During contract negotiations, STS advises procurement teams through a diligent risk assessment process. STS has established “best practice” quality requirements (STS-STD-PVM1 Standard) and records the deviations away from this safe zone, labeling each risk as “low”, “medium” or “high” based on the nature of the risks, their probability, severity and detectability (Risk Priority Number).
While in the first half of 2020, the number of high-risk deviations requested by suppliers was on average of 0.25 per contract (one every four contracts), this average reached 5.75 high-risk deviations per contract in the first half of 2022; a 20 times increase compared to two years ago. These additional high-risk deviations may have a significant impact on the performance of the modules in the field. For instance, modules with more cracks or more soldering defects (which happen to be the two main high-risk deviations observed recently) are more likely to develop hotspots, which require immediate replacement and expose owners to safety risks.