Advanced solutions for the Photovoltaic Solar Industry

Datalogic Automation offers advanced solutions for photovoltaic cells and solar panel production. From laser processing and marking to barcode and RFID traceability. From vision inspection to presence sensors and safety light curtains.

The Datalogic Automation merge created a product range ideal for the solar photovoltaic industry. Datalogic Automation now offers a product portfolio that supports solar photovoltaic production from silicon and thin-film solar cells to panel manufacturing, integrating Datalogic Automation's leadership and long experience of each merged company; Laservall (Laser marking and processing), EMS (industrial RFID systems), Datasensor and Infra (sensors for detection, safety, measurement and vision inspection) enable manufacturers cut production costs, improve yields and increase automation.

Lasers are widely used in the solar industry in silicon wafer processing, solar cell manufacturing and in the production of modules. Lasers cut, scribe, ablate, drill, isolate or melt in the different manufacturing processes. Lasers are also used for direct part marking (DPM) with 2D codes necessary for material and component identification. Thanks to the V-Lase platform, Datalogic Automation offers a complete range of laser sources with different 355 nm (UV- Lase), 532 nm (Green-Lase) and 1064nm (V-Lase) wavelengths.

Barcode identification increases yield and automation by tracking materials and processes up to the final solar module handling by tracking product with 2D codes. Codes are directly marked on silicon wafers or solar panels, on glass plates or metal frames with laser etching. Datalogic Automation's Matrix series (Matrix 200TM, Matrix 400TM, Matrix 2000TM) offer the best readers for barcodes or Datamatrix, combining image capture, decoding and communication interfaces in compact devices.

Highly reliable industrial Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) provides 100% process traceability even through wet processing and harsh environments. Yield problems are traced quickly and corrected when RFID tags work as portable databases for process parameters, parts identification, performance rating (simulation) during production and up to factory logistics and maintenance. Datalogic Automation's Cobalt RFID systems and durable tags are used for short range work-in-progress (WIP) tracking or long range factory logistics.

Vision inspection is fundamental in the solar industry for quality verification at each manufacturing step. From silicon wafer positioning and checking for defects to edge and pattern inspection in solar cells; from quality control in tabbing, stringing and busing operations to solar module framing and final assembly all inspections are easily made with Datalogic Automation's SVS1 and SVS2 Smart Vision Sensors.  These systems include advanced object recognition tools, including 360° pattern match, or SCS1 Smart Camera Sensor for high-end purposes.

Object presence detection is made with sensors based on photoelectric, inductive or ultrasonic technologies. Datalogic Automation offers these sensor types with very specific functions for the solar industry. Miniature or compact photoelectric sensors provide background suppression or polarized retroreflex in the S3Z, S8 or S62 series. Systems feature shiny surface rejection or detection of solar cells with anti-reflective coating. Ultrasonic sensors of the US series or inductive proximity of IS series are also available.

Safety light curtains are mandatory in the presence of dangerous machinery or processes used in solar cell sorting, module assembling, solar panel stacking and transportation. Datalogic Automation's SG2 and SG4 series offer a complete range of Type 2 and Type 4 safety light curtains with different heights and resolutions for finger, hands and body protection, or simply access control. Additional advanced functions are available in SE4 series such as EDM, muting, cascade, fixed and floating blanking.

Datalogic Automation provides advanced solutions for PV cell and solar PV panel production that cut manufacturing costs while improving process automation and product yield in this rapidly growing industrial sector where production capability is making the difference among market players.