Solar Manufacturing

Despite policy, regulatory, tariff and regional uncertainty, the use of solar technology is expanding worldwide. Beyond utilities, industrial companies plus oil and gas exploration are fueling large projects. Meanwhile, expectations for cost per megawatt-hour continue to drop. Panels may use an array of new technologies including mono- and polycrystalline, thin film, concentrating, passivated emitter and rear contact (PERC) and they may also be bifacial.

To keep costs low while meeting the special needs of customers in each region, industry and application, photovoltaic equipment (PV) makers must innovate effectively – with new technology for products and production.

Introduce new product technologies

Produce Confidently

Critical Manufacturing’s modern Augmented MES supports flawless new product introduction cycles. It starts with Quality and Recipe Management plus PLM integration to ensure all the data needed is there for rapid high-yield initial production. It also now includes a groundbreaking Experiments Management module that integrates design of experiments (DoE) with execution and closed-loop feedback of experiment results. So as experimental new products flow into the line, engineers can immediately see the results without major disruption to the ongoing standard production.

Critical Manufacturing Augmented MES is Industry 4.0-ready, and has many ways to support solar companies’ innovation of processes to produce modules and systems. Experiments Management. Integral to the MES, product and process engineers can collaborate on every aspect of a process: old, new or experiment. New products also mean that people need additional guidance, which the Augmented Reality (AR) module provides. It shows focused task-related data from across the MES superimposed over a live camera image on any smartphone, tablet or AR headset.

Improve Continuously

Scale to Meet Demand

Experiments Management, as well as a full suite of Quality Management modules support ongoing optimization. It also enables staff to see KPIs change with complete analytics and dashboards including quick-glance BI Cards. Change Management also enables rapid and consistent development and roll-out of needed process and workflow changes. Workflows can standardize best practice responses. Connect IoT for equipment and automation integration also collects and puts all the automation and process data into context with full support for OPC-UA, SECS/GEM and other interfaces.

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Critical Manufacturing Augmented MES is scalable, to meet the needs of this roller-coaster market. It has been implemented in large and small organizations and sites to gain firm control of production quality parameters while maintaining the flexibility to keep up with changes in the industry. Augmented MES provides guidance and training even as products change, through not only work instructions, reports, and dashboards, but also a 3D factory Digital Twin , which provides a complete, real-time window into the status of the shop floor. It also allows the operations team to build GUIs and workflows themselves, to fully support their tasks.

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Seize the benefits on your shop floor

Solar manufacturers have often not implemented comprehensive operations software, but rather pieced together several systems. Augmented MES with all native modules and workflows delivers significant benefits:

Rapid, confident decisions and action based on comprehensive integrated functionality

Visibility and deep understanding from clear GUIs with modern analytics behind them

Ability to reduce risk by creating a complete native system for comprehensive data flow across operations with the support of a expert team with solar experience

Agility to respond to market shifts, customer requests, and R&D with robust experiments, configuration and rollout capabilities