23 January 2019 by Steve Eminton

Machinex finds keen European interest in AI sorting

The SamurAI robot for sorting materials in recycling plants has attracted keen in interest in Europe including from the UK, manufacturer Machinex has told letsrecycle.com.

Giving an update on its prized SamurAI (Artificial Intelligence) sorting robot for 2018 and aims for 2019 the Canadian-based company said that there had a “curious and keen interest” in the machine from businesses in the UK.


The SamurAI sorting robot installed on a line in the United States

However, main sales so far of nine of the sorting robots, have been for use in the United States and Canada on sorting lines for recyclable materials. The first two SamurAI robots in Canada have just been installed in Quebec while six more robots will be installed during 2019 in Canadian sorting centres.


A spokesperson for the company said: “The UK and Netherlands markets have demonstrated great excitement towards the SamurAI and we received requests from major industry players.

“These companies are currently analysing their return on investment by adding this technology in their facilities, as they predominantly plan to buy multiple units. The SamurAI is now undoubtedly paving its way into the European market.”


Particular interest has been seen in France, said Machinex. “This is related to the fact that France is now updating recycling facilities across the country and that the trend is to opt for bigger MRFs integrating the latest technologies. Sorting robots and artificial intelligence can help operators to optimise their overall performance, overcome the lack of manpower and merge existing plants to tomorrow’s state-of-the-art MRFs.”


Collection of commingled recyclables by Lakeshore Recycling near Chicago

Summing up development of the market so far, Jonathan Mendard, vice president of sales and strategic positioning for Machinex, said the company recognised that AI was new to the industry. He commented: “We are satisfied with this market response since the use of artificial intelligence is still very recent in the industry. Our customers that have decided to install a SamurAI robot have all done their homework analysis, with the objective of guaranteeing a satisfactory return on investment while ensuring a familiarisation with the sorting technologies of the future.”

Lakeshore Recycling

The first Machinex AI robot was installed last May in Chicago, at Lakeshore Recycling Systems. It is used on the containers sorting line, after an optical sorter ejecting PET and a ferrous magnet. The robot picks three types of products: coloured HDPE, natural HDPE and cartons. It can also remove other products such as PET and foil.

Machinex said that the SamurAI technology reduces Lakeshore Recycling’s reliance on manual labour in its single-stream recycling facility, which decreases the operating costs while improving the plant’s productivity.

AI & Blockchain in the waste and recycling sector –
a one day conference

The use of artificial intelligence and Blockchain for waste and recycling services will be the topic of a one-day conference to be held on 12 March 2019 in London. The event is organised by letsrecycle.com and more details can be found HERE


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