Solar Panel Manufacturing
Solar panels being assembled. Lens placement.
A Solar Panel manufacturing facility was experiencing problems when trying to pick and place individual lens arrays from a stack and placing them on to a machine. While in the stacked position the lenses were separated from one another with a sheet of foam to help protect them from scratching or other debris. The problem they were having was the lenses would cling to each other in the stack along with the sheet of foam. This would cause the machine to fault or the parts to mislead and in an even worse case it would drop the second lens it picked up causing a bad part. The sheet of foam in between the process also required an operator to stand and remove each sheet or attempt to blow off each sheet prior to the next pick up. This problem was becoming very time consuming and quite costly for the company.
The problem was that of static electricity and a slight vacuum that is formed when lifting one sheet from another. The solution was to install two EXAIR Ion Air Cannons, two Super Air Nozzles, and two 3” Super Ion Air Knives. The Ion Air Cannons and the nozzles were mounted to the lens lifting apparatus so that it would blow from the narrow end of the lens across the face of the lens before, during and after pickup. Once the lens is lifted the air nozzles and cannons blow the sheet of foam off the stack where the Super Ion Air Knives help to push it down into a scrap bin. This also eliminates the static from the lens which ensures that no debris from the air will cling to the surface of the lens.
A solenoid valve was installed on the supply air line so the compressed air will only be used when the lifting device is picking up a new sheet.
To conclude, the customer was experiencing a static electricity problem when lifting each lens from the stack. Not only would the lenses stick together but the sheet of foam that kept the lenses separated would cling to the lens causing production to halt or an operator to stand by and manually remove the sheet. The EXAIR solution that was provided utilized Ion Air Canons, Super Air Nozzles, and Super Ion Air Knives all tied into a solenoid valve for minimal compressed air usage. Not only was the lens blown off and static eliminated to prevent debris from clinging to it but, the foam sheet was also blown to the end of the stack where it was caught in a waste bin.
Below are 2 videos from the shop floor of the system in motion. The machine was still in testing phase which is why the Super Ion Air Knives are not permanently mounted and the scrap bin is not in location.
If you have an application using our products or one that you need help with please contact us.