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 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.