Zoe Cook, Our Technical Sales Manager (UK + Ireland), shares insight on her experience of RWM 2023.
Our UK and Ireland Sales Team arrived at our bright RWM 2023 stand buoyed by the success we’ve achieved over the past 3 years since we first exhibited at RWM. This included the recent announcement by Bryson Recycling of their investment in 4 additional Recycleye robots for their Mallusk MRF.
In August, LetsRecycle reported Bryson’s investment decision, following the successful results achieved by their first robot, installed to automate QC on their fibre line in September 2021. 2 of the subsequent 4 units will be installed over a fibre line with the objective of picking non-paper items such as plastics, cans and cardboard to reduce contamination. The remaining 2 robots will operate on a residual line, where they will target the removal of recyclable materials, diverting higher volumes into recycling.
Those interested in Bryson Recycling’s experience working with our team to automate their MRF’s QC can learn at the MRF conference in November, as Katy Fulton and Jarek Stanislawek from Bryson Recycling will join my colleague Tom Harrison on-stage in a tell-all case study interview. The live session is expected to provide technical and commercial insight into the automation process, from installation to commissioning and reinvestment.
So, we were excited to meet waste management companies and councils at RWM 2023 who were similarly interested in beginning an automation journey for their quality control operations, whilst catching up with existing customers on the profitability results reaped from their AI-powered robotic sorting. Supported by our new Head of Sales, Christophe Parrot, and showing a myriad of videos of our computer- vision-fortified robots sorting items on fibre, residual, plastics and aluminium lines at sites across Europe, we welcomed MRF managers interested in the potential to automate their own sites.
Many were asking about the benefits of AI-powered sorting technology compared to NIR or manual picking, giving us the opportunity to share how AI can decrease costs of sorting, whilst sorting to higher granularities. This is achieved by the system’s ability to detect to material and object level, e.g. aluminium aerosol, whilst maintaining consistent and reliable picking. Throughout the show, industry experts remarked on the significant role AI will play in the future, so we were proud to explain how AI is benefitting MRFs already, with 17 of our robots installed across the UK, Ireland, France, Belgium and Italy. Other visitors approached the stand ready to discuss imminent investment in automation, adding to the 30 contracted Recycleye robots in the UK and Ireland alone, making it, we believe, the bestselling waste-sorting robot in the country.
In addition, we were excited to display videos on the stand introducing our latest technology: AI-powered air jets. This is a world-first innovation for MRFs, developed specifically to sort high volumes of material at high speed and high accuracy.
Meanwhile, in the Keynote Theatre on Day 1 of RWM, the CIWM announced their newest campaign ‘Leading the Way to a World Beyond Waste’, which has been created by Content With Purpose to highlight “the integral role that the resources and waste management industry plays in the progression towards a zero-waste society.” We were proud to feature as one of the innovation partners of the digital series, alongside our customer Panda Ireland, to showcase the robotic automation of their MRF’s DMR sorting operations.
Overall, RWM 2023 showcased the progress made in the AI-powered waste-sorting market in the past year, demonstrating that many waste management companies are investing in robotic sorting in two, three or four-fold. It was great to see that MRFs are increasingly benefitting from the visibility, consistency, and reduced sorting costs reaped from digital automation. We look forward to next year’s show!