Michael M. van der GUGTEN

Michael M. van der GUGTEN

Executive Manager, Sales & Marketing
Smit Thermal Solutions, The Netherlands

Reproducibility and controllability in thermal process equipment

Smit Thermal Solutions specializes in thermal processes for high-volume mass manufacturing, particularly for CIGS and CdTe PV production lines. These thin film production lines include a large number of processes, each of which is crucial to obtaining high overall yields of good cells. Reliability is a must. For thermal processes, this reliability is achieved by designing reproducibility and controllability into the systems. We share inside insights and data on how to ensure reproducible process settings over long periods of time, and how to implement a wider thermal process window to allow the necessary flexibility for future developments.


Michael gained a BSc in physics in 1986. Since then, he has been involved in high tech industries, responsible for Marketing & Sales at executive level. During his career, Michael has focused on production equipment and has helped to introduce new production concepts in the fields of optical media manufacture, LASER applications, and thermal enhanced production equipment.
In 2003, Michael organized the first Pulse Plating Forum, a 2-day international congress covering UV-LIGA, MEMS, simulation, and plating on plastics. In 2008, he organised the 2008 Taiwan Photovoltaic Conference CIGS seminar in Hsinchu, Taiwan, which brought 80 invited industry managers up to speed on the topic of thin film mass production.
Michael is currently working in the maturing area of mass manufacture of thin film PV, with a particular focus on thermal process equipment.