In this enlightening interview, Joachim Melis, Vice President Worldwide Sales for Adept Technology GmbH, puts forward his personal take on the current state of the industry and looks to the future…
PES: How did you come to be involved in the renewables industry?
Joachim Melis: Adept Technology has been active in the solar industry for some years on a smaller scale. Some of our customers have used our Cobra SCARA Robots for Solar cell handling applications for years. Typical applications would be loading stringer/tabber units with solar cells. With the introduction of our Quattro Robot which uses a parallel kinematic and is ideal for solar cell loading and unloading applications, Adept has become involved in a much wider scale. Given Adept’s background in vision technology for robot guidance and inspection, we are positioned to cover a wider range of applications compared to a pure robot or pure vision supplier. The combination of robots for handling and vision for robot guidance and inspection, allows us to provide cost-effective high throughput solutions to solar cell manufacturers.
PES: What are your predictions for the renewables sector?
JM: There is limited supply for fossil energies. This fact alone leaves no doubt that there is no alternative to renewable energy sources in the long run. In addition, CO2 emissions are a key reason for global warming. Earlier in 2008, renewable energy companies were scrambling to keep up with global demand. This has come to a pause right now. Once the economies stabilise again I expect the growth to continue, although at a slower pace.