Solar industry

The production of solar modules is highly automated in order to support the growing market for solar energy systems and to be able to provide products at attractive prices. Festo is your partner in the solar industry for the entire automation process chain.

Project and solution highlights

Optimiert für das Handling von Solarzellen und Wafern: das High Speed H-Portal von Festo

Fast and reliable repositioning thanks to the high-speed planar surface gantry

The fragile wafers frequently need to be repositioned. As they are transferred from one production step to the next, the wafers will be unloaded from a machine and transported to the next processing step. This must be done at maximum speed, and at the same time reliably and accurately in order to maximise the output.

The wafers must be touched as gently as possible in order not to "stress" them. As the wafers have photosensitive surfaces, no residues must remain on their surfaces so that the best use can be made of the light. Permanent checks, which don't interfere with the throughput, complement the repositioning process.

The award-winning high-speed planar surface gantry provides the best solution for this task:

Designed for handling solar cells and wafers, the planar surface gantry covers a rectangular working space with up to 4 degrees of freedom. The Bernoulli gripper has been adapted to transporting the fragile wafers. It ensures smooth, almost contactless transport. The integrated intelligent compact camera checks the wafers for damage and correct alignment.

More about the high-speed planar surface gantry EXCH

Purchasing EXCH in the catalogue




Gentle and reliable gripping

The application: during the production process, the wafers have to be steadily and reliably picked up and transported through the various production steps. This demands speed in order to keep the production costs of the modules as low as possible. Gentle processing is also required as the wafers must not break.

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


Reliable and low-contact gripping with Bernoulli grippers from Festo

Gripping with Bernoulli grippers OGGB

The Bernoulli gripper OGGB 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.

Suction insert OASI from Festo provides protection against sucking in and breaking fragile workpieces

Gripping with vacuum suction insert OASI

The suction insert OASI provides protection against sucking in and breaking fragile workpieces. In combination with the suitable vacuum suction cup and vacuum generator, this is a complete solution for reliably picking up and checking wafers. This low-cost solution is ideally suited to handling raw wafers, for example for a loading station at the beginning of a cell production line.



Kühlprozesse in der Flachbildschirm und Solarmodulfertigung

Monitoring the cooling medium flow in solar and flat-panel production

The manufacturing process for multi-layered solar modules and flat panels generates heat, so a cooling system needs to be integrated into the process. The challenge is to enable reliable monitoring of the flow rate, pressure and temperature of the cooling medium. In vacuum coating processes, for example, the vacuum pumps, generators and the process chamber itself all need to be cooled.

Your objective:

  • A reliable, efficient cooling system
  • Reliable monitoring of the cooling process
  • Less effort and cost for development, commissioning and operation

Our solution:

  • Festo for all the components necessary to control the cooling process from a single source
  • Extremely sturdy and reliable components and systems
  • Ready-to-install systems – fully assembled and tested

Further information:

Expertise from a single source – media valves in factory automation

All media distribution components in the catalogue

Sample solution: distribution of cooling water

Important for this application:

  • Reliable monitoring of flow rate, pressure and temperature of the cooling medium in the system
  • Offer for a system solution
Main components
1 Ball valve actuator unit VZBM
2 Valve terminal CPX-MPA
3 Angle seat valve VZXF
4 Flow sensor SFAW/SPAW
5 Pressure -regulator LR (for purging the lines)
6 Sensors SFAW/SPAW
9 Terminal CPX

Product highlights for the solar industry

High-speed planar surface gantry ECXH

High-speed planar surface gantry ECXH

Fast and reliable repositioning of wafers

Cartesian high-speed pick and place handling system for maximum dynamic response and efficient operation of up to max. 95 picks/min. Enables precise positioning with high acceleration and deceleration as well as minimal vibration.

More about the EXCH

Bernoulli gripper OGGB

Bernoulli gripper OGGB

Fast and gentle transport of wafers and solar cells

Extremely gentle repositioning or transporting for surface checks thanks to air cushions. High suction force without vacuum thanks to the Bernoulli effect.

More on OGGB

Ready-to-install solutions

Ready-to-install mounting plate

Complete mounting plates for the control cabinet during wafer cutting: assembled, fitted with all tubing and wiring, checked and documented

Created specifically for your application.

This saves you time and installation effort.

  • Handling systems
  • Control cabinets
  • Mounting plates
  • Modules

More about ready-to-install solutions