The new RoBB-AQC is a fully automated robotic sorter designed for improved quality control sorting. Known for its dedicated and thorough research and development processes, Dutch manufacturer Bollegraaf developed this new robot model through a decade’s worth of in-plant experience.
Bollegraaf has been testing robotic sorters in real materials recovery facilities (MRF) since 2009. Over that decade, Bollegraaf discovered that the first components to fail in recycling robots is in the arm. Daily need of fresh suction cups and arms that only last a few months are common. Bollegraaf set out to construct a robot that could withstand the harsh MRF conditions it was destined to be exposed to. After more than a decade working with four different picker attachments, Bollegraaf landed on an arm construction that is tough enough to last and does not require daily replacement parts.
The new Bollegraaf artificial intelligence (AI)-powered RoBB-AQC is the first sorting robot that combines the accuracy of near-infrared (NIR) detection with the adaptability of AI-powered learning (no other robot uses NIR technology). As a final quality control step on a container line, one RoBB unit will recover up to 70 picks per minute. That’s higher productivity and better reliability than two human sorters. RoBB-AQC uses advanced technologies and increased sophisticated artificial intelligence—breakthrough innovations developed by Bollegraaf's research team.
The system is designed with flexibility in mind, as it can be placed on top of existing sort lines with minimal retrofit costs and minimal downtime. Material selection requires the touch of a button and ranges from polyethylene terephthalate, high-density polyethylene, low-density polyethylene, polystyrene and polypropylene to Tetra Pak, old corrugated containers or paper/cardboard of various shapes and sizes.
RoBB-AQC can sort intermittently or continuously, regardless of working conditions onsite, and requires minimal supervision and little maintenance. Its flexible, modular configuration enables you to choose the number of sorting units required and simultaneously sort up to four different materials per module. The system’s flexibility allows you to change material waste streams, so you can adapt to, for instance, changes in the stream or commodity prices.