Project and solution highlights

Fast, gentle and reliable gripping of wafers: Festo H-gantry with Bernoulli gripper

Gentle and reliable gripping

The application: during the production process the wafers need to be picked up constantly and reliably to transfer them to the various different production steps. This demands speed in order to keep the production costs of the modules as low as possible. Gentle handling is also required as the wafers must not break.

The challenge: the further the wafer production process progresses, the more refined the wafer is and the more valuable it becomes. Suitable gripper technology at the right moment is therefore essential for workpiece handling as well as for reduced investment and energy costs for the machines.

Reliable and low-contact gripping with Bernoulli grippers from Festo

Gripping with Bernoulli grippers

Shadows on the wafer reduce the performance of the finished solar cell. These shadows are often the result of residue left on the surface of the wafer after gripping. The Bernoulli gripper picks up the wafers with almost no contact and reliably repositions them. In contrast to vacuum suction cups, the Bernoulli suction cup works with pure compressed air. This air is forced outwards through a tiny ring-shaped gap, resulting in a suction effect that lifts the wafer gently but reliably and doesn't leave any residue on the wafer. Inserts made of polymer for low-contact gripping or made of elastomer for higher lateral forces are optionally available depending on the application. All in all a high-end solution for gripping of precious solar cells.

Suction insert OASI from Festo: protection against the suction of and damage to fragile workpieces

Gripping with vacuum suction insert

The suction insert OASI provides protection against the suction of and damage to the fragile workpieces. In combination with the suitable vacuum suction cup, this is a complete solution for the reliable picking and monitoring of the wafers. This low-cost solution is ideally suited for handling raw wafers, for example for a loading station at the start of a cell production line.

  • An increased contact area surface prevents the suction of fragile workpieces
  • Prevents contamination of the valve
  • Low investment and energy costs