Low cost and high quality are critical factors in the quest for grid parity from solar PV systems. Industrial sensors from Pepperl+Fuchs help manufacturers of PV wafers, cells, and modules control machinery and manage processes to meet and exceed their productivity goals. Whether tracking material through a diffusion furnace or detecting defects after module assembly, our industrial sensors deliver superior value across the broad spectrum of automated solar PV manufacturing applications.
Barcode readers, data matrix readers, and RFID systems identify carriers and modules through manufacturing, test, and sortation processes, providing traceability and process quality feedback.
Incremental rotary encoders are used for speed and position feedback during loading and unloading of wafer carriers and on conveyors throughout the manufacturing process.
Inductive proximity sensors in a wide variety of styles and form factors detect the precise position of work piece holders, carriers, and other machine elements used in automated assembly operations.
Optical, laser, capacitive, and ultrasonic proximity sensors simply and reliably detect wafers, cells, and carriers on conveyors and robotic material handling equipment. Optical technology offers unique advantages where longer sensing range, precise edge detection, and background suppression is required. Versions with chemical resistant housings are available for wet process applications, as well as glass fiber-optic models for high-temperature environments, such as diffusion furnaces.
Reliable ultrasonic double wafer detection systems prevent machine damage and production downtime by detecting the presence of multiple wafers on vacuum grippers during in-process stacking / un-stacking operations.
WCS, VOS120, and PCV80 optical positioning systems deliver required accuracy for positioning glass carriers and substrates when loading furnaces or buffer accumulators, and in module assembly operations.
Safety light curtains, teamed with our SafeBox™ safety controller, ensure the safety of personnel working in and around hazardous processes and material handling equipment.
Machine vision systems from VMT, a company of the Pepperl+Fuchs group, solve some of the most challenging automation applications in the solar PV factory, including character and code recognition, 2D/3D measurement, and critical feature and assembly completeness inspection.