Apple announced on the 9th that new products such as the iPhone SE 3 are made of recycled materials. To improve the efficiency of recycling usable materials from used iPhones, Apple has upgraded its dismantling robot, Daisy, which can now distinguish 23 iPhone models and disassemble 1.2 million iPhones per year.
In order to recover precious metals from second-hand iPhones that cannot be repaired, Apple released the disassembly robot Liam in 2016. At that time, it could only identify one type of iPhone, and it took 12 minutes to disassemble one.
In April 2018, Apple released Liam’s successor, the Daisy, which can disassemble 9 different iPhone models at a speed of 200 per hour. When Apple announced the expansion of its global recycling program in April 2019, it also announced that Daisy could distinguish 15 different iPhone models.
In October last year, London’s Evening Standard reported that Daisy has been able to distinguish 23 different iPhone models. Although the disassembly speed is still one every 18 seconds, the recognition ability has improved significantly. One important recycled material is tungsten metal, which is used in the production of touch engines for iPhones and Apple Watches.
Apple currently has Daisy production lines in the United States and the Netherlands, each of which can disassemble 1.2 million iPhones per year. Each iPhone to be disassembled is first scanned on a Daisy conveyor belt to make sure it is face down, then a robotic arm picks up and removes the screen, and then a computer scans to identify the iPhone model and decide what steps to take.
Daisy then removes the battery of each iPhone, loosens the screws of the internal parts in the correct position, and shakes the parts to drop them for recycling.
At present, Apple has achieved carbon neutrality in global corporate operations, and plans to achieve a net-zero climate impact goal in the entire business of the manufacturing supply chain and all product life cycles by 2030. This means that every Apple device sold will be 100% carbon neutral, from component manufacturing, assembly, shipping, customer use, charging, all the way to recycling and material regeneration.