Solar Automation Revolution: ROKAE Robotics Spearheading Smart Manufacturing in China's Photovoltaic Industry
Company news 2023/12/12

In recent years, the photovoltaic power generation market in China has expanded significantly, driven by government support, showing promising prospects. However, the photovoltaic industry chain is under pressure to reduce costs and increase efficiency, prompting a rapid shift towards automation, digitization, and intelligence.


The "solar cell" and "photovoltaic module" manufacturing processes, positioned in the middle of the industry chain, are prime areas for increased automation. ROKAE Robotics, deeply embedded in the photovoltaic sector, utilizes cutting-edge robotic technology to successfully implement applications such as solar cell tabbing, module layout, junction box installation, and module stacking.


I. Solar Cell


In photovoltaic cell manufacturing, ROKAE's robots handle crucial processes like diffusion, thermal oxidation, back passivation, and positive glue PECVD. They excel in tasks such as solar cell tabbing and basket handling. ROKAE's robots are applied in various scenarios, covering the entire production process of photovoltaic solar cells, including single and double basket handling, quartz boat handling, quartz boat tabbing, graphite boat tabbing, and more.

1. Tabbing for Solar Cells

Tabbing, a technically challenging stage in solar cell production, is addressed by ROKAE's high-speed NB12-12/1.4 robot. It ensures precise and stable tabbing, achieving an industry-leading speed of 8,500 pieces per hour.

Fast and Precise: Equipped with OptiMotion and TrueMotion technologies, the robot maintains ±0.03 mm repeat positioning accuracy even at high speeds, reaching international standards and providing industry-leading production capacity.

Leakage Prevention Design: The robot features an upgraded dynamic and static sealing design, significantly improving oil-leak prevention and reducing the risk of silicon wafer contamination. With international certifications like CE, CR, KCS, EAC, it guarantees reliability during prolonged operation.

More Flexible and User-Friendly: ROKAE's customization, the "Photovoltaic Tabbing Process Package," reduces debugging difficulty and workload. The robot's compact design and larger axis movement range enable flexible operation in narrow spaces.

2. Solar Cassette Handling


During the interconnection process of solar cell procedures, ROKAE's robots, notably the NB25 series, efficiently handle the transportation of silicon wafers stored in baskets. The robots enhance precision, speed, and stability, providing an automated solution for solar cassette handling between processes.

Strong Wrist Capability: The NB25-25/1.8 robot, with a 25 kg load capacity and an arm span of 1813 mm, excels in high-volume basket handling operations.

Outstanding Performance: Advanced algorithms and trajectory planning ensure the robot maintains high speed, smooth, and stable movement, reducing fragment rates.

Double Sealing Design: Featuring a unique single-joint double-sealing design, the wrist achieves an IP67 protection level, ensuring continuous long-term production.

Simultaneously, ROKAE NB80-50/2.6 robot, with a 50 kg load capacity, a working radius of 2598 mm, and wrist IP67 protection, is suitable for large-scale handling scenarios like double basket handling.

II. Components

In the components assembly line, solar cells are organized and welded to create full photovoltaic modules. Robotics technology is widely and maturely used in various processes, such as solar cell stringing, glass loading, sealing junction box assembly, disordered cable sorting and loading for junction boxes, EL testing tool handling, and module palletizing.

1. Solar Panel Lay-Up

Meeting the rising demand for single-line capacity in photovoltaic modules requires precise robotic operations at an accelerated pace.

ROKAE addresses this challenge with the NB25 series, introducing the solar panel lay-up robot NB25-12/2.1. This robot ensures efficient solar cell stringing, enhancing line precision and production efficiency while guaranteeing photovoltaic component quality.

Long Reach: With a 12kg load capacity and 2110mm arm span, it handles layout machine upgrades effortlessly.

High Rigidity: Specially designed for high load inertia and link rigidity, it balances speed and reliability in prolonged operations.

High Throughput: Featuring the xCore control system, it reduces cycle time to within 5 seconds, ensuring smooth motion trajectories for reliable lay-up capacity.

Easy Deployment: ROKAE's customized "Solar Panel Lay-Up Process Package" streamlines deployment with visual calibration, safety zone settings, and quick parameter adjustments, minimizing challenges within 10 minutes of layout switching.

2. Junction Boxes Cable Sorting

The increasing variety of solar panel types and cable sizes poses challenges in the current production line, relying on manual loading, leading to higher labor costs and reduced efficiency.

ROKAE Robotics addresses this by collaborating with a 3D vision partner to introduce a vision-guided robot solution, improving material loading efficiency, reducing manual labor, and enhancing overall production line effectiveness.


Flexible Options: ROKAE XB7 series robots offer various arm lengths (707mm, 906mm, 1206mm) for customer flexibility.

Adaptable Robotics: ROKAE CR series collaborative robots are ideal for limited spaces, requiring no on-site program changes. Both types use the unified xCore control system for a balance of safety, usability, and high performance.

User-Friendly Control: ROKAE xCore system supports mainstream programming languages and operating systems, providing a real-time interface of up to 1000Hz. Integrated with visual software, it allows 3D vision-guided robot control without advanced programming skills.

3. Assembly and Sealing of Junction Box


The photovoltaic junction box is a critical component in the production of photovoltaic modules. During the manufacturing process, it is essential to install the box cover onto the cured adhesive surface of the junction box, ensuring complete enclosure.


Precision: The ROKAE XB7 series industrial robot, known for its high precision, seamlessly integrates with the visual system. This feature effectively prevents any misalignment of the cover, ensuring smooth attachment to the box.

Reliability: The robot demonstrates reliable and stable performance, capable of prolonged operation to ensure continuous production. This enhances production efficiency and reduces labor resources.

4. Unloading of EL Testing Fixture


For quality assessment, the EL testing fixture measures output power and related parameters on photovoltaic components, attaching and detaching seamlessly.

ROKAE Robotics introduces a visual solution for adapting to diverse component sizes. Utilizing the Visual Process Package, the robot autonomously handles all tasks.

Extended Reach: With a payload of 25kg and a reach of 1803mm, it accommodates testing various-sized components.

Top-tier Performance: The advanced xCore control system ensures high speed, precision, and support for large-sized workpieces and high-speed operations.

User-Friendly: ROKAE's xVision robot vision software offers an integrated environment for motion and vision tasks, supporting one-click calibration. It incorporates 100+ self-developed visual algorithms and graphical programming for efficiency and simplicity.

5. Component Sorting and Palletizing

In module sorting, a robust robot with a 3200mm reach and a 150kg payload efficiently handles large photovoltaic components. It carefully positions them in sorting fixtures for streamlined packaging and storage. ROKAE's NB220-150/3.2 excels in flexible gripping and precise placement of sizable and off-center workpieces, enhancing automation in the solar panel manufacturing sorting process.

III. ROKAE Products

ROKAE Robotics has continually evolved to meet changing market needs, staying at the forefront of industry trends. With a systematic approach, we've consistently invested in developing and enhancing our robotic products. Tailored for the photovoltaic (PV) industry, our diverse product lineup and comprehensive smart manufacturing solution cover the entire PV industry chain, widely applied in cell production and module assembly. ROKAE has formed close partnerships with leading PV enterprises, helping boost production efficiency and quality, actively driving the industry's shift towards intelligent manufacturing.

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As a key player in green energy, photovoltaics hold a vital role in humanity's future and sustainable development. ROKAE Robotics is committed to exploring processes across the PV industry chain, catalyzing a comprehensive upgrade in intelligent manufacturing. We aim to contribute ROKAE's strength to a green, low-carbon world, preserving the vitality of our lush green landscapes.


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