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Smart cameras and precision sensors for handling of solar modules

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2D smart cameras and short range distance sensors handle precision positioning tasks and prevent product damage, tool damage and reject costs.

Conergy AG of Hamburg, Germany, is one of the largest providers of renewable energy systems in Europe, and develops and produces all components used to operate solar installations. In Frankfurt (Oder), Conergy has established one of the most modern production sites for solar modules, with fully integrated mass production from wafers and cells to modules. After lamination, the edge locations of the modules must be determined to within a few µ for the automatic foil edge trimming process. Accuracy is essential in order to prevent damage to the module and the expensive robot cutting tools.

Precision sensors are one of the strong points in the SICK portfolio. With the support of a knowledgeable sales representative, ABB selected SICK as its robotics supplier for 2D smart cameras (IVC-2D) and short range distance sensors (OD Max). The use of smart cameras allows the robots to place the foils and solder strips and position the soldering point with great precision during the cross-connection processing step. With their flexible and powerful image analysis program libraries and user-friendly graphical programming interface, the cameras could be adjusted to the precise task requirements and secondary conditions at Conergy. Short range distance sensors are used to measure the solar module's edge location prior to edge trimming within an accuracy of some µ.

The solutions provided by Sick are key to the high availability and efficiency of Conergy's fully-integrated mass production facilities. Their simple integration and programming, high availability, and ability to prevent damage to modules and tools make the smart cameras an especially economical solution. Both the end-user Conergy and ABB, which is the OEM, benefit from the fact that the cameras require no additional IPC support for operation, which eliminates additional costs. The short range distance sensors are characterized by their exceptional precision, the concept of separate sensors and evaluation systems, and their flexible integration.

The solutions provided by SICK are key to the high availability and efficiency of Conergy's fully-integrated mass production facilities. Their simple integration and programming, high availability, and ability to prevent damage to modules and tools make the smart cameras an especially economical solution. Both the end-user Conergy and ABB, which is the OEM, benefit from the fact that the cameras require no additional IPC support for operation, which eliminates additional costs. The short range distance sensors are characterized by their exceptional precision, the concept of separate sensors and evaluation systems, and their flexible integration.

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