KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – December 19, 2022 Imagine a future where we don’t simply discard used electronics. Rather, we harvest individual components for a second, third or even fourth life. Once the device itself is truly at the end of life, we refurbish and recycle it to incorporate these same materials into next-generation laptops, monitors, or phones. It’s a future where nothing goes to waste and the mountain of electronics discarded every year (more than 57 million tons, globally, to be exact) is dramatically reduced. Not only is technology dematerialised, but the materials we use fuel a robust circular economy. Thereby, reducing the need for new, raw materials.
A year ago, Dell Technologies introduced Concept Luna – a breakthrough sustainable PC design, which illustrates a vision of how Dell can reduce waste and emissions, reuse materials and achieve next-level innovation. Dell Technologies’ Experience Innovation Group engineers have worked over the last year to further refine the modular design of Concept Luna, eliminating the need for adhesives and cables, and minimising the use of screws. These refinements make it easier to repair and dismantle a system. Concept Luna could dramatically simplify and accelerate repair and disassembly processes, making components more accessible and expanding opportunities for reuse. It can take recycling partners more than an hour to disassemble a PC with today’s technology, held together with screws, glues and various soldered components. With the evolved Concept Luna design, disassembly time is reduced to mere minutes. Dell even commissioned a micro-factory to guide their design team, resulting in a device that robots can quickly and easily take apart.
By marrying Luna’s sustainable design with intelligent telemetry and robotic automation, Dell has created something with the potential to trigger a seismic shift in the industry and drive circularity at scale. A single sustainable device is one thing, but the real opportunity is the potential impact on millions of tech devices sold each year and optimising the materials in those devices for future reuse, refurbishment, or recycling.
The telemetry Dell added to Luna also provides the opportunity to diagnose the health of individual system components to help ensure sure nothing goes to waste. Because the way people use their technology varies, not all components reach end-of-life at the same time. People working from home, for example, may use external components, such as keyboards and monitors. The laptop’s keyboard and monitor have barely been used, even when the motherboard is ready to be replaced. The Concept Luna evolution can equip and connect individual components to telemetry to optimise their lifespans. At its simplest, it’s akin to how we maintain our vehicles – we don’t throw away the entire car when we need new tires or brakes.
Dell’s ongoing work with Concept Luna brings people closer to a future where more devices are engineered with a modular design. The exciting addition of robotics and automation serve as a catalyst to accelerate efficient device disassembly, measure component health and remaining usability, and better understand which components can be reused, refurbished, or recycled – so nothing goes to waste. This vision has broad and profound implications for Dell, its customers, and the industry at large, as a collective working together to reduce e-waste.
These are the explorations that inspire Dell Technologies’ team of engineers, passionate sustainability experts and designers to continue to evolve Concept Luna. And, while Luna is “just a concept” right now, it is a long-term vision for how the company achieves an even greater business and societal impact through circular design practices. As Dell makes strides toward achieving its Advancing Sustainability goals, the company will continue to innovate, push design boundaries, solicit feedback and rethink business models. Driving breakthrough advancements and shaping a more sustainable future for all is what Luna is about.