NRT Optical Sorters and Robot with Artificial Intelligence to Increase Quantity & Quality : Penn Waste Invests in MRF Equipment from BHS, Including the Max-AI Sorting Robot

Bulk Handling Systems penn waste material recycling facility robots max-ai MRF pennsylvania
© Bulk Handling Systems

Pennsylvanian recycling firm, Penn Waste, is to be among the first to add Bulk Handling Systems' (BHS) robotic sorting technology to its Manchester, Pennsylvania Material Recycling Facility (MRF) as part of an upgrade to increase capacity to 45 tonnes per hour.

and capacity to the company’s 35-ton-per-hour (tph)

Eugene, Oregon-based BHS originally designed, engineered, manufactured and installed the Single Stream processing line at the 96,000 square foot (8900 square metre) Manchester MRF. The $3.5 million retrofit. Is expected to be operational in August of this year, with the improved system increasing throughput from 35 tonnes per hour to more than 45 tonnes per hour, as well as improved material purity.

BHS explains that as part of the planned retrofit, Penn Waste is among the first to invest in Max-AI™ technology to improve container line performance. The Max-AI Autonomous QC (AQC) unit follows a new NRT SpydIR® optical sorter targeting PET plastics.

Max-AI technology uses artificial intelligence to identify non-PET items for the AQC to pick and return to the container line’s onset. In addition to the Max-AI AQC, Penn Waste is adding three new NRT optical sorters and a NRT MetalDirector™. A Nihot SDS 800-i to clean larger volumes of glass has also been recently added to the facility.

The new container line will feature optical detection and recovery of 3-dimensional fiber, such as small packing from online purchases. Recovery and purity rates will increase thanks to the additional technology, including an optical sorter on the ‘last chance’ residue line to remove containers and metals. The optical sorters will also enable the automated separation of additional commodities, including PP, HDPE-C and HDPE-N.

According to BHS, the retrofit is a response to the system’s success and Penn Waste’s ever-growing and changing material stream. Penn Waste has been very successful at gaining new contracts due to their processing capabilities, which has led to the need for even more capacity, especially on the container line.

“Since our grand opening two years ago, we’ve seen a shift in our material, most notably a sizeable increase in our container volume,” explained Penn Waste owner, Scott Wagner.

“The new technology, operated by our exceptional staff, will enable us to stay ahead of our competition, producing the first-class commodities that our customers are accustomed to receiving from Penn Waste. We’re an early adopter, embracing the best available technology to maximize our recovery and product quality,” Wagner concluded.

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