igu-award-adm | April 28, 2022
In France, each year we produce more than 40 million tons of waste, which has environmental, social and financial impacts. In addition, this waste impacts human health and biodiversity. Of these 40 million tons of waste, 1/3 are incinerated, 1/3 are landfilled and only less than 1/3 are recycled or recovered. For information on the financial aspect, waste management costs more than 17 billion euros per year. If there are some solutions that improve the gesture of sorting, it remains that they have important limits on the effectiveness. Currently, the value chain for sorting no longer meets the needs, and good recycling depends above all on good sorting. The act of sorting remains a fundamental element to improve the efficiency of recycling: from one EPCI to another, the sorting instructions differ, but the act of sorting is not a natural gesture for humans and especially in the identification of the different materials on the deposit of packaging containing different materials: paper, cardboard, steel, aluminum, complex packaging such as TetraPak, in the family of polymers there are PET, PP, HDPE, PS, etc., yogurt cups empty or full; and in different configurations: with or without labels, crushed, split, nested, etc. It is in this global context that the company UniverTpropre proposes to bring an innovative solution in order to jump all the locks for a real sorting at the source. To do this, after several years of intensive R&D, our investigations, without being exhaustive, have been oriented in transversal fields, for example robotics, automation, force mechanics, and especially AI (machine learning, deep learning), mathematics, etc. The goal of this innovation is to provide a global and definitive solution to all the needs of the market. Our process allows a sorting via the recognition of materials consisting of the deposit of packaging in order to achieve a sorting without error. Another aim of the innovation is to be ergonomic and to take charge of any type of user to carry out the identification of materials and sorting processes for them. Our proposal is to bring to the market an innovation that is affordable, easy to install and robust. In addition, our process is incremented with a set of state-of-the-art functionalities for a 4.0 use. Finally, the whole process is remotely controlled, allowing the extraction of a set of useful data for the communities and each user.
Without being repetitive the individuals whatever the conditions of sorting, in addition to the instructions which differ according to the EPCI, it is difficult to know what is recyclable or not. On the other hand, in the sorting process there are a lot of irritants that prevent an efficient sorting gesture: in a train station vs. in a collective building. Another problem in the modern world is that people have very limited time to sort, so it was fundamental to automate the whole sorting process. UP-GRADE, notwithstanding the above impacts, will revolutionize sorting for a better world. In short, whatever the location (at the foot of the building vs. on the public highway vs. hub or amusement park), the only thing the user has to do is to empty his bag of waste and the machine will do all the recognition and sorting operations.
In order to make our innovation effective, and after much research, we turned to the robot proposed by the company IGUS, which allowed us not only to control costs but also to provide better efficiency. The robotic arm allows us to maximize the gripping part of each package located in a 3D space. On the other hand, our R&D office has developed our own software to control the robot to pick up the packages in the best conditions. For information, once the bag of waste is emptied by the user in the right of way, the waste is found in bulk, nested in each other with different hardness, shapes, materials and irregular surfaces, so it was necessary to create a software and an automation process adapted to these situations. After much research, we chose the IGUS solution which corresponds to our needs for reasons of cost, efficiency, robustness and above all for its compact model which meets important constraints. In conclusion, we would like to thank the IGUS teams for their technical support during the realization of our UP-GRADE process.
Cartes de pilotage drylin® E