The fully autonomous robotic sorting station opened by Danish environmental services pioneer Solum A/S will sort up to 25,000 tons of mixed waste per year, including combustible waste, bulky waste, metal, wood and plastic. It will use technology by ZenRobotics.

Danish environmental services company Solum A/S will open one of Scandinavia’s most modern and advanced sorting plants based on AI and robotic technologies by ZenRobotics. The new plant, designed around ZenRobotics’ technology and distributed by ReTec Miljø, is expected to be operational in the summer of 2022. The new, fully autonomous robotic sorting station will sort up to 25,000 tons of mixed waste per year. Intelligent robots will sort materials such as combustible waste, bulky waste, metal, wood and plastic received from municipalities, industry and businesses.

Robots improve recycling efficiency and reduce risks

The automated robots are powered by advanced AI and sensor technologies which make it possible to continuously fine-tune the fractions and separate different types of waste, thus improving recycling possibilities and the circular economy. Solum’s new robot waste sorting plant consists of multiple robot arms that lift objects up to 30kg and together handle up to 4,000 picks per hour even 24/7. By comparison, a human can handle approximately 700 picks per hour and cannot work 24 hours a day without breaks. The sorting plant eliminates occupational health risks associated with manual sorting, increases the degree of purity by up to 98% and reduces the associated costs.

The fully autonomous sorting system runs 24/7

Solum’s new facility is a fully autonomous standalone robotic sorting station that is independent of other operations and replaces manual processes in waste sorting. Before robots come into play, the material first goes through a simple screening step where fines and foils are sorted out. The material is then loaded into a feeding bunker where the material flows evenly and autonomously to the robots through a loader. The AI-powered sorting robots work independently and empty the feeding bunker during the day and again during the night when employees on the site go home. In the morning, the employees arrive and fill the feeding bunker, and the process starts all over again.

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