Spanish companies manufacturing photovoltaic equipment invested about 40 million euros in R+D+I in 2006. This amounts to about 7% of their turnover, a figure which is not only higher than the average for Spanish companies carrying out R+D+I activities (About 1.85%) but also greater than in other highly technological industries, such as chemical (1.26%), pharmaceutical (5.55%), electronic (2.7%) or telecommunications (2.23%). This greater level of investment, combined with the strong growth of the sector in the last few years, means that the R+D+I of the photovoltaic sector will have an increasing weight in National R+D+I objectives, particularly regarding compliance with the National R+D+I Plan for 2008-2011. These R+D+I investments have enabled Spanish companies to be situated as technological leaders in fields such as concentration cells, multi-layer or thin-film technologies.

Business fabric
A company manufacturing photovoltaic module, quite singular in the renewable energy in Catalonia. There are 17 manufacturers registered in Asif sector in Spain, as manufacturers of photovoltaic modules, three of which are currently in Catalonia, none of which comply with the conditions of manufacturing flat photovoltaic modules, being of Catalan capital and with their plant located in Catalonia at the same time.

Synergy with other companies
Heliene has established contracts with the company AES ( Alternative Energy Solutions)., which within the renewable energy sector, is dedicated to installation engineering and commercialisation for all sorts of applications, roofs, photovoltaic parks and others, establishing agreements to exclusively commercialise the modules manufactured by Heliene in Europe and the Mediterranean area countries. Both companies presented themselves together for the first time in Expoenergética in Valencia, held in November 2007.

SAP Solar, a company dedicated to the industrialisation of machinery for automation and manufacturing of photovoltaic modules.

The company has developed and manufactured the equipment for Heliene's automated line: System for transferring modules from one phase to another, string welding machine, Eva y Tedlar slicer/TPT, visual control equipment, tempering tunnel after lamination, deburring table, framing post, supplying the flash test with automatic contact, buffers prior to soldering / deburring / and palletised exit; solderers loading and unloading gantry robot, robot in laminator supply tracker and palletising robot at the exit, with classification and separation of protection between modules.

Finally, the complete control system with screens distributed in the line to control production, with identification of workers at each post, product traceability and identification with labelling, barcode and RFID for independent labelling of variables in the module. The aim is to gradually introduce ISO 9000 standards with a minimisation of paper and relevance of screens, as well as the maintenance of equipment and the productive system by TPM (Total Productive Management), by means of the computerised line control system.