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Kuljetusrinki place new order for AI robot sorting station

Autonomous waste sorting robot from ZenRobotics
An autonomous waste sorting robot from ZenRobotics

Finnish waste-recycling firm invests in ZenRobotics technology from Terex brand

ENVIRONMENTAL specialists Kuljetusrinki have ordered an artificial intelligence-based, automated robot sorting line for the processing of construction and demolition (C&D) waste from ZenRobotics, a brand owned by Terex Materials Processing (MP).

Kuljetusrinki see significant advantages in sorting waste using artificial intelligence robotics and will utilize ZenRobotics’ autonomous technology in a new robotic sorting operation and facility that will begin in Helsinki's Tattarisuo in 2023.


‘We serve both the private and public sectors, and our main goal is to divert an even greater proportion of waste to recycling and thus raise the recycling rates clearly above the EU and national targets,’ said Jukka Aro, chairman of the board of Kuljetusrinki. ‘In the past, sorting waste has not been easy, but in the future robots working independently will do the job. This is a huge improvement.’

Sami Aro, a foreman at Kuljetusrinki, added: ‘I believe in a safe and modern industrial workplace where automation is used as widely as possible. Robots make sorting safe. We put a lot of effort into this because safety also means efficiency. Our entire work community is very proud of our decision to acquire this latest technology.’

Kuljetusrinki’s new fully autonomous and AI-based sorting line will include several robots designed to recognize and sort a wide range of materials, including clean/treated wood, aggregates, and non-magnetic metals such as aluminium, copper, brass, and stainless steel.

Each robot sorting unit will lift objects up to 30kg whilst collectively they will handle more than 6,000 picks per hour. The system can be used almost around the clock. Since operating costs are low, and the robots are autonomous, ZenRobotics say there is no reason to limit the working time of the robots.

The process includes a simple pre-screening step to separate fines and light materials, after which, the rest of the material is transferred to a large-sized feed hopper, from where it is fed automatically into the sorting robots. The AI-powered robots work independently, emptying the feed hopper during the day and continuing diligently throughout the night.

‘We don't need to build a traditional, complex processing plant, in-stead we let robots do most of the work with an easy-to-manage automatic sorting line. As the amount of waste increases, we just add more robots,’ said Sami Aro. ‘On the other hand, when we want to sort new materials, we simply reprogramme the robots to do the job. This was an easy decision for us because no other technology is as adaptable and futureproof.’

Kuljetusrinki say once the autonomous ZenRobotics sorting station is up and running, it can be used for testing new technologies as the new waste facility is located close to ZenRobotics' premises in Aviapolis, near Helsinki-Vantaa Airport.

Jarmo Ruohonen, CEO of ZenRobotics, commented: ‘We are excited to have such a sorting facility near us. Kuljetusrinki's new facility facilitates our product development because new innovations can be tested there at any time. Close co-operation with our customers is important to us.’


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