It would be vital for solar manufacturers to look outside of their sector for the best practices in manufacturing with automation, robotics, and vision to achieve cost-reduction objectives.
FREMONT, CA: The world’s photovoltaic (PV) manufacturing community is on the tip of a resurgence in investment, development, and innovation, a revolution that will be fueled by technology. It is key to find the most effective tools and processes to enhance productivity and decrease costs within a set capital plan. Robotic automation is a vital part of solar cell manufacturing. Still, it is essential to consider which robot types and kinematics are best for each process, looking at the solar manufacturing areas with significant return opportunities for robotic automation and investigating which robot type is best for solar application tasks and where vision fits.
Robot-integrated vision enables inspection to be incorporated right into the managing process, placing it parallel with handling, further mitigating the overall cycle time
and increasing throughput. Various part geometries need only vision retraining or selecting a recipe instead of manual alterations in fixtures and tooling. This boosts the overall lifetime profit of the equipment by the value of its optimization and enhanced throughput. Most robot manufacturers provide packages with multiple cameras and tracking solutions for integration into a single cell. This provides tremendous power and flexibility for solar manufacturing.
The common objective of solar manufacturers is to drive down the cost per watt. As the solar industry works to achieve grid parity, manufacturers must be knowledgeable about modern robotics and automation and vision technologies – and the value they contribute to reducing the cost of solar cells.
Automation plays a vital role in reducing manufacturing costs in several industries. When the costs associated with higher quality and yields are considered, its advantages offer an even more appealing value proposition. Although some industries may view robotics and automation as mature technologies, key players in the industry are developing innovative products and new technologies that are ideal for solar manufacturing processes.