Sustainability

Baetsen Recycling buys robotic recycling system

ZenRobotics Recycler

The Netherlands-based recycling company, Baetsen Recycling, has announced that it has bought the ‘world’s first’ robotic recycling system, the ZenRobotics Recycler™ (ZRR).

The system, valued at over €1 million (£808,000), will be installed by Busschers Recycling Techniek at Baetsen’s recycling plant in Son, North Brabant in February 2013.

Claiming to use the ‘highest technology available for waste management today’, the ZRR, produced by Finnish high-tech company, ZenRobotics, can reclaim raw materials from commercial and industrial (C&I) waste, municipal solid waste (MSW), and construction (CND) waste.

Once installed at the Son plant, the ZRR will work through CND waste to reclaim concrete, bricks, stone, wood, and ferrous and non-ferrous metals.

According to ZenRobotics, the control technology at the heart of the robot utilises multiple sensor inputs in real time to react to changes and learn from its mistakes. The sensors can include various camera types (visible light, spectrometric, etc), 3D scanners, and metal detectors amongst others to form a ‘more comprehensive view of the waste stream than has so far been possible’.

Using the sensor data, the ZRR can identify wanted items and raw materials from the waste stream and reclaim them for recycling, whilst analysing and refining the sensor data using data mining technology to produce a ‘coherent view to all the relevant information and causal relationships’. Another revolutionary aspect of the robot, says ZenRobotics, is that new software can be downloaded to the recycler, to ensure that it is constantly up-to-date and efficient.

Speaking on the decision to purchase the robotic system, Hans van Roosmalen, CEO of the Baetsen Group said: “The increasing shortages in raw material supply, the under-utilised potential in waste materials and the complexities in manual waste sorting all demand a permanent, sustainable solution. Baetsen is taking the lead in recovering valuable fractions from waste... Robotic recycling is the future: it is more efficient, cleaner, and safer than existing methods.”

Rainer Rehn, CCO of producers ZenRobotics Ltd, added: “ZenRobotics Recycler is an energy-efficient system for picking raw materials from waste. The system has a highly lucrative payback time. We see ZenRobotics Recycler as the solution for the raw materials shortage already felt globally. Baetsen’s region of operations upholds one the world’s strictest environmental requirements, so this is a first-class design win for ZenRobotics”.

ZenRobotics Ltd also recently announced that it has raised €13 million (£10.4 million) from international equity investor, Invus, in order to 'grow' and 'commercialize' its ZenRobotics Recycler on a global scale.

Juho Malmberg, CEO of ZenRobotics said: "After an intensive research and product development phase we’re now shipping: the world gets ZenRobotics Recycler! Our continued partnership with Invus opens great possibilities. We can now go global, fast. The robotic revolution in recycling is closer than ever!"

Wassim Sacre, Director of Invus also welcomed the investment, saying: "Invus has now worked with ZenRobotics for a year and we're excited. The team is exceptionally capable and ready to go global. The revolutionary ZenRobotics Recycler sorting system has improved in leaps, and attracts customers globally. We're now investing in high-powered growth."

Read more about ZenRobotics Recycler.