Automated assembly lines from Kuka to outfit Canada’s largest solar panel plant
May 20, 2011
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION
Kuka Systems North America is entering the burgeoning Canadian solar panel manufacturing sector. The company signed a $12-million contract to install three partially automated, post-lamination framing lines for trimming, framing, testing and packout of photovoltaic panels for its first Canadian customer. Each line consists of five robots, as well as applicators, conveyors and other handling and testing equipment. Installation began in the first quarter of 2011.
This customer is building Canada’s largest solar panel manufacturing plant in southern Ontario. Each line will be capable of handling 120 MW of annual production, making it North America’s largest manufacturing site for crystalline silicon-type panels, and one of the largest on the continent making any type of panel.
“This is a landmark contract, one of our largest in North America to date, and our first solar-related installation in the small but rapidly growing Canadian solar manufacturing sector,” said Robert Giaier, vice-president, alternative energy, Kuka Systems Corp North America. “We welcome the opportunity to contribute our solar technology and extensive experience as assembly line integrators to our customer’s success.”
The post-lamination lines were built first at Kuka Systems North America in Michigan, tested in-house, then disassembled and trucked to the customer’s facility where they are being reassembled.