The Malmö-based waste management company Carl F was the first company in Sweden to apply robotic waste sorting in 2017. Now, two years later the company adds a third robot arm to further increase sorting capacity and to seek new business opportunities.
Below, Carl-Fredrik Jönsson shares his insights and rationale for adding a third robot to the company’s process.
What sealed the deal to invest in the third robot arm?
CFJ: The third robot was an easy decision. After two years of robotic sorting, it was time to ramp up the production and further increase the sorting rate. We felt at ease with the robots, we knew how to take full advantage of them and we were confident about the operation. It’s been so much fun working with the robots during the past two years.
How has your operation evolved since installing the robot line?
CFJ: Today, our focus is very much on material recovery instead of preparing material for incineration, which was the case before. Material recovery has become our primary operation.
What is your future plan for robotic waste sorting?
CFJ: With the third robot arm we aim to increase material recovery by introducing plastics sorting to our process. Currently we have mainly sorted metals, wood and inert fractions from mixed C&D and C&I waste. The third arm allows us to increase the throughput and simultaneously sort out plastics as well. Already now we see a clear increase in the sorting line capacity!
In 2017, Swedish waste management company Carl F set up a robotic sorting line to increase material recovery. The company felt that a lot of the incoming 35,000 tons of waste was not utilized properly. Mixed C&D and C&I waste were mechanically sorted but 75% was sent for incineration. After applying the robotic sorting line, material sent to incineration immediately dropped from 75% to 40%. The simple automated process efficiently recovers metals, wood and inert from mixed C&D and C&I, even during the night.