Machinex has been selected as the preferred bidder by Coventry City Council in the United Kingdom to help equip what the Quebec-based firm is calling “the most advanced material recycling facility (MRF) of its kind within the U.K., and potentially one of the most advanced MRFs around the world.”
The system is being designed to sort up to 175,000 metric tons of mixed dry recyclables per year and is scheduled to be operational by the summer of 2023. The MRF will be operated by Sherbourne Recycling Ltd., which Machinex calls a wholly owned local authority company being established to manage the facility on behalf of eight partnering government councils from the surrounding region.
‘’Machinex employs a sales process that promotes close interaction and collaboration with the customer, creating the ability to develop sincere partnerships with them,” says Ian Smith, U.K. business development manager at Machinex. “This approach allowed Machinex to accurately understand the needs of the project team, and therefore design the ideal future-proofed facility. We have a team of experts who will manage this project from engineering right through the commissioning period, with the added commitment of local ongoing support for the client during operation.’’
Machinex’s design uses 14 SamurAI sorting robots and 14 optical sorters (including 13 MACH Hyspec optical sorters). The company says the MRF will be “one of, if not the first, facility in the world that integrates, at this scale, artificial intelligence at the core of its system, allowing real-time interconnectivity between the main sorting equipment.”
The system will be processing a throughput of 47.5 metric tons per hour of recyclables with an extremely minimized level of human labor, estimated at five people. ‘’This will be a great achievement for Machinex; the culmination of years of research, development, and hard work in incorporating artificial intelligence at the heart of our sorting solutions,” remarks Jonathan Ménard, an executive vice president at Machinex.
Adds Ménard, “This means that the operations management of this facility will be based, among other things, on the data collected by the AI. The industry has been talking for a few years about the MRF of the future, but this time we can really say that we will make it happen. This will be a game-changer and a loud statement within the market.”
Grant McKelvie of Coventry City Council comments, ‘’We are really pleased to have reached this important milestone. We anticipate the new facility will push recycling performance in the region. This has been an exciting project to be involved in, and I look forward to seeing how it continues to develop.’’
Councilor Patricia Hetherton, Cabinet Member for City Services, says, ‘’This facility looks set to be really impressive – a real leader in the U.K., and in the short term it’s going to help us make sure our waste and recycling service is as efficient as it can be. In the long term, it’s going to enable us to raise our recycling rates.’’
Machinex, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2020, describes itself as a developer of cutting-edge sorting, waste management and recycling technology.