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Panda Ireland Aluminium Line Case Study

Panda Ireland was looking to manage costs and introduce automation on their aluminium line at Ballymount MRF.

The company was looking for technology to support plant efficiency and to manage costs.  Attracting and retaining labour was also creating challenges, with ongoing costs caused by a lack of available labour.

The Challenge

Panda Ireland, part of the Beauparc Utility Group, operates the largest MRF in Ireland in Ballymount. Handling 100,000 tonnes of waste per annum from 400,000 homes and operating up to 20 hours a day, 6 days a week. The plant handles paper, plastics, aluminium and steel, sorting them for recycling.

Profitably operating such a large MRF requires a constant focus on costs and efficiency and requires a consistent and reliable workforce.  The team at Panda wanted to use automation to assist with both these challenges.

Aluminium line with robot at back

“Robotics and automation are the key to the future of waste management, bringing efficiency repeatability, and to reduce the manual labour we need to sort materials”

Liam Dunne, Head of Project Management, Panda Ireland.

Outcomes

1 robot installed

1 FTE replaced

98% availability

100% of material scanned

Panda Ireland chose to install 4 AI-powered robots from Recycleye, the first of their kind to be used in Ireland.  One was installed in the aluminium QC function of the MRF, intended to automate sorting and improve offtake purity by removing contaminants which had been missed earlier in the sorting process.

Identification and picking of aluminium cans

The installation of the robot on the aluminium QC line was completed over two weekends, outside of operational hours and with respect to the MRF’s schedule.  Since installation, the robot has enabled the replacement of 1 x FTE per shift and is operating at an average of 98% availability.

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