Samsung’s Galaxy Note7 investigation reveals two major battery problems

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The long and tumultuous story of the Galaxy Note7 smartphone finally has a conclusion now that Samsung has released the findings of its investigation into the exploding incidents that led to the device’s recall.

At a press conference on Sunday, the Korean electronics giant produced the details of what exactly went wrong with the smartphone that initially received glowing reviews, but soon was buried in reports of explosion incidents.

Last week, some reports indicated that the findings would reveal problems with irregularly shaped batteries as the cause of the malfunctions and now Samsung’s mobile chief DJ Koh has shed light on the specific cause of the malfunctions.

According to Samsung, problems were found in two different manufacturing situations, both involving different series of batteries.

The first series involved a battery casing that was too small, leading to what Samsung described as an “electrode deflection and incorrect positioning of the negative electrode tip in the upper right corner of the battery.”

The second problem came about due to what Samsung says was an “abnormal weld spot,” a manufacturing problem that “led to an internal short circuit.” (Missing insulation tape also contributed to problems with the second series of batteries).

The findings come after the company conducted large-scale charge and discharge tests involving 700 engineers 200,000 devices and 30,000 thousand batteries. The investigation covered manufacturing plants in China, Vietnam and South Korea.

Over the course of an hour, Samsung displayed detailed slides and video showing the lengths it went to in order to track down the problem, along the way pointing out other potential issues with manufacturing and quality control.

Along with its own investigation, Samsung also presented several outside parties at its press conference who also were tasked with tracking down issues with the Note7, including executives from consumer electronics safety groups UL, Germany’s TUV Rheinland and Exponent.

And in an effort to further show that the battery explosions have been taken seriously by Samsung, the company also presented testimony regarding its testing efforts from chemistry and engineering professors from the University of Cambridge, UC Berkeley and Stanford University.

In order to address future battery safety issues, Samsung announced new measures to check the quality of batteries as well as the formation of a battery safety advisory group. The new measures will include “a broad range of internal quality and safety processes to further enhance product safety including additional protocols such as the multi-layer safety measures and 8-Point Battery Safety Check.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6s4uqr1serU

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