New Product: Cell stringer system from KUKA handles 750 cells per hour

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Product Briefing Outline: KUKA has introduced the ACS 600 process tool, which is an advanced Cell Stringer system. The system has an output of 750 cells per hour and can process both polycrystalline and monocrystalline cells, from 160 µ to 220 µ in thickness, with two or three bus bars. The alignment accuracy range is less than ±0.2 mm, while the breakage rate of the cells is less than 0.5%.

Problem: Early monitoring of cells for quality and possible cracks or breakage is of decisive importance for the entire module production process and if defects are discovered at an early stage it prevents costly rejects later in the production cycle, reducing costs.

Solution: The key to the automatic string manufacturing process is the patented soldering technology, KUKA SoftTempProfile. In a preliminary stage, the cells are pre-tempered from both sides in order to achieve the best possible, reliable soldered connections with the patented temperature profile in the ensuing infrared soldering process. The cell string is subsequently cooled in a three-stage process that is continuously monitored. The load on the cells caused by the thermal induction is thus reduced and physical expansion of the cells and bars is prevented. The cells are positioned quickly and precisely by a KUKA KR 5 Scara with a vacuum suction gripper. A single handling process for the gripping of the cell, measurement and visual inspection under a stationary camera, solder application and positioning of the cells on the high-tech vacuum conveyor also reduces the load on the cells and minimizes potential sources of damage to the solar cells.

Applications: Solar cell stringing and inspection.

Platform: The KUKA ACS 600 is also available as the KUKA ACS 600/2 dual stringer with an hourly throughput of 1500 cells and integrated layup and string inspection. All data are displayed and can be automatically logged in an internal database or transmitted to an MES system to be used for statistics and quality purposes.

Availability: Currently available.

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