Design News is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Rexroth's Non-Contact End Effector

Rexroth's Non-Contact End Effector

Using Rexroth's non-contact Transfer units (NCT), the End Effector creates a dynamic lifting force using positive airflow (Bernoulli principle) to handle solar photovoltaic wafers without requiring a physical seal with their surface. This means that handling and transporting delicate solar wafers, a process previously achieved only by manual labor, can be automated.

Rexroth End Effector

The low pressure in the NCT provides a lifting force, similar to a vacuum suction cup. To prevent the wafer from contacting the End Effector, even if the wafer is warped, a complete vacuum seal is not desirable. Therefore, the NCT allows enough air to escape to create a gap between the wafer and the End Effector. Integrated edge guides (gripper flaps) align and constrain the wafer during transport for safe handling.

The End Effector can be integrated with SCARA, 6-axis, or Cartesian robots. A wafer presence sensor provides constant detection and feedback, allowing the robot to activate the End Effector when the wafer is detected.

The Non-Contact End Effector is available for standard 156 mm polycrystalline and multi-crystalline solar cells, and can reliably handle and transport wafers with 50-300 mum thickness, according to Rexroth.

See other Design News solar photovoltaic coverage:

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.