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July 6, 2009

Panasonic using lasers to destroy CRT TVs

crt-tv.jpgTV manufacturers aren't just concerned about the performance of the products they put on the shelf these days. With stricter laws pertaining to recycling and the environment in place across the globe, efficiency in recycling centers has become a concern as well. At the Panasonic Eco Technology Center in Japan, workers have traditionally separated the front glass and back funnel of cathode ray tube TVs (CRTs) using an electrically heated wire. The method is time consuming and can also lead to stress fractures in the glass, making it useless for anything else. But the company claims it has perfected a new method that uses an automated laser to separate the two types of glass. Not only can it detect screen sizes between 14 and 36 inches, it can detect the aspect ratio of a set and adjust to one of 38 cutting modes. The new laser method has cut the time to process one CRT TV 3-fold, down to 50 seconds. This is definitely a good thing because Japan has yet to switch from analog TV signals to digital; it's expected to happen mid-2011, when the number of recycled CRT TVs is expected to double from last year to 650, 000.

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Posted by Justin Davey at July 6, 2009 7:13 AM

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