News Article

Fully Automatic Backside Contacting For Thin Film Photovoltaics

IMA ‘s 'modu*contec' system combines all production steps and tools needed for CIGS and CdTe thin film photovoltaics in one versatile system whilst ensuring super fast processing.

IMA Automation Berlin (IMA) is delivering its first 'modu*contec' systems to a large, well-known vendor of high-performance production tools for thin film solar modules.

The newly developed 'modu*contec' fully automates the backside contacting process of CIGS and CdTe thin film solar modules, up to the junction box connection. With this innovative product line, the Berlin-based manufacturer of advanced industrial automation solutions extends its product range aimed at thin film photovoltaics.


For more than 20 years, IMA has built up its profile as a well-known vendor of assembly automation systems for the automotive and electronics industries. In terms of its product development strategy, IMA is an integral part of the Swiss Feintool Group, a provider of fineblanking systems, fineblanked and formed components and assembly automation technology.

For the last four years IMA has successfully branched out and specialised in developing user-specific automation solutions for PV manufacturing, whilst reducing costs and increasing reliability. In this highly competitive market segment, IMA claims to hold a significant lead in advanced manufacturing know-how.

The new 'modu*contec' system is based on IMA's proven and user-friendly system concept of modular production tools. Depending on the product's complexity, or customers' requirements, IMA can configure flexible and scalable manufacturing automation solutions with optimised transport flow characteristics or individual process control.

IMA’s best known product is the 'modustringer', which fully automates the interconnect of silicon-based PV modules, realising highest productivity levels. The 'modustringer' processes up to 1,200 cells per hour, based on single-lane operation. This includes loading, check of incoming cells by electroluminescence, ribbon preparation, fluxing, testing/sorting, lay-up, soldering and unloading.

Other system components offered by IMA Automation Berlin for turnkey automation systems, suited for small-lot up to high-volume manufacturing of photovoltaic modules, are testers/sorters, systems for lay-up, and loading/unloading for thin film technology.

IMA says the new 'modu*contec' system is the first to combine all production steps and tools needed for thin film photovoltaics in one versatile system. Additionally it ensures high processing speed. At a throughput rate of up to 130 modules per hour, 'modu*contec' will produce thin film modules at a total capacity of 160 MW per year.
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