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Goodbye to thin film

Thomas Rossmann, Sales Director Photovoltaic Solar Technology
Grenzebach Maschinenbau GmbH

Grenzebach is a corporation with six plants in three continents, more than 1,500 staff and a global customer base. The German-based company is a leading manufacturer of line and equipment for the production of flat and float glass, front- and back ends for thin film lines in many different technologies. Now Grenzebach presents its new laser edge deletion system for thin film modules to enhance its thin film portfolio …

As a result of rising demand for laser edge deletion systems in the thin film industry, Grenzebach recognised huge market potential and expanded its product portfolio with a new innovative laser edge deletion system. Most edge deletion systems are either based on sand blasting or grinding systems.
This procedure offers on first view a practical solution. On a second view, however, the operator has to deal with consumables like sand, lots of dust in the cabin and also big problems in terms of cleaning and recycling of the consumables. Toxic material gives the entire application a bad reputation. Therefore the industry is looking for alternatives to provide a secure module for the consumer and a healthy and safe workplace for the operators.

Grenzebach’s new laser edge deletion system is covering all the above thin film technologies. During the market research Grenzebach was focusing on a solution which enabled an excellent ablation of all practical thin film layers and obtained the requested resistivity.

For the forthcoming PVSEC in Valencia, Grenzebach will display the new development of the laser edge deletion system in a technology circle. The technology circle contains robotic solutions with touch less gripper application, a cassette shuttle with a cable-free energy supply as well as an Algoscan surface inspection system. In addition there will be a new Ultrasonic welding system on display to present new technologies for a JBOX mounting application and rail bonding system.

During the concept phase, the focus of R&D engineers was concentrated on the flexibility of the size range and the reduction of the floor space.
Due to these reasons the system was designed with a vertical conveying system which guides the substrate in the longitudinal direction through the Nd:YAG-Laser. The laser head is mounted on a vertical running linear axis which moves up and down for the short edge ablation. The ablated thin film material is absorbed by means of a vacuum system on the opposite side of the laser head and moves synchronously with the laser head axis.


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