SpeedPicker 1.1 from Manz offers throughput rate of 5,000 wafers per hour using carbon arms

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Manz has made significant updates to its SpeedPicker series system for high-volume crystalline solar cell manufacturing applications. According to Manz, its first generation system had sales of over 300 units. Introduced at the EU PVSEC in Hamburg in September, 2011 the SpeedPicker 1.1 has a throughput rate of 5,000 wafers per hour and one of the world’s best breakage rates compared to competitors’ products.

Problem

Manz had already sold more than 1,000 automation systems with delta robot kinematics, which were needed for loading and unloading process machines within a production line. However, the technology had reached its limits in terms of size, speed, and costs and, as a result, has now been superseded by the reengineered SpeedPicker 1.1.

Solution

The new system is claimed to be highly accurate, while being half the size of other systems on the market. SpeedPicker 1.1 requires a maximum of only seven square meters of space, depending on its configuration, helping to significantly reduce is upfront investment cost. In addition, the new generation of the system is claimed to be more intuitive, and therefore easier to operate. The system’s attractive price is also an important argument for all manufacturers who are now forced to make their production lines more economical as a result of the ongoing decline in prices seen in the market. And efficient automation is usually the first step toward doing so.

Applications

C-Si solar cell handling.

Platform

The SpeedPicker 1.1 works with one or two carbon arms which rotate at the high speed and which are mounted and pivot on a linear axis, guaranteeing precision placement. A newly developed Bernoulli gripper and a special image processing system ensure that the wafers are perfectly aligned and together offer 100 percent breakage control when loading and unloading process machines. The system can be configured in a wide variety of ways such as with five or eight lanes, one or two arms, or as a box or cassette system – which is important when it comes to integrating it into existing production lines.

Availability

September 2011, onwards.

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