Cognex In-Sight 5100 shortening cycle times, ensuring quality

An application Solution featuring Cognex In-Sight


Manufacturers of photovoltaic (PV) modules are increasingly turning to automation as a competitive factor. Perfectly soldered joints contribute to the efficiency of PV modules. Consistently high product quality and shorter cycle times lead to a permanent reduction in costs. As in other industrial sectors, image processing is becoming an important function for more and more companies. In a fully automated soldering system from Mondragon Assembly of Stockach, Germany, the intelligent vision system Cognex In-Sight® 5100 optimizes the process of soldering the cross-links between photovoltaic modules. Important factors in creating a perfect soldered joint are the largest possible contact area, the high strength of the compound and a small contact resistance. Together, these three criteria largely determine the conductivity and current flow, thus ensuring a high degree of efficiency in the completed solar module.

Parallel workflow saves time

Before the In-Sight 5100 can set the precise positioning of the soldered joints, the cross-links made of galvanized copper are inserted into the system as approximately 5 mm wide strips. A stretching station prevents the formation of wave-shaped and crescent-shaped deformations. Using a pneumatic string cutter, they are cut down to match the typical product specifications. A vacuum pad gripper then successively places the cross-link strips individually on a clipboard, until they form the completed connection diagram of the circuits. Then the cross-links as a whole are in turn transferred by means of pneumatic grippers to the photovoltaic module. This approach offers the advantage of parallel soldering and positioning and thus saves even more time.

Soldered jointly reliably detected

The entire process takes place simultaneously on the front and back of the module. On each side, two induction soldering heads equipped with the In-Sight 5100 intelligent vision system move over the work areas. Supported by red dome lighting, they recognize the predefined soldered joints. Simultaneously, the vision systems inspect the individual target positions which are stored in type-specific recipes. The actual and target positions are compared and the deviation is transmitted to the control. If the tolerance limits have been complied with, the flux material is sprayed on and soldered, whereas rejected sites are reworked manually. The quality inspection of the soldered joints themselves is performed by the automated soldering machine.

Vision system accelerates production

The In-Sight vision system creates significant time saving compared to manual production. Mondragon Assembly achieved cycle times of only 80 seconds for cells with three busbars and modules with six strings. In addition to the rapid functioning as a standalone system, the easy handling of the compact In-Sight 5100 image processing system speeds up the use of the equipment. Even without detailed knowledge in the field of image processing or programming, it can be configured easily and quickly for pending tasks in production. Using its spreadsheet interface, the implementation of simpler applications can be done especially quickly. Complex applications are solved by powerful vision tools. A wide range of development, management and monitoring tools is offered by the graphical development platform In-Sight Explorer. Based on the familiar Windows® environment, it provides for shorter development cycles for vision applications, increased functional reliability and high system flexibility.

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Cognex In-Sight 5100 shortening cycle times, ensuring quality

Solar Energy Water Heating System Monitoring

An application story by Advantech


To build upon  ever changing technology, engineering company PRIREV, needed to be able to monitor the amount of solar energy, the temperatures and of a solar energy water heating system for an Olympic sized swimming pool provided by their newly developed solar water flow panel. They also needed to be able to directly monitor these values and their alarms on LCD panels and have these values saved for future reference.

Advantech’s Adam modules provided the customer with a distributed solution that used acquisition modules connected through RS485 and with only a two wire bus for data transfer from all the sensors. This system architecture has two core benefits: the first is that it allows more acquisition module sensors to be added to the system at any time and secondly it’s very easy to add more tags to the software in order to monitor and record those values on a PC.

The customer needed to record the solar light power, different temperatures of the water and the flow of the water inside the pipes and because of their good quality to price ratio Advantech’s Distributed Acquisition Modules were the simplest and easiest system to achieve this whilst allowing for future expansion of the system. Once installed the customer was able to calculate the efficiency of water being heated through the use of solar energy and automatically create reports.



Read the full application story:
Solar Energy Water Heating System Monitoring

This application success story is from Advantech
Tri-Phase Automation is an Advantech distributor in Wisconsin.
Contact Tri-Phase Sales or Get A Quote

eWON/HMS Remote Networking Solutions

eWon/HMS Remote Networks

This solution allows system integrators to establish secure industrial networks linking multiple remote sites to central control rooms through permanent VPN connections. Benefit from a seamless access to your remote sites data at any time.

What does Remote Networks solutions allows you to do?

  • Quickly set up a VPN-based extranet network
  • Replace your legacy modem or radio solution and benefit from the reliability of the Internet connectivity
  • Interface your PLCs to your SCADA/supervision system

Wind Power – Lightning Protection For Wind Turbines

Lightning Protection

Wind power is a form of solar energy. The uneven heating of the atmosphere by the sun, the irregularities of the earth’s surface, and rotation of the earth cause winds. Wind flow patterns are modified by the earth’s terrain, bodies of water, and vegetation. We use this wind flow to generate electricity.

The terms wind energy or wind power describes the process by which wind is used to generate mechanical power or electricity. Wind turbines convert the kinetic energy in the wind into mechanical power. This mechanical power can be used for specific tasks (such as grinding grain or pumping water) or a generator can convert this mechanical power into electricity.

So how do wind turbines make electricity? Simply stated, a wind turbine works in the opposite way of a fan. Instead of using electricity to make wind, like a fan, wind turbines use wind to make electricity. The wind turns the blades, which spin a shaft, which connects to a generator and makes electricity.

Since most wind turbines are 60-150 meters high they are very susceptible to lightning strikes and power surges. IEC 61400-24  (VDE 0127 part 24) is the basis for the design of the lightning protection concept.

Pepperl+Fuchs offers a complete line of products designed to protect industrial equipment like wind turbines from the hazards of lightning strike. Products offering surge protection, lightning protection, signal isolation, and safe grounding paths are available.

Reliable Detection of Gapless Consecutive Boxes Moving on Accumulating Conveyors


sensor_tgw_2_medTGW is one of the world’s leading system providers of highly dynamic, automated and integrated materials handling solutions for warehousing, production, order picking and distribution. Together with its American subsidiary, the TGW headquarters in Wels, Austria, has developed a control engineering solution which enables direct handling of carton boxes. The solution comprises a pneumatic accumulation roller conveyor with low dynamic pressure and a corresponding logic module – the CRUZ-Control unit – which enables the user to remove boxes from the conveyor either individually or in a chain. In order to detect the boxes, TGW was looking for a sensor solution which could be integrated into the conveyor segment without taking up much space, required no setting work and could be connected directly to the logic module. By working closely with SICK, they were able to find a suitable solution.

Application Solution

Together with SICK developers, TGW created a miniature photoelectric sensor (Z sensor) for detecting the cartons that fulfilled all of the company’s requirements. Due to its miniature design, the sensor can be optimally installed in defined slots in the roller conveyor segments. The lack of complicated setting options, the minimal need for additional functions and the direct connection to the logic modules, make commissioning much easier, and the sensor much more economically attractive. In operation, the integrated ASIC technology guarantees high detection performance, due to features such as the reliable background suppression and safeguarding against the influence of neighboring sensors. The specific requirements demanded a special design that enabled the optics to turn steplessly in different directions, in a similar way to the human eye.


  • Close cooperation during project definition and development leads to optimum realization of the customer’s wishes
  • Miniature and special designs allow space-saving detection solutions to match specific applications
  • Focus on basic functions and direct connection to logic modules reduce procurement and commissioning costs.

The sensors from SICK play an important role in enhancing the performance of the TGW accumulation roller conveyors, as their miniature and special designs enable space-saving detection solutions to match specific applications. Their economical advantages are also impressive: by concentrating on the basic, essential sensor functions and the direct connection to the logic modules, SICK has reduced TGW’s procurement and commissioning costs. The close cooperation between TGW and SICK was also key to the successful solution of the task. Josef Reischl, Product Manager for Conveyor Systems at TGW Mechanics GmbH, confirmed this: “SICK offers an all-round package, from the quality of the products to the scope of services provided, e.g. for new products developed for a special customer or application.” The joint project definition and development meant that the full extent of the customer’s wishes could be fulfilled.

This is an application from SICK.
Tri-Phase Automation is a SICK distributor in Wisconsin.
Contact Tri-Phase Sales or Get A Quote