The Eberhard Group and ZenRobotics partner to circulate and retain complete value of mixed demolition waste with AI-based technologies

The Eberhard Group’s new fully automated recycling plant uses AI-powered robots from ZenRobotics to capture valuable high-purity secondary materials from mixed construction and demolition waste. The end result is a new circular raw material that matches the quality of virgin raw materials and can be used to replace primary building materials.

Construction and demolition (C&D) waste makes up over one third of total waste generated in Europe, and many of the material streams from C&D waste are not suitable for reuse or high-grade recycling. Instead, mixed construction waste is widely used as low grade material or even dumped. The Eberhard Group, a Swiss family-owned company and ZenRobotics’ long-term partner, offers a new solution to circulating and retaining the value of C&D waste in their recycling plant. Eberhard Group’s recently opened plant – one of the largest recycling plants in the German-speaking region – will recover high-purity materials from C&D waste using advanced AI and robot technologies by ZenRobotics. These clean materials will be converted into new, high-quality and fully circular raw material for buildings. 

“After water, concrete is the most used resource of the world and mixed demolition waste is one of the biggest waste streams landfilled. We simultaneously dig enormous holes into the planet while piling up huge mountains on the other side. New sustainable alternatives are needed. Our new EbiMIK plant sorts mixed demolition waste in all its components. This boosts circular economy because each valuable material can be reused individually. Robots with artificial intelligence play an important role in this revolutionary new facility,” says Patric van der Haegen, Division Head Development from the Eberhard Group. 

The Eberhard Group estimates that the circular raw material will lead to significant emission reductions. The production of cement, a key component of concrete, involves combustion processes that release CO2 into the atmosphere, contributing to global climate change. The new zirkulit® concrete developed by the Eberhard Group will save 10 kilograms of CO2 emissions per cubic meter while providing the same mechanical and chemical qualities as conventional concrete. The new zirkulit® concrete is also optimized to use almost 7% less cement than conventional concrete.

 

Smart robots to do the hard and dirty work

To ensure that all the high-purity secondary materials are captured from mixed C&D streams, The Eberhard Group’s plant uses AI-powered sorting robots from ZenRobotics – the first company to apply AI-driven robots to waste-sorting environments over a decade ago. Intelligent robots are used as the main sorting system at the new plant which includes two parallel sorting lines with multiple high capacity heavy duty robots on each line. 

”We have been working with the Eberhard Group since 2015 and are impressed by their pioneering commitment to find new, circular solutions for construction materials. Indeed, Eberhard was one of the first operators to see the possibilities of AI-based sorting in improving the efficiency and profitability of waste management. We are proud to be part of this exceptional facility that applies our smart waste management solutions while helping to reduce CO2 emissions significantly”, adds ZenRobotics’ CEO Jarmo Ruohonen.

The plant opened on September 23 and it has the capacity to sort 200 tons of mixed waste per hour. The ZenRobotics robots sort waste material on two lines with six grippers. The robots pick up to 12,000 items per hour with up to 30 kilogram weight, separating mineral materials and foreign impurities from the stream. 

ZenRobotics’ AI-based robots can sort a wide range of materials from C&D as well as industrial and household waste. As clean, recyclable fractions like wood, plastics, metals and stone aggregates are captured from waste streams, they can be reused as secondary raw material and replace the need for virgin raw materials or fossil fuels.

 

More information:

Tuuli Mäkelä
Head of Marketing of ZenRobotics  
[email protected] 

Astrid Gloor
Head of Advertising/PR/Sponsoring
[email protected]  

 

About ZenRobotics

ZenRobotics is the leading supplier of intelligent sorting robots for the waste industry and the first company to apply AI-based sorting robots to a complex waste-sorting environment. Our intelligent robots, powered by our very own advanced AI software, make recycling more efficient, accurate and profitable. Our ambition is to make the circular economy a reality by turning global waste into clean raw materials. We call on all forward-looking companies to re-think the waste industry for the decades to come. If you want to take a leap forward on your path to success, get in touch with ZenRobotics today. For more information, visit www.zenrobotics.com or contact [email protected]

 

About The Eberhard Group

With innovative ideas, modern technology and digitalisation, the family owned Eberhard Group  have been focusing on two things for over 65 years: customer benefit and environmental compatibility. In civil engineering and deconstruction, innovative solutions in technology and processes, coupled with extensive experience in site management, guarantee efficiency and shorter construction periods. When it comes to contaminated sites and disposal, processing technologies can achieve almost complete recycling of the contaminated material. Circular building materials of the highest quality favour ecological building and close the cycle. The traditional company is today already in its 3rd generation. Today the Eberhard companies occupy 600 employees.