LCD screen recycling for safe recovery of valuable resources and protecting health

- The processing of LCD monitor containing mercury

According to initial estimates, in Germany about three million LCD screens will be recycled in the year 2016. However, they often still have backlighting containing mercury and therefore have to be classified as “hazardous waste” in accordance with the German General Administrative Regulation (AVV) and registered in compliance with the German Electrical and Electronic Equipment Act (Elektro G) under category 3. Whereby special conditions must ensure that no risk arises from the mercury for the environment or for humans. However, because of a lack of suitable automated procedures for the recycling of LCD monitors, it was to date only possible to dissemble the appliances laboriously by hand, with the ensuing health dangers for the workers.

For this, ERDWICH now offers two alternatives which are both safe and time-saving for recycling LCD monitors. Mercury and valuable resources can be removed and recycled in an environmentally sound way in the future:

1. Monitor sawing plant for sizes between 15“ and 25"

On these devices, the layer of mercury-contaminated background lighting is contained in the upper and/or lower section of the flat screen monitor.  Using the bandsaw technology with automatic positioning, these are cut off in three work steps, so that the LCD screens are easy to open afterwards. Thus, the mercury containing backlighting (CCFL) in the edge strips can be easily removed.

2. Robot-based plant for sizes between 25“ and 55"

The robot-based plant engineering allows the processing of 45 LCD monitors per hour of the most diverse sizes between 25" and 55". Owing to the complex sensor and control technology, an absolutely safe processing is guaranteed at all times. Thus, for example, the milling cutters, which have been specially developed for the recycling of LCD monitors, are automatically checked by a camera after each process. In this way, possible fracture of a milling cutter and the degree of wear of the tools can be permanently monitored for predictive maintenance.

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Advantages of the recycling of LCD screens

  • Increased safety at the workplace
  • Enormous time savings
  • Efficient recovery and separation of valuable raw materials such as indium tin oxide used in the production of printed circuit boards
  • LCD recycling in two procedures from sizes of 15“ to 55“ possible

Now it’s your turn: we look forward to receiving your project enquiry!