Product Briefing Outline: Schiller Automation’s TS 3600 high-performance tester & sorter is claimed to set a new benchmarks for cell throughput, yield and reliability. With 3,600 cells per hour with an assured good part yield of 97.3% and a guaranteed operational availability of 95% make the TS 3600 a leading high-performance and reliable cell tester and sorter of its type.
Problem: Production cost reduction strategies are required to remain competitive in a product price decline environment. At the end of the cell production the wafer cell has to be classified and sorted. This classification has to happen in a precise and reliable way. The results have to be guaranteed for while keeping the costs low. Obtaining higher throughput, improved results on fewer tools and lines are key goals for high volume PV producers.
Solution: Manufacturers of solar cells using this tester and sorter will demonstrably increase their productivity and reduce the total cost of ownership (TCoO). The TS 3600 will enable an annual output of 100MW to be achieved on just one line for the first time. The high cell throughput, reliability, quality of results and lower costs per tested cell will increase the efficiency of production lines and permit more dependable planning. The machine will have paid for itself in less than five years, according to the company.
Applications: Solar cell testing & sorting in high-volume manufacturing.
Platform: The line consists essentially of feed, tester and sorter modules. The innovative soft-handling concept and the high precision of the measurement systems used ensure the consistently high performance features, even in long-term daily use. The central conveyor system in the tester unit is based on a continuous conveyor chain. Once the cells are in position, they pass through all the test stations in a fixed, flat configuration. This means the transfer processes, which are otherwise a normal feature of such machines and are critical for the cells, have been largely dispensed with. The performance measurements are carried out by means of a system of guided contacts applying minimum force, guaranteeing optimum measurement results. The outcome is an above-average good part yield and low breakage rates. The compact unit’s flexibility makes it compatible with any solar cell production line, and it can operate in both batch and inline modes.
Availability: April 2010 onwards.