4JET introduces Inline system for the thinfilm PV backend

| Photovoltaic & Glass, 4JET Technologies 4JET introduces Inline system for the thinfilm PV backend

Highly flexible system platform for different laser processes

4JET Sales+Service GmbH (Huckelhoven, Germany) adds a new machine to its portfolio for the thinfilm photovoltaic industry.

The new INLINE systems can be used for laser edge deletion, P4 isoscribes and selective perforation of semitransparent solar panels for building integration.

Several of the new systems are currently being delivered to customers in Germany and the US.

The INLINE systems can be equipped with several laser technologies and allow full area processing of the entire surface of a solar panel. Applications include edge deletion, selective perforation, P4 isolation scribes as well as marking or drilling of glass.

The compact unit is a co-development of 4JET and Maschinenbau GEROLD GmbH. The unit is suitable to process all standard panel sizes including G8 formats with 2600x2200mm dimensions. Glass panels are pre-centered and their position is measured precisely. 4JET´s dynamic ABC (Automatic Beam Control) beam delivery system allows to compensate glass warpage and size tolerances of the panels.

Depending on the application the units are equipped with diode pumped solid state or fibre lasers. 4JET supplies customer- and application specific process technology and integrates a turnkey solution. Depending on the required throughput, several modules can be installed sequentially.

The laser modules work with a minimum of moving parts. Other than competing laser systems, the 4JET design allows full area processing of the entire panel surface and allows programming of each individual edge width depending on the glass tolerance.


    One of the most important applications is laser edge deletion. The new INLINE systems add to 4JET´s portfolio of proven robotic laser edge deletion cells that are used in a-Si, CIGS and CdTe thinfilm ablation.

    The precise and abrasion free edge deletion has impact on the durability and efficiency of solar panels. The high level of automation, the cost efficient design and the abrasion free precise ablation process reduces the cost per panel and enhances the quality when compared to other systems such as sand blasting, grinding wheels or other laser systems. The laser process provides a clean surface that has multi Giga Ohm resistance and does not require further treatment prior to the lamination process.


    The INLINE platform also allows to perform a cost efficient P4 isolation cut that generates a sharp edged groove between the active area of the solar panel and the edge. Using an INLINE system with 532nm and/or 1064nm wavelength eliminates the need for an isolation cut in the more expensive P3 scribing systems.


    Another potential use for the INLINE system is the selective laser ablation to create semi-transparent solar panels for use in building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV). This requires full area processing of the panel´s surface.


    The modular design of the INLINE also allows integration of marking lasers, that either engrave into the glass or create an inverted marking by ablation of the coating. It is also possible to integrate a glass drilling system.


    The INLINE series is offered with different optional processes, including a newly developed process to expose molybdenum on CIGS solar panels, a process validation module and mechanical brushing systems. Through the cooperation with Maschinenbau GEROLD GmbH, 4JET can also offer material handling and automation solutions.

Jörg Jetter, founder and CEO of 4JET

“The INLINE system allows to approach different laser applications in the thinfilm PV backend with an economic modular solution. Eventhough the laser processes and beam sources employed differ with each application, they all require glass handling, positioning of panel and optics, laser safe housing and peripherals, such as vapour evacuation, power meters, cooling or integration in a conveyor system. We offer our customers a solid machine platform as a basis for a cost efficient total solution including the customized laser process development.”