Mag Industrial Automation Systems has formed a new renewable energy business unit to design/build automated manufacturing systems for solar panels and wind turbine components.

The new business’ operations are based in Schaffhausen, Switzerland, and Hebron, Kentucky, and are headed by Siegfried Schmalzried in Europe/Asia and Joe Jones in the Americas.

Mr Jones said: “While our business unit is new, Mag itself is already firmly established in the renewable energy sector, having quietly built a worldwide leadership position in automated manufacturing systems for solar panels, not to mention composites processing.

“Mag has supplied more than 30 automated production lines for solar panels in all regions of the world in the last five years, and our systems have reduced manufacturing costs for solar panels to record lows. This unique hub machining cell will increase production rates from the current standard of one per day to as many as five per day, cutting machining times from 20-24 hours per part to just over four hours.”

Mag is currently sharing in a $7m grant from the state of Michigan to develop a wind hub machining cell for high-volume manufacturing, and pursue development of carbon-fiber turbine blades.