The Taiwan Instrument Research Institute (TIRI) has disclosed it has teamed up with mechanical motion control component maker Hiwin Technologies to develop smart real-time equipment for inspecting quality of CIGS thin-film PV modules at production lines.
The equipment is customized for Eterbright Solar's CIGS thin-film PV module production lines through combining TIRI's array optical imaging system, high-performance computing & storage system, AI algorithm-based metric computing core with Hiwin's precision positioning mobile platform and loading/unloading robotic arm, said TIRI under government-sponsored National Applied Research Laboratories (NARLabs). Hiwin is the parent company of Eterbright.
As manufacturing process of CIGS thin-film PV modules entails scribing of module panels, width and depth of scribing and pitches between scribing may not meet standards or scribing is likely distorted, Eterbright president Lin Ming-yao indicated. Therefore, quality of CIGS thin-film PV modules has to be inspected, Lin said.
The equipment can scan a 122cm x 62cm PV module to capture and store its images and immediately analyze and judge its quality in 60 seconds, TIRI noted. In comparison, Eterbright used to manually inspect sampled PV modules off production lines, with inspection of a PV module taking as long as 30 minutes, Lin noted.
Inspection results are automatically connected with computers and databases to enable real-time judgment on possible problems occurring during manufacturing, providing reference for adjusting parameters to improve production efficiency and product quality, TIRI indicated.
Eterbright has adopted the equipment for a CIGS thin-film PV module production line, resulting in a yield rate of 99.2%, which is much higher than global averages of 75-80%, Lin said.
Based on the achievement, similar equipment can be developed for use in production of glass substrates, flat display panels, PCBs, semiconductor devices and even textile and leather products, TIRI director general Joseph Yang noted.
Smart real-time inspection equipment for CIGS thin-film PV modules adopted by Eterbright Solar