Linton Crystal Technologies (LCT) announced it will produce solar silicon manufacturing equipment in the United States and intends to break ground on a U.S. factory in Q2 2023. The Rochester, New York-based company makes silicon-growing and crystal-processing equipment and has previously worked with Dalian Linton NC Machine Co. Ltd. in China to manufacture its equipment.
“We’ve been working on this plan for a while now and are looking forward to reshoring manufacturing to the United States,” said Todd Barnum, president and CEO of Linton Crystal Technologies. “As a U.S. company with Chinese ownership, Linton Technologies Group, the geopolitical issues have been difficult to navigate. Our company used to manufacture in Rochester and we’re eager to get back to the United States.”
Efforts are underway to secure a site as soon as possible, with future plans for expansion to accommodate international orders as necessary. Linton said it is also developing an international service team to support customers worldwide as the industry looks to grow and improve processes and efficiency.
The company will establish a manufacturing center to build and demonstrate the full line of equipment represented by Linton Technologies Group. This includes Czochralski (CZ) furnaces for monocrystalline silicon ingots, both semiconductor and solar grade, and the machines for producing solar ingots and wafers, including wire saws and polishing equipment. Linton will be the first company to return this technology to the United States.
Linton’s initial investment of $10 million will be used to add a new facility, establish a demonstration line, and build 1 to 2 GW of production capacity, all by the end of year one. This will grow the company’s workforce to more than 75 employees.
“I’m excited to break ground. This creates more opportunities for our employees, new employees and their families,” Barnum said. “The IRA and CHIPS Act have created the pathway for manufacturing investment to fulfill the need for U.S.-made products. We’re going to meet that demand and we have the expertise to scale rapidly.”
Linton Crystal Technologies has a long history of manufacturing innovation. The company originated in Rochester in 1952 as wire saw manufacturer Hamco, and through a series of purchases became Kayex, a manufacturer of CZ crystal pullers. Linton has been the exclusive owner of Kayex technology since 2013 (the IP resides with LCT in the United States). The company also continues to advance the design of the machines. It holds several patents, with others under application.
News item from LCT
This is a very interesting (and positive) development in light of the rumors of the past several days that China will soon restrict exports of machinery required to produce polysilicon and ingots and wafers.
With such a small planned workforce, however, it seems clear that LCT cannot wholly replace the Chinese machinery, nor will LCT’s machinery be available on the market for some time. More will be needed.
Tom C says
May I suggest the lead to this story not say that LCT makes “solar panel manufacturing equipment.” The company makes tools for the upstream production segments — polysilicon, ingots, wafers — not cells or modules. Given there is already confusion about the vertical solar production value/supply chain for crystalline silicon modules, clarity is key right now. That said, good news! We also need production equipment manufacturing and assembly here in the USA too to make this IRA-fueled clean energy transition happen. #reshoring