proceedings | Year: 2016

The interaction of microwave energy (MW) with battery binders and coating materials can dry the electrodes faster compared to conventional methods that are currently being used in the battery industry. The main objectives of this study are (i) to obtain proof of concept of the BTU's hybrid microwave process with minimal microstructure damage, and (ii) to demonstrate an acceptable coin cell performance prepared using MW dried electrodes. These electrodes were microwave dried under various conditions before they were measured for rate performance and cyclic testing. The moisture levels were measured using Karl-Fisher titration. The results showed that the electrodes prepared using NMP solvent had a much lower moisture levels when compared to electrodes prepared using an aqueous solvent. Presence of high moisture levels in aqueous based electrodes did not show any significant effects in cell performance tests.


Richter P.J.,BTU International Inc. | Bottari F.J.,BTU International Inc. | Wong D.C.,BTU International Inc.
Conference Record of the IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference | Year: 2010

Inline wet chemical phosphorus coating and thermal diffusion in a conveyor furnace is a high-throughput alternative to the conventional batch POCl 3 process. There is now significant interest in the adoption of inline diffusion on an industrial scale in order to achieve a continuous flow, low-cost process which interfaces well with other inline processing steps. A concern about inline diffusion in conveyor furnaces has been the potential for conveyor belts to contribute to wafer contamination. The objective of this study is to use Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS) to (i) determine if commonly used nickel alloy conveyor belts are a potential source of wafer metal contamination during the diffusion firing and (ii) to investigate the effectiveness of phosphorus coating and the resulting post-diffusion phosphosilicate glass (PSG) to act as a contaminant isolating barrier, or trapping layer. We report SIMS depth and concentration profiles of Ni, Cr, and Fe, which indicate that the phosphosilicate glass produced during the diffusion process acts as an effective trap of metal contaminants. © 2010 IEEE.


Patent
BTU International Inc. | Date: 2015-05-22

A method is provided for the simultaneous diffusion of dopants of different types on respective sides of a solar cell wafer in a single stage process. The dopants are applied to respective sides of the wafer in wet chemical form preferably by pad printing. The doping materials can be applied to the entire wafer surface or effective area thereof, or can be applied in a pattern to suit the intended solar cell configuration. In a typical embodiment, the dopants are boron and phosphorus.


Patent
BTU International Inc. | Date: 2015-06-11

A high temperature conveyor belt is provided having a non-metallic conveying surface which will not scratch, abrade or otherwise mar the surface of a product being carried on the belt through a furnace and which will not contaminate the product. In one embodiment, the conveyor comprises a high temperature fabric belt attached to a metal belt which may be a conventional woven metal conveyor belt. In another embodiment, the conveyor is composed of a non-metallic high temperature strand which is woven or threaded through a metal belt to provide a non-metallic conveying surface. In a further embodiment, the non-metallic product support elements are coupled to roller chains at each side of the furnace chamber and which are cooperative with a drive mechanism to transport the conveyor through the furnace. The roller chains can be located outside of the furnace chamber to avoid exposure to the high temperature of the furnace chamber.


Patent
BTU International Inc. | Date: 2013-09-26

A high temperature conveyor belt is provided having a non-metallic conveying surface which will not scratch, abrade or otherwise mar the surface of a product being carried on the belt through a furnace and which will not contaminate the product. In one embodiment, the conveyor comprises a high temperature fabric belt attached to a metal belt which may be a conventional woven metal conveyor belt. In another embodiment, the conveyor is composed of a non-metallic high temperature strand which is woven or threaded through a metal belt to provide a non-metallic conveying surface. In a further embodiment, the non-metallic product support elements are coupled to roller chains at each side of the furnace chamber and which are cooperative with a drive mechanism to transport the conveyor through the furnace. The roller chains can be located outside of the furnace chamber to avoid exposure to the high temperature of the furnace chamber.


Patent
BTU International Inc. | Date: 2013-10-07

A furnace system for thermal processing of products and materials is disclosed which is particularly useful in processing touch screens for computer tablets and silicon wafers employed in fabricating solar cells. The system employs a hybrid of microwave and radiant heating of workpieces to provide controlled heating of the workpieces. A plurality of susceptors are disposed a furnace chamber. A plurality of microwave sources are arranged to provide microwave radiation in the chamber to uniformly heat workpieces in the chamber and to provide uniform heating of the susceptors. The susceptors are effective upon microwave heating by the microwave sources to provide uniform radiant heating of the workpieces in the chamber.


Patent
BTU International Inc. | Date: 2015-02-17

The present invention comprises a thermal reactor and method for thermal processing of particles carried in a gas stream through the reactor. The reactor system can operate in a continuous manner for the thermal processing of particles flowing through the reactor. The system in one embodiment employs a hybrid of microwave and radiant heating of the particles. In other embodiments, only microwave heating is employed, or only radiant heating is employed.

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