Altem, a recycler of packaging scrap based in Strasbourg, France, has partnered with Helsinki-based ZenRobotics, a supplier of sorting robots for the waste and recycling industry, to use its artificial intelligence- (AI-) based sorting for colored polyethylene terephthalate (PET) quality control at its facility. Alteem’s sorting center is dedicated to sorting and conditioning household scrap. The company sorts about 50,000 metric tons of scrap per year. Altem is part of the Schroll Group, which operates 15 recycling plants in France.
According to a news release from ZenRobotics, the ZenRobotics Fast Picker will help Altem remove contaminants from a flow of colored PET bottles to ensure high purity.
“The product we sort today will be different from the product we sort tomorrow,” says Guillaume Schroll, who is in charge of Altem’s sorting center. “What we want to do with the robot is to follow this evolution and ensure that the robot can help us adapt to the different sorting operations that will have to be done in the future.”
ZenRobotics says the new Fast Picker has been placed on Altem’s plastic sorting line for quality control of colored PET. The Fast Picker will extract residual contaminants so that the flow producd at the end of the line is pure, colored PET.
“Fast Picker is a product that gives us enough confidence in the future and in the various adaptations that we’ll have to make according to the evolution of waste flows entering the sorting center,” Schroll says.
He adds that the company’s partnership with ZenRobotics was built based on dialogue. He says, “What reassured us about this cooperation was the fact that we could constantly engage with ZenRobotics and there was a response. We want to develop the robot with them and they want to develop our sorting methods with the robot.”