Product Manufacturing Development:
Scale-Up to Ramp-Up

The historical solar energy industry manufacturing model has been centered on solar cell efficiency design in isolation from manufacturing platform considerations. EMC inverts this model with focus on manufacturing first, then designing solar cells specifically for our mature and proven scale-up to ramp-up process. This leads to low cost product with the ability to increase cell efficiency ratings built into the production processes without a long and complex upstream supply chain reconfiguration.



Devising, testing, proving and implementing processes, formulations and materials on a scale-up specific pilot production line.


Transferring and implementing the proven scale-up “recipes” on to full scale, inline, high speed 4GW GigaSpeed™ manufacturing line.

Our manufacturing development process uses existing high-speed roll-to-roll production lines and tools at Kodak, leveraging over 50 years of complex material and printed electronics knowledge. Collectively, the Kodak and EMC team have a history of scaling-up over 80 new products using this established scale-up to ramp-up process.


Dr. Tom Tombs, EMC CTO

“At Kodak we manufactured film products up to 1.5 meters wide and as fast as 1,000 feet per minute. Some film products had 15 layers that were deposited in-line and roll-to-roll manufacturing was done in total darkness because of light sensitivity. EMC BackbonePV™ will be manufactured on 1.5 meter wide substrates at 100 feet per minute and requires only 6 to 8 layers depending on the product type. 

Our scale-up experience on Kodak’s pilot line has proven that roll-to-roll solar module production is well within the knowledge base of EMC and our partners. High speed photovoltaic device production does have unique challenges and our solutions have allowed us to file valuable patent applications.”

A Refined Process

The vertically integrated production line process starts with a purpose built scale-up pilot line specifically calibrated to enable transfer of final high-speed full production “recipes” onto the GigaSpeed™ line. Starting with the pilot line tool, EMC scales up the production parameters, inks, materials and ultimately final processes (many of our core patents cover inventions from this stage).

After transfer of “recipes”, the GigaSpeed™ line is put through a ramp-up process to reach final production. Each one of the planned BackbonePV™ products runs through this highly refined and proven process.

Dave Buemi

Executive Vice President, Business Development

Dave brings over 23 years of broad solar energy industry fervor and experience to EMC. A business development specialist and marketing generalist, he has worked extensively throughout the end-to-end supply chain in both entrepreneurial and corporate settings.

In addition to holding senior mid and upstream positions in the project development and EPC segments, Dave has substantial product bankability establishment experience with start-up and early stage module manufacturing companies.

Previously, he has held positions as Co-founder/Vice President Development, Brightphase Energy, Inc., Vice President, Government Business Development, DayStar Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: DSTI), Vice President, Business Development, Empower Energies, LLC., Vice President, Business Development,
Gehrlicher Solar America, Inc/M+W Energy, Senior Director, Business Development, Suniva, Inc., Senior Vice President, Willdan Energy Solutions, Inc. (NASDAQ: WLDN)

Dr. Stephan DeLuca


In his book “A World Lit Only By Fire” the historian William Manchester describes the events that sparked the transition from the Dark Ages to the Renaissance that ultimately enabled the Industrial Revolution. It is ironic that with the vast cultural, political and technological changes over the past 500 years, we are still in a very real sense a world lit mainly, if not only, by fire. With an accelerating climate crisis, we can no longer afford another hundred years of fossil fuel burning to keep the lights on! We must now rely on our capacity to innovate; to build massively scalable renewable energy technologies that eliminate carbon emissions by 2050.

EMC’s innovation capabilities are laser focused on fulfilling the promise of solar energy. The high capital cost and complex value chain of existing silicon solar technology limits the scalability of that technology and the greater solar industry. Our unique business model centers on high-throughput, Roll-to-Roll solar module manufacturing enabled by perovskites. The 95% reduction in capital cost to produce EMC manufacturing facilities and the simplified value chain is efficiently scalable on a global basis. Furthermore, the significantly lower module production cost will allow the PV module industry to continue reducing prices, but at profitable margins and allowing higher margins throughout the downstream supply chain.

We firmly believe this model will deliver terawatt-scale solar energy that will be a significant contribution to the urgent decarbonization effort globally. Our tag line, “Accelerating Electrification”, expresses our energy transition value fully; our team is driven with a single passion of making the solar energy decarbonization pathway a reality in the next thirty years.

Dr. Stephan DeLuca


Drawing on an extensive 30-year background in corporate management, sales & marketing and product engineering, Steve has a spent the last fourteen years relentlessly pursuing low cost, simplified solar module manufacturability.

In 2006 he was recruited as a turn-around CEO for a publicly traded start-up solar thin-film manufacturing company DayStar Technologies (DSTI) where he experienced firsthand the massive capital demand of scaling low throughput PV manufacturing.

Prior to DayStar, he held multiple positions with Inficon and Leybold Inficon over 10 years where he built a new environmental safety and health product business unit, started 5 subsidiaries in Asia while located in Taiwan from 2000-2003 as President of Asia Operations, and initiated a global key account management system as Vice President of Worldwide Sales & Business Development leading to sales growth over 30%.

Steve holds a Ph.D. in Applied Chemistry and a M.S. in Geochemistry from Colorado School of Mines, an MBA from Syracuse University and a B.A. in Chemistry from the University of California, San Diego.

Dr. Tom Tombs


Before joining EMC Tom dedicated 25+ years to invention, technology development and commercialization leadership at Eastman Kodak and NexPress Solutions where he directed R&D and scale-up of highly complex equipment, opto-electronic thin films, software, and materials from invention to product.

He has won 10+ technology and product awards for printing equipment, inks, and high-speed roll-to-roll printed electronics. Tom, an individual and contributing inventor for many of these technologies, holds 106 U.S. patents and several dozen international patents. He is skilled at de-risking product development and efficiently navigating complex interactions that require multi-disciplinary sciences.

Tom holds a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Rochester and received the CTO Century Award for Extraordinary Achievements in Scientific and Technical Innovation from Kodak.