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Machine Design

Coming: New Robotics for PV Production

Automation providers <strong>ABB</strong> and <strong>Bosch Rexroth</strong> have both devised robotic and motion-control equipment aimed at PV production tasks.

ABB’s new IRB6640 clean-room robot targets thinfilm photovoltaics. The new clean-room version of the IRB6640 meets process and clean-room specifications for the thin-film photovoltaic industry, according to ABB.

ABB clean-room robots have three paint layers: a prime coat, a white paint layer and a clear topcoat. Screws and inspection panels are covered with plastic prior to painting, which is subsequently removed when the paint dries. Some screws and panels are then protected again using removable covers, which facilitates cleaning. Inspection panels are not painted. Any areas that could potentially cause contamination get sealed at the factory using metal plates. The clean-room robots are cleaned before they are shipped to customers and are protected by a double layer of plastic. The first layer is removed just outside the clean room to ward off contaminants. The second layer of plastic comes off inside the clean room to ensure compliance with strict cleanliness specifications.

Drive and control maker Bosch Rexroth says a broad range of its automation products handle photovoltaic production. The BKK and BKR Bridge Modules span long unsupported lengths and are optimized for extremely high torsional stiffness. Modules are fully enclosed to protect components from contamination. The BKR belt-driven version provides faster speeds and comes in lengths up to 8,000 mm. The ball-screw-driven BKK version offers higher thrust forces and lengths up to 5,500 mm.

The ED02 Electro-Pneumatic pressure regulator provides 100 lpm of flow and attains a dynamic usually possible only in devices with larger nominal widths. Up to four ED02 series pressure regulators can stack together without a base plate, and compressed air supply is possible from both sides for flexibility.

Finally, new Version 2.0 software for the Rexroth NYCe 4000 motion controller now supports all types of encoding signals for accurate positioning while eliminating the need for a costly interpolator and cable.

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Bosch Rexroth,


Bosch Rexroth equipment: BKK bridge modules, ED02 pressure regulator, and NYCe4000 motion controller.

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