AI to analyse and sort material streams for recycling
US-based Bulk Handling Systems (BHS) has launched Max-AI technology, an artificial intelligence that identifies recyclables and other items for recovery. Through deep learning technology, Max-AI employs both multilayered neural networks and a vision system to see and identify objects similar to the way a person does.
The company says this technology will drive improvements in Material Recovery Facility (MRF) design, operational efficiency, recovery, system optimisation, maintenance and more.
This robotic sorter uses its vision system to see the material, its artificial intelligence to think and identify each item, and a
robot to pick targeted items. This system is able to make multiple sorting decisions autonomously; for example, separating various materials such as thermoform trays, aluminium and fibre while removing residue from a stream of PET bottles. All of this is done at rates exceeding human capabilities.
BHS chief executive Steve Miller says that labour is “a significant challenge for MRF operators and it’s obvious that Max will be very beneficial in helping our customers manage that aspect of their business”.
The first commercial installation of Max-AI robotic sorters is in California, to complement and integrate with the company’s existing NRT optical sorters.
“This technology was simply not possible until now,” says Thomas Brooks, BHS director of Technology Development. “Max-AI technology will soon become the active brain of our MRFs, controlling various robotic, optical and other sorting equipment, providing real-time material composition analysis, and making autonomous decisions.”
For more information, visit max-ai.com.
Fujitsu launches e-waste smart bin
Fujitsu’s new e-waste smart bin technology has been launched to be a potential ‘game changer’ in the fight against e-waste. The company says the smart bins will enable up to 95 percent of materials in e-waste to be recycled.
The bins, being rolled out to Fujitsu’s major clients, are equipped with an Internet of Things (IoT) monitor that automatically alerts waste management authorities when it needs to be collected.
Once collected, the e-waste is then taken to Fujitsu’s certified recyclers, which deconstruct the e-waste so hazardous materials (like lead and mercury) are disposed of in a safe and environmentally friendly manner, while recycling the remaining 95 percent of materials.
Data from devices such as smartphones and tablets is also wiped in a secure environment before being repurposed or recycled making the smart bins perfect for large businesses to install on-site, or for local governments to place in the community.
Lee Stewart, head of Sustainability at Fujitsu Oceania, says, “E-waste is becoming the major recycling issue of the 21st century. With the proliferation of personal technology, owning a smartphone, a tablet and a laptop is becoming the norm for consumers, while the number of devices in the work environment will only continue to grow.
“It’s imperative that the community, big business and governments of all levels throughout Australia develop plans to recycle their old devices and we believe that every community and business would benefit from one of our new e-waste smart bins.”
E-waste remains one of Australia’s fastest growing waste components, with Australian Bureau of Statistics figures suggesting that by 2027-28, Australians could be sending 181,000 tonnes of it to landfill each year.
New sewage treatment plant range
Kingspan has launched what it describes as a world leading sewage treatment plant range for Australian commercial projects.
The BioDisc range is aimed at developers and specifiers to ensure they use compliant sewage products to manage their wastewater obligations.
The BioDisc BL model is compliant with a number of structural and building standards and Kingspan says it offers the lowest operating and maintenance costs in its class, as well as the lowest odour emission levels. The product has already been installed in a number of mining developments in Western Australia. More information is available from vwww.kingspan.com/au.
This article also appears in Issue 6 of CWS magazine.
Lead image: Max-AI, Bulk Handling Systems