Fresno, California-based electronics recycling company ERI has announced the installation and launch of an artificial intelligence (AI)-driven AMP Robotics Super Automated Machine (SAM) sorting robotic technology system at its Indiana facility. The installation follows one in ERI’s Fresno plant.
Colorado-based AMP Robotics has integrated it technology into ERI’s scrap metal sorting line in Indiana. SAM has been designed to separate shredded material such as aluminum, printed circuit boards, yellow brass, capacitors and copper products into clean streams, based off a vision system to identify the target material that then sends it to the A.I. “brain” that then determines what action the robot should take as a picker.
The picking is done via vacuum system. The robotic system at ERI can achieve about 70 picks per minute in its current configuration, according to ERI, and it processes 10 different streams of shredded material.
“With steady growth of 10 to 15 percent per year, we are always looking for innovative ways to enhance efficiency,” says John Shegerian, ERI’s co-founder and executive chairman. “Working with our friends at AMP, we have developed smart technology that increases our sorting accuracy as our processing volume increases so we can free up our employees to perform ITAD [IT asset disposition] and data wiping services. We are really excited about robots and AI and being the first in our industry to incorporate them into the process.”
Shegerian says by the end of 2019, the company will have added robotics and AI to its other facilities in the United States.
“As an innovative leader of electronic [scrap] recycling, ERI is an ideal long-term partner for AMP as we continue to pioneer the application of AI and robotics for the sector,” says Matanya Horowitz, CEO of AMP. “Our shared vision about transformative technology will advance productivity and sustainability to unprecedented levels. John and his team have been fantastic to collaborate with and we look forward to expanding our collective effort leading the circular economy.”
ERI describes itself as the largest fully integrated IT and electronics asset disposition provider and cybersecurity-focused hardware destruction company in the U.S. The company has the capacity to process more than 500,000 tons of electronic scrap annually at its eight locations.