AMP Robotics Corp. (“AMP”), a leader in artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, and infrastructure for the waste and recycling industry, is developing an AI-powered automation solution to improve film recovery and flexible packaging. This first-of-its-kind innovation for material recovery facilities (MRFs) aims to address the ongoing challenge of film contamination.
Only 1 percent of American households have curbside access to film recycling and flexible packaging, estimates The Recycling Partnership. However, films and flexible materials make up the rapidly growing packaging sector and the second most valuable packaging sector, after only corrugated containers and ahead of bottles and other rigid plastic packaging. Approximately 95 pounds of these items, including grocery and storage bags, pouches and wrappers, are found in the average American home each year.
The recycling industry lacks the infrastructure for flexible film identification, separation, and packaging, and these materials pile into MRF equipment not designed to handle them. Even 2 to 3 percent of films in total MRF streams can be unmanageable to be removed manually, often cause equipment damage, necessitate downtime, and impede recovery of recyclables. Plastic and flexible packaging finds its way into every line at MRF, resulting in high levels of contamination. But most of these materials, due to their lighter weight, make their way into the fiber lines. Contamination of the membranes degrades the purity of the fiber bundle, resulting in lost revenue or the need for further post-treatment.
The AMP solution, AMP Vortex™, is the industry’s first AI-powered automation system for film removal and recovery in MRF environments. The AMP system targets film contamination and is initially optimized for quality control on fiber lines. Vortex provides the industry with the most flexible and adaptable solutions targeting films; It can be deployed as a retrofit solution in various configurations to accommodate different sizes of belts and ramps.
“Innovation and infrastructure improvements are vital to help MRFs process this challenging and prolific type of material and increase recycling rates for residential film and flexible packaging,” said Matania Horowitz, founder and CEO of AMP Robotics. “AI lays groundwork to reduce pollution burden on MRFs and scale up recycling of film and flexible packaging.”
Because these materials are complex and expensive to reprocess into raw materials, final markets for film and flexible packaging have been limited. While flexible packaging was once almost uniformly used, major brands continue to make commitments to use more recycled content in their products, and several states have recently adopted laws aimed at ramping up the use of post-consumer resins in plastic products and packaging. AMP is developing Vortex for targeting, film recovery and flexible packaging for bale and vending.
Amanda Mars, Senior Product Manager, AMP Robotics, added, “Through our latest technology innovations for more efficient and profitable recycling processes, we aim to enhance recovery and increase demand for products made from recycled films and flexible materials to develop and support end markets. This effort is key to addressing the waste crisis. plastics and diverting millions of tons of recoverable material from landfills annually.”
Vortex emerged from AMP’s Customer Innovation Program (CIP), a technology program focused on collaborating with industry stakeholders to develop new automation applications that support artificial intelligence for the recycling industry. Vortex is among a group of new products and performance features that AMP is developing for trial and commercial release to support increased recycling efficiency and improved cost-effectiveness for MRF devices and converters.
In line with its efforts to economically recover this type of material, AMP is a member of the Recycling Partnership’s Film and Flexible Recycling Alliance, which is part of the partnership The road to management initiative, a broad range of industry stakeholders seeking to increase curbside collection for film recycling and support end markets for flexible films and products. The primary focus of the Alliance in 2022-2023 is to demonstrate the efficiency and effectiveness of the collection through pilot projects, as well as infrastructure and improvement grants.
AMP has started the pre-release of Vortex on the market, and is actively working with initial customers upon deployment. The company expects to be in full production version in 2023.
About AMP Robotics™ corp.
AMP . bots It is modernizing the world’s recycling infrastructure by applying artificial intelligence and automation to increase recycling rates and recover economically recyclable materials reclaimed as raw materials for the global supply chain. AMP Cortex™ high-speed robotics system automates the identification and sorting of recyclable materials from mixed material flows. The AMP Neuron™ AI platform continually trains itself by recognizing different colours, textures, shapes, sizes, patterns and even brand labels to identify materials and their recyclability. The neurons then direct the robots to choose and place the materials to be recycled. Designed to work 24/7, all of this happens at super fast speed and with extremely high accuracy. AMP Clarity™ provides material data and properties about captured and lost recyclables, helping recyclers and producers maximize recovery. With deployments in North America, Asia and Europe, AMP technology recovers recyclable materials from local collection, valuable commodities from electronic scrap, high-value materials from construction and demolition debris, and valuable raw materials from organic materials.
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