Panasonic develops high efficiency CRT recycling technology
Panasonic Corporation and Panasonic Eco Technology Center
Co., Ltd. (PETEC) have developed a recycling technology
using laser beams to separate the front panel and back
part (funnel) of a cathode ray tube (CRT) used in TV
This laser-cut technology, which is implemented at PETEC’s
plant in Hyogo Prefecture, Japan allows for separating
CRTs quicker and cleaner than before. With this highly-efficient
technology, Panasonic is poised to respond to the increasing
demand for recycling used CRT TVs, tons of which are
expected to be thrown away as the shift to digital terrestrial
broadcasting is scheduled for completion in 2011 in Japan.
As different types of glass are used in the front panel
and funnel, it is essential to separate them without
mixing for recycling. The conventional method uses an
electrically heated wire around the joint area of the
front and funnel to separate them. However, this method
not only requires time for the heating process but causes
thermal stress fractures by the local heating, requiring
manual corrections to clean the cut surfaces.
Panasonic’s CRT recycling technology utilizes laser radiation
to drastically reduce the processing time with much less
manual work, allowing one tube to be processed in 50
seconds, three times faster than the previous method.
The laser head of the innovative system has a “surface
profiling” function to maintain a constant distance between
the focal point and surface of the glass. Coupled with
the “radiation energy” control adjusting laser beam light
intensity to the circumferential velocity, the system
achieves a high quality cut with no mixing between the
front and funnel glass.
Moreover, Panasonic’s laser cutter is fully automated
to measure the size (from 14 to 36 inches) and types
(normal and wide) of CRT TVs and process with the laser
conditions (38 different sets of conditions) suited to
the size and type of each CRT.
Panasonic will continue to study possibilities in applying
such laser-based recycling technologies to flat-panel
TVs, and further raise the efficiency of the whole TV
recycling process, including the new recycling lines
for flat-panel TVs established in April this year.