Pair of robots installed for Recyco in Omagh

Two robotic units have been installed at a materials recycling facility in Northern Ireland by American firm AMP Robotics through REP-TEC Advanced Technologies.

Image of an AMP robot in operation on a fibre line

The robots have been installed at a MRF run by Northern Ireland waste management and recycling business RecyCo in Omagh. The company’s MRF for dry recyclables handles around 150,000 tonnes of material a year. It has a second plant handling material from commercial and industrial clients.

Vacuum

The robots are guided by artificial intelligence and produce a vacuum at the end of a cup which is used to sort materials. Two machines have been installed, a single AMP Cortex unit along with a tandem unit, and used on the waste paper lines “for quality control to improve pick rates and bale purity.”

We’re delighted to bring our first robots to the UK
– Gary Ashburner, AMP European general manager

RecyCo is the first deal closed with REP-TEC Advanced Technologies, AMP’s recently appointed official reseller and integrator for customers in the UK and Ireland, said AMP Robotics. The company added that it had several other projects in negotiation.

“We’re delighted to bring our first robots to the UK as we continue to see strong demand for our AI and automation solutions and build our pipeline in Europe,” said Gary Ashburner, European general manager for AMP.

Installation of one of the robots at Recyco in Omagh

“RecyCo has been a superb partner in this process, and recognises our technology addresses chronic staffing challenges it and many recyclers face, while aligning with its goals of maximising recovery, increasing landfill diversion, and advancing its commitment to sustainability.”

Deep learning

AMP says that its proprietary technology applies computer vision and deep learning to guide high-speed robotics systems to precisely identify, differentiate, and recover recyclables found in the waste stream by color, size, shape, opacity, and more, storing data about each item it perceives. The sorting technology is operating in the range of 60-80 items per minute which AMP says is about twice the pace of a human sorter, and the company has recorded up to 150 picks per minute with its tandem units.

“AMP’s robots have quickly doubled the pick rates we were accustomed to, maintaining and even improving the purity of our bales, which we depend on to maximise prices with our end-market buyers,” said Michael Cunningham of RecyCo. “We’re proud to be leading the way in for AI-powered recycling in these islands, and look forward to continued gains in productivity and efficiency.”

“It’s great to have our first robotics installation go live this month, with the project running very smoothly from start to finish,” said Colm Grimes, founder and CEO of REP-TEC.”

Re3

The installation announcement in Omagh comes in the same week that details were released of a project in Berkshire which sees a Recycleeye robot used at a materials recycling facility in Reading, Berkshire operated by FCC Environment (see letsrecycle.com story)

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