Robot guidance for solar cell production

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In combining the VC Solar Solution software library with its smart cameras, Vision Components (VC) provides an autonomous robot guidance solution for solar cell production. Due to their small size, the compact vision systems can easily be retrofitted into existing installations. They process several images simultaneously and transmit data in real time. Inspection tasks include detecting wafer positions, measuring all geometric dimensions, monitoring surfaces, and detecting damaged edges.

Vision Components offers a wide range of performance-graded, fully integrated intelligent cameras for combination with the VC Solar Solution software library. The company has developed its VC4067/NIR near infrared camera primarily for use with the VC Solar Solution. The camera's photosensitive technology ensures highly precise images are captured at wavelengths up to 1,100nm, making it suitable for electroluminescence (EL) quality control tasks, among others. It reliably detects and identifies defects such as micro cracks, shunts, and disconnected fingers. The cost-effective VC solutions include all image processing electronics and do not require cooling systems.

Featuring an integrated 400MHz processor from Texas Instruments, the VC4067/NIR has a computing power of 3,200MIPS. The 2/3-inch CCD sensor has a 1,280 x 1,024 pixel resolution and provides a maximum frame rate of 14fps and a freely programmable exposure time from 5µs to 17s. The model comes with RS232 and Ethernet interfaces and an external trigger input that enables jitter-free image capture, even at high reading frequencies. Standard configuration also includes four digital PLC inputs and four outputs and an SXGA video output.