HIGHLIGHTS

  • Robotic disassembly
  • Electronic components disassembly
  • WEEE

Project co-funded by the Marche Region, POR MARCHE FESR 2014‐2020 program.

In collaboration with the Design Tools and Methods Group, DIISM, Polytechnic University of Marche.

ABSTRACT

Improving the efficiency and sustainability of waste management in the electronics sector requires the re-use of valuable electronic components, rather than recycling them for the recovery of precious materials. In this context, a robotic system for the disassembly of electronic components has been proposed, based on the adaptation of a wave soldering machine. First, the feasibility of an automated process for managing the end-of-life of electronic boards was examined: the disassembly and re-use of electronic components represents a potential saving opportunity for manufacturers of industrial electronic boards, as well as an effective means to improve the environmental sustainability of the electronic sector. The automatic system was then designed and prototyped, starting from a wave soldering machine, a 2-axis manipulator equipped with a suction cup to collect the components and a central control unit to coordinate the movement.

Experimental tests allowed to identify the most relevant process parameters, such as working temperatures, and to verify the performance of the cell. The results confirmed the effectiveness and reliability of the prototype: all 450 microprocessors disassembled from 50 boards did not show any damage and were reusable directly into new boards without the need for additional treatments, such as washing.

PCB before disassembly

PCB after disassembly

Removed microprocessors

REFERENCES

  • Marconi M., Palmieri G., Callegari M., Germani M., Feasibility Study and Design of an Automatic System for Electronic Components Disassembly, ASME Journal of Manufacturing Science and Engineering, vol. 141, 2019.
  • Palmieri G.Marconi M.Corinaldi D.Germani M.Callegari M., Automated disassembly of electronic components: Feasibility and technical implementation, Proceedings of the ASME Design Engineering Technical Conference, Quebec City, 2018.