In-Sight 5100 shortening cycle times, ensuring quality

Manufacturers of photovoltaic (PV) modules are increasingly turning to automation as a competitive factor. Perfectly soldered joints contribute to the efficiency of PV modules. Consistently high product quality and shorter cycle times lead to a permanent reduction in costs. As in other industrial sectors, image processing is becoming an important function for more and more companies. In a fully automated soldering system from Mondragon Assembly of Stockach, Germany, the intelligent vision system Cognex In-Sight® 5100 optimizes the process of soldering the cross-links between photovoltaic modules. Important factors in creating a perfect soldered joint are the largest possible contact area, the high strength of the compound and a small contact resistance. Together, these three criteria largely determine the conductivity and current flow, thus ensuring a high degree of efficiency in the completed solar module.

Parallel workflow saves time

Before the In-Sight 5100 can set the precise positioning of the soldered joints, the cross-links made of galvanized copper are inserted into the system as approximately 5 mm wide strips. A stretching station prevents the formation of wave-shaped and crescent-shaped deformations. Using a pneumatic string cutter, they are cut down to match the typical product specifications. A vacuum pad gripper then successively places the cross-link strips individually on a clipboard, until they form the completed connection diagram of the circuits. Then the cross-links as a whole are in turn transferred by means of pneumatic grippers to the photovoltaic module. This approach offers the advantage of parallel soldering and positioning and thus saves even more time.