Finnish robotic waste sorting specialist, ZenRobotics, has installed four of its four Heavy Picker robot arms at Zanker Recycling’s Construction & Demolition (C&D) waste recycling facility in San Jose, California.
“The advantage of deploying AI robotics to recycling differentiates Zanker from our competitors,” explained Michael Gross, Director of Sustainability at Zanker Recycling. “Reaching our diversion goals is extremely important to us.”
To reach those diversion goals, Zanker chose ZenRobotics’ US dealer Plexus Recycling Technologies as their partner in realizing an advanced waste processing facility that incorporates ZenRobotics’ AI-powered waste sorting robots for improved sorting efficiency.
Material feeding is highly automated throughout the process in order to maximise efficiency. The front end operates 50% of the time to process the inbound material during the opening hours. In the middle of the process there are two large dosing bunkers that can store up to 100 tonnes of material.
ZenRobotics’ AI software, ZenBrain, controls these along with all equipment downstream to allow a very smooth-running operation focused on maximum recovery and efficiency.
The Fantastic Four
Students from the nearby Boys & Girls Club of Silicon Valley, located in Alviso, participated in the naming of Zanker's four new AI-powered robots.
The robots operate 20 hours per day with total system production of 150,000 tons per year, increasing diversion of recyclables by 20%.
The ZenRobotics Heavy Pickers will do the heavy lifting on the bulky material sort line. Each of the four arms will be picking 2000 picks/hour, sorting objects weighing up to 30 kg (60 lbs).
“The growth potential on the US market is substantial. Robots are ideal for long operating hours and designed to increase process efficiency,” said Rainer Rehn from ZenRobotics.
A video exploring the facility and the new robots can be watched below
In Depth: Recycling Robots 2.0
Once suitable for only niche applications, robots are now being developed that can sort household recyclables and differentiate between construction wastes. What will this mean for the human workers? Does it mean the start of the robot revolution?
Rise of the Machines: Why Robots Will Transform Waste Sorting Methods
Rainer Rehn explains that with increasingly intelligent multitasking robotic systems next year, 2016, will be the Year of Robotic Waste Sorting.