Friday, May 25, 2012

Laptop Disassembly - As complex as they get. Part 2


Part 1 consisted of dismantling of the major components that made up the product architecture on the bottom half of the laptop.  This post will be a start of the dismantling of the subassembly components. I emphasize "start".

13.  Hard drive intact: underneath, all components soldered or bonded components

14.  Hard drive dismantled: metal cover, PCB, drive and fasteners

15.  Hard drive: PCB, as typical for PCBs, all soldered or bonded components

16.  Hard drive dismantled (other sides): metal cover, PCB, drive and fasteners

17.  Hard drive (other side): PCB

 18.  Hard drive (other side): drive

19.  Inside of bottom plastic cover of laptop, mostly one polymer, paper based shielding/cover

20.  Main PCB intact, notice the high grade aluminum heat sink and conductive copper heat removal

21.  Main PCB: aluminum and copper heatsinks etc. separated

22.  Main PCB (other side), numerous soldered and bonded components

23.  Aluminum heatsink, highly pure aluminum

24.  Aluminum heatsink (other side)

25.  Main PCB: close-up of RAM memory

26.  Bottom  assembly, components dismantled and removed parts shown separated, parts from above photos:

     26.1 Panels removed and exposing under carriage (center and left)
          - upper control board and speaker grill panel (right)
          - mainboard: 
             ~ disk drive (top right)
             ~ main PCB (middle) 
          - hard drive (top left of PCB main assembly)
          - bottom plastic cover of laptop (left: gray rectangular plastic molded)
          - battery pack (bottom right)
          - hard drive panel (top middle left)
          - memory card panel (bottom middle left)
          - numerous fasteners

27.  Hard drive dismantled: inside

28.  Hard drive dismantled: outside

29.  Bottom cover of laptop: outside

1.  (1st photo again) Not done yet by a long shot. Here, it looks so uncomplicated.

These are the same components (from Part 1) removed and separated from each other with their subassemblies taken apart. This is just for the bottom portion of the laptop.  After many dismantling efforts:

- Time in Part 1, average was 3min.  I could have been exact to the second, but in reality, it would vary. If you want specific times, see there many publications on it. There are 100s on: (publications) related to this topic and future technology in 'Design for Disassembly; (DfD).
- Time here in Part 2: 5min. As in Part 1., this is mainly due to the amount of machine screws and complexity. I had the proper tools and 2 power drills with correct bits in place. To get consistently under 5min would require mechanized or robotic systems. Alternatively DfD and, which could do it in fractions of a second with batch processing.

Conclusions (similar issues as in Part 1)
Design issues:
- too many screws (dozens), more than in Part 1, in this next level of dismantling

- too many snap fits that make it hard not to break the subassemblies - snap fits are usually better than screws
- non-obvious disassembly 
- mixed materials
- complexity
- numerous brass captain bolts molded into injection molding
- non-standardized screws
- under spec polymer casings (warping, cracking and wear)
- glued labels
- too time-consuming and complex for repair (PCB and battery pack etc.)
  ~ batter pack is bonded to ensure closure, contains high grade materials
- too time-consuming for upgrade (memory board, hard drive etc.) 

Even with numerous snap fits, they were breakable and at times required cracking of the assembly in order to open parts apart. Overlapping of components was  still somewhat minimal as in Part 1. There are still many insulating materials mixed in with others.

I will go into the next level of detail in subsequent posts.  In the next post,  I'll finish the bottom half macro disassembly of its subassemblies.

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