As alternative methods of producing energy become increasingly sought-after, production must keep pace. For alternative energy industries to survive and thrive, they must increase their reliance on the industrial robot.
"The growing demand in alternative energy sources after the recent nuclear catastrophe in Japan will push robot installations, e.g. the production of solar cells etc." - International Federation of Robotics (www.ifr.org)
Take a closer look at solar panel and wind turbine manufacturing to find out why robots are a good fit.
Robots and Solar Energy
Industrial robots effectively accommodate the rapid (and constant) evolution of solar energy technology. Simulation software makes it possible for solar energy system companies to change products and processes quickly and seamlessly.
Solar panel manufacturers increasingly rely on robots for a host of material handling applications. Industrial robots provide ideal solutions for precision-driven assembly and heavy palletizing needs, while still assisting with inspection and quality control jobs. Robotic vision eliminates the need for complex fixturing and plays a key role in many solar energy manufacturing applications, from locating and inspecting parts, to guiding robots.
Robotic Cell and Wafer Handling:
Solar cells and silicon wafers are delicate items that require delicate handling solutions. Robots are capable of assembling these solar energy system components with greater gentleness and precision than is possible manually. They maintain consistent production speeds and repeatability necessary for solar cell and silicon wafer assembly/handling.
**Video of M-1iA handling solar cells**
Robots for Solar Panel Assembly:
Manufacturers benefit from using robots when it comes to constructing solar panels, which are often very complex in design. Once again, consistency and delicate handling are very important. Every component must be carefully aligned. Robots are also very useful for handling heavy glass panels and other solar panel components with care.
Robots and Wind Energy
Industrial robots have proved invaluable tools for nearly every aspect of wind turbine manufacturing. Wind energy system manufacturers incorporate robotic solutions for welding, cutting, painting, deburring, sanding, drilling, and other applications.
Using Robots to Construct Wind Turbines:
When it comes to creating and assembling wind turbine components, robots offer many advantages over manual and hard automation. Fast and flexible, robots allow wind turbine manufacturers to increase production and meet lead times more efficiently, as well as adjust quickly to product changes. The precision and consistent performance possible with robots beats manual methods, vastly improving quality control. Robots are currently used to cut, weld, and drill wind turbine towers, gears, blades, and other components.
Wind Turbine Finishing with Robots:
Wind turbine blades and other components must be finished (painted, sanded, polished, deburred) to perfection. High quality standards are necessary to maintain the blade balance, extend component longevity, and withstand environmental wear and tear. Robots are helping wind turbine manufacturers achieve the best possible results. With robots, paint application in particular is more consistent and quick, allowing companies to match both quality requirements and customer demands.
Contact RobotWorx at 740-251-4312 for more information about integrating robots for alternative energy industries.