Samsung reveals root cause of Note7 problems and how to prevent them

Posted:  January 23, 2017   By:    30 comments   


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The root cause of the ill-fated Galaxy Note7 problems is finally revealed. After months of internal and independent investigations involving 700 researchers and more than 30,000 batteries, Samsung has officially announced their findings and their upcoming measures to prevent such incidents from happening.

Was it due to fast charging, USB Type-C or design? Read on to find out.

What caused the problem?

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Samsung had sold about 3 million Galaxy Note7 which 96% of them have been returned worldwide. For the remaining units, Samsung had issued several software updates to gradually reduce its ability to charge to zero. In case you missed it, Samsung had issued two recalls, the first one to replace it with a unit using a new battery and a second recall for a permanent return. To achieve better battery performance, the Galaxy Note7 had a high-density battery that offers 3,500mAh capacity in a much compact size.

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At the press conference, Samsung had invited independent industry groups such as UL, Exponent and TUV Rheinland AG to present their findings of their investigation. In the first Galaxy Note7 battery (Battery A), there’s a deformation at the corner which causes internal short circuit.

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For the second battery (Battery B), there are random protrusions on welding spots which causes internal short circuit. It’s also noted that there’s a lack of insulation tape which increases the risks. According to Sajeev Jesudas, the President of Consumer Business Unit of UL, design and manufacturing issues led to failures of the Galaxy Note7 batteries. According to Kevin White of Exponent, they couldn’t find a fault with the battery system design which takes care of the charging via travel adapter and wireless charging. The Galaxy Note7 came with multiple levels of protection and would prevent any failures from charging.

Samsung’s commitment to safety

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Following this incident, Samsung had pledged to be even more committed to product safety. The South Korean company had introduced new internal processes to ensure greater quality and safety for its upcoming models.

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On top of that, they had also formed a battery advisory group consisting of external advisers, academic and research experts to ensure the company has a clear and objective perspective on battery safety and innovation.

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For greater safety assurance, Samsung is also implementing an 8-point battery safety check. This includes durability tests, X-ray scanning, repeated charge and discharge test and disassembly to inspect the quality of its welding and insulation.

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At the product planning stage, Samsung has also implemented multi-layer safety measures which include battery safety design, hardware design and an improved software algorithm to manage battery charging temperature, current and duration.

What do you think of these new safety measures? Let us know in the comments below.

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30 Comments for Samsung reveals root cause of Note7 problems and how to prevent them

lol

Fact of the matter is, people are gonna keep associating battery woes with Samsung although almost every other manufacturer has these problems too..goes to show how important reputation is above all else…good effort though but it one wonders why a company as big as them did not have stringent quality assurance steps beforehand…. With almost every innovation relying on battery these days..it's a critical component..

    Chip

    I think they have the QA beforehand, just like any other products and brands. It's the QA/QC at the battery manufacturer side that might be weak.

    And they were in a rush to have Note7 delivered before iPhone 7, so maybe they were thinking nothing bad gonna happen with the accelerated quality check. After all, it's not their first phone and nothing bad happened before. Then, some boom. And after the first recall, they were still accelerating the QA/QC to meet the high demand expectation from pre-order and ready to go on sale. But still, some boom.

    All of this happened during the internal struggle within Samsung high management and leadership. So probably nobody want to be accountable of the manufacturing, just care about getting higher sales faster. Hopefully, some of them got flush away with the recent Korean President's scandal.

    But still they have an excellent attitude to own up to their mistakes and tell us how it is exactly. Not many organizations have the same mindset.

      N Fish

      delivering before ip7??..only during note 5 series is where samsung accelerated its note series lunching by 1 month (from sep to aug), for note 7, they have 1 full year cycle as usual.

        kzm

        Samsung is China phone lah. China is so dishonest. Everything also cheat.

          N Fish

          it only an opinion from bloomberg news site, not necessary correct and you cannot take it as fact. If u said about note 5, it is yes they accelerated their phone lunching. As mention before, they still have 1 full year cycle as usual for the Note 7, u can write/found as many articles as u like and the fact is still the same, 1 year cycle for Note 7. Math doesn't lie.

      FOO CHEE HOE

      Agree. I think Samsung’s reputation is intact after this revelation.

    kzm

    Samsung should just close down. Waste pipu time

ipad

hahaha, use low grade cheap battery and low quality phone components lead to bomb human then only apologies and commit to quality? Joke of today

    your dad

    lol… typical apple fan boy!!

      kzm

      samsung should close down

    Kruzziac

    Your engrish very the good – hence the dumb shallow comment

    meninggal

    i love this guy – he Is the living proof of the type of species that should have not been bred (#silameninggal)

    uPad

    Lu punya Inggeris really good. Use more iFon ya….

Rowan

This problem can be easily solved IF removable battery was used.

That's why Note 4 is still in demand and still commands a high re-sale value.

Note 7

Sila meninggal, you now at hell? Being exploded by N7? Good cause and effect

pos

no one care their internal affairs and appoint what kind of Doctorate holder as their advisor, the main concern is a bomb could never be sold to outside world, Samsung understand? Try to blame battery again? What a lame excuse

cynical

Kudos for Samsung to come clean with the whole mess. The customer should expect a much higher quality standard of Samsung phones from now on

Hamba

I don’t see any problem with Samsung admitting their mistakes, we should praise their courage and commitments, rather than making jokes like typical Asian mentalities.

    guest

    samsung still not amid it is their design failure which cramp the battery at pressurized breaking point , simply put the blame on the battery manufacturing defect , tested only small sample and intentionally showing only those defected battery deformation as excuse for the fire fault , they can not so naive about the potential fire hazard of Li battery , who would buy those heavily twisted public statements after "investigation" ?

Najib Ros

why only Korean phone manufacturer have vast explosion issue and not others? The main reason they never revealed was the battery use source from low range supplier and not the high quality battery from China, they had to paid for their greedy

uPad

Viva Samsung! When is my Note 8 coming? Cant wait!

IOS

If root cause identified, solve it and relaunch Note 7.
Im not a Samsung user but I think alot of user would still like to get their hands on this phone.

    RicoT

    Might as well wait for Note 8 this year, Samsung moved on already.

kzm

They should give all ex Note 7 users a FREE phone as compensation for the trouble and fear they caused. Real pariah company

YKK

In the upcoming S8 or Note8, since already on wireless charging, please make the phone smaller and thinner with reduced battery capacity, say 2500mAh.

Since it's wireless charging and with the abundance of power bank, no one's gonna complain.

And when time comes with foldable phone, the battery experts will be involved to design safe battery that won't short-circuit even when the battery is folded or bent.

derek law

SoyaCincau, did Samsung really say what caused the battery problem.

Was it due to Poor Design – missing insulation tape implies that this was left out at the design stage. Dud the Engineers not perform stress test

Poor Manufacturing. Some dents on corners. Implies that machines are lacking some precision cutting / welding and could result in more issues in the future

Poor QC – or is it just due to poor QC. I doubt it cause normally poor QC, only say 10% of the batch is spoilt but this seems to imply that 90% of the batch are rejects.

Maybe SoyaCincau can provide Executive Summary

    soyacincau

    Based on the findings from their panel of independent investigators, it was caused by design and manufacturing issues with the battery. The 3 bodies have inspected the battery, the charging system and even logistics.

    From what they have found, both the original and replacement batteries are having different points of short circuit. The first battery was caused by deformation at the top corner while the second battery was caused by protrusion of welding and the lack of an additional insulation. They have found no faults with regards to the charging (wireless/cable) and transportation of the batteries.

    Moving forward, Samsung says they are more stringent in battery testing and they have implemented more processes including forming a battery advisory group.

      ssss

      >battery advisory group

      in order to do more thinner phone

      F hipster needs