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Polystyrene Sorting Problem

Polystyrene Sorting Problem
Challenge: Groupe Gagnon has been innovating for over a decade with its polystyrene source collection program that allows for an inexpensive and effective collection of source-separated polystyrene commonly called Styrofoam.

The challenge that Gagnon faced was that it needed human pickers to sort enormous volumes of different types of polystyrene. The sorting is bulky and demanding on human pickers. The amount of material to process kept increasing and labor was hard to find.

Solutions: Groupe Gagnon reached out to Waste Robotics to find an automated solution to the polystyrene sorting problem. Waste Robotics provided a tailored solution by designing a fully automated robotic sorting line that allowed for the robotic extraction of these materials. The system is composed of an in-feed conveyor, a spreading conveyor, a sorting conveyor, a platform, and one gantry style robot system equipped with artificial intelligence vision and a Waste Robotics proprietary robotic grappling tool called the “DAGR” that allows for picking of small or very large Styrofoam objects.

Results: The robotic sorting line was installed in December 2020 and has been extracting styrofoam since. The line can process a large volume of Styrofoam and extract 1800 objects per hour of either small size (food tray) or large size (appliance packaging) Styrofoam. This resulted in an improved sorting capability and a reduction of labor costs.

A professional team who listens attentively and goes the extra step of taking the customer’s perspective to help understand our operational requirements more clearly.  Through their unique approach it allowed for a more rapid, efficient, and enjoyable project execution experience.”

Gilles Venne, PDG

Client’s benefits

  • Staff has been reduced by 3 people
  • Over $150 000 per year in cost savings
  • 3 years investment payback
  • Robot is always available
  • Ability to scale to longer hours
  • Significant GHG reduction from a robotic co-collection & sorting system

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Waste Robotics integrates advanced waste handling processes, computer vision, deep learning algorithms and state-of-the-art robotic technologies to enable smaller, more precise, safer, and more profitable waste recycling facilities. We’re glad you want to get to...

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