US – US-based robotics company AMP Robotics is developing artificial intelligence (AI) powered automation system to help recover films and flexible packaging.

The AMP Vortex system is claimed to be the first AI-powered solution in the recycling industry to target films in material recovery facility (MRF) environments.

AMP said the system is initially designed for quality control on fiber lines and will address the challenge of film contamination.

AMP Robotics senior product director Amanda Marrs said: “With our latest technology innovation for more efficient, profitable recycling operations, we aim to boost recovery and drive demand for products manufactured from recycled film and flexibles to develop and support end markets.

“This effort is key to addressing the plastic waste crisis and diverting millions of tons of recoverable material from landfills annually.”

AMP Vortex can be implemented as a retrofit solution in various configurations to accommodate various belt sizes and inclines.

The system emerged from AMP’s Customer Innovation Programme (CIP) and is a portfolio of new products and performance features developed for both trial and commercial launch.

AMP has begun the pre-release process for the Vortex solution, which involves working with initial customers on deployment.

The system is due for release next year. Once released, it is expected to help make MRFs and converters more efficient and cost-effective.

AMP Robotics founder and CEO Matanya Horowitz said: “Innovation and infrastructure improvements are vital to helping MRFs process this challenging, prolific material type and increase recycling rates for residential film and flexible packaging.

“AI is laying the groundwork to reduce the contamination burden on MRFs and scale the recycling of film and flexible packaging.”

The company says the recycling industry lacks infrastructure for the identification and separation of film and flexible packaging, and the materials jam MRF equipment that is not designed to handle it.

It estimates that even 2 to 3 percent of film in overall MRF streams can be unmanageable to remove manually, often damaging equipment and causing downtimes that hinder the recovery of recyclables.

AMP says film and flexible packaging can find their way into every line in an MRF, resulting in high levels of contamination.

In addition, the company says that, due to their light weights, most of these materials make their way onto fiber lines.

Film contamination can degrade fiber bale purity, leading to revenue loss or the need for additional post-processing downstream.

AMP says that the AMP Vortex system can be deployed as a retrofit solution in various configurations to accommodate different belt sizes and inclines, and targets film contamination and is initially optimized for quality control on fiber lines.

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