1366 Tech hires manufacturing expert

1366 Technologies has named Schott veteran Brian Eller as its vice president of manufacturing, adding further “momentum” as the Massachusetts start-up gets ready to build its first commercial-scale factory.

Eller is current Schott’s vice president of operations in North America, and a veteran of the German conglomerate’s pharmaceutical and lighting & imaging divisions.

“[Eller’s] tracking record in building and running modern, efficient, high-volume businesses makes him a critical addition as we increase production rates and prepare to break ground on our 250MW facility,” says 1366 chief executive Frank van Mierlo.

The comapny will within “six to nine months” announce the location of its planned 250MW wafer factory in the US, van Mierlo says.

1366 says the production machines at its existing 25MW pilot factory in Bedford, Massachusetts are now capable of running at a rate of 2,000 wafers per furnace per day.

1366 believes that its proprietary Direct Wafer technology – which breaks with the traditional ingoting process by seeing molten silicon poured into moulds – will ultimately allow a wafer maker to triple its output without expanding its factory space.

The company, which counts Japan’s Tokyuama and Korea’s Hanwha Chemical among its backers, can access a $150m loan guarantee for its factory from the US Department of Energy once it reaches certain milestones.

Van Mierlo has previously stated his intention to see the company reach full commercial production by 2015.