Research Papers

Feasibility Study and Design of an Automatic System for Electronic Components Disassembly

[+] Author and Article Information
Marco Marconi

Department of Economics, Engineering,
Society and Business Organization,
Università degli Studi della Tuscia,
Viterbo 01100, Italy
e-mail: marco.marconi@unitus.it

Giacomo Palmieri

Department of Industrial Engineering
and Mathematical Sciences,
Università Politecnica delle Marche,
Ancona 60131, Italy
e-mail: g.palmieri@staff.univpm.it

Massimo Callegari

Department of Industrial Engineering
and Mathematical Sciences,
Università Politecnica delle Marche,
Ancona 60131, Italy
e-mail: m.callegari@univpm.it

Michele Germani

Department of Industrial Engineering
and Mathematical Sciences,
Università Politecnica delle Marche,
Ancona 60131, Italy
e-mail: m.germani@staff.univpm.it

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received April 30, 2018; final manuscript received November 8, 2018; published online December 24, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Sara Behdad.

J. Manuf. Sci. Eng 141(2), 021011 (Dec 24, 2018) (8 pages) Paper No: MANU-18-1281; doi: 10.1115/1.4042006 History: Received April 30, 2018; Revised November 08, 2018

The improvement of the waste management efficiency and sustainability in the electronics sector requires the disassembly and reuse of valuable electronic components, instead of their recycling for precious materials recovery. In this context, this study proposes a robotic system for the disassembly of electronic components, grounded on the revamping of an existing soldering machine. First, the feasibility of an automated process for the end of life (EoL) management of electronic boards is investigated: the disassembly and reuse of electronic components represents a potential cost saving opportunity for producers of industrial electronic boards, other than an effective means to improve the environmental sustainability of the electronics sector. Then, the automatic system has been designed; it is mainly composed by a wave soldering machine, a two-axis manipulator equipped with a suction cup for components picking, and a central control unit to coordinate the motion. Finally, the prototype of the disassembly equipment has been realized. The experimental tests aimed at setting the most relevant process parameters (e.g., working temperatures) and verifying the performance of the developed disassembly equipment. Results confirmed the effectiveness and the reliability of the prototype: all the 450 microprocessors disassembled from 50 boards resulted to be not damaged and thus directly reusable in new boards without the need of additional treatments (e.g., washing).

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Fig. 1

(a) Modules of an intelligent flexible disassembly cell and (b) schematic description of the disassembly cell described in Ref. [28]

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Fig. 2

Open-loop versus closed-loop scenarios

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Fig. 3

Results of the economic analyses

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Fig. 4

Disassembly cell layout

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Fig. 5

Two-axis serial manipulator equipped with vacuum gripper and pyrometer

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Fig. 6

Disassembly automatic system: (a) wave soldering machine, (b) robotic manipulator, and (c) disassembly of a component

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Fig. 7

Detail of the PCB before (a) and after, (b) the disassembly, and (c) the disassembled components



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