French recycling company Altem has partnered with ZenRobotics to use AI-based sorting in coloured PET quality control at its household waste recycling center in France. The task of the ZenRobotics Fast Picker is to remove contaminants from a flow of coloured PET bottles to ensure highest level of purity.
Altem is a company for sorting household packaging waste based in Strasbourg, France. It is a sorting centre that is solely dedicated to the sorting and conditioning of household waste – in other words, selective collection. About 50,000 tonnes of waste are sorted at the facility each year, which corresponds to a population of approximately 800,000 inhabitants.
“The product we sort today will be different from the product we sort tomorrow. 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,” says Guillaume Schroll who is in charge of Altem’s sorting centre.
The ZenRobotics Fast Picker has been placed on the plastic sorting line for quality control of coloured PET. The Fast Picker’s job is to extract residual contaminants so that the flow produced at the end of the line is the purest possible coloured 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 the waste flows entering the sorting centre,” continues Schroll.
A partnership based on collaboration
Guillaume Schroll describes the partnership with ZenRobotics as one that has been built on the basis of dialogue: “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.”
Altem is part of the Schroll Group which operates 15 recycling plants in the East of France.