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ERI invests in second robotic sorter ‘SAM’

US recycler ERI has installed its second e-scrap sorting robot called SAM at the company’s plant in Indiana.

The innovative Super Automated Machine, designed by AMP Robotics, sorts shredded materials at ERI’s new 315 000-square-foot facility in Plainfield. The site is said to the ‘largest e-scrap facility in the world’. The first intelligent sorting system was installed at the recycler’s headquarters in Fresno, California, last December.

SAM is able to separate many things including sorting shredded aluminum, printed circuit boards, yellow brass, capacitors and copper products. It can perform about 70 picks per minute, using a robotic arm with suction to lift items off the belt. The robot’s vision system uses a camera and has software that categorises materials based on things like size, shape, color and texture. Recognition accuracy and ‘understanding’ of materials will improve over time.

ERI’s co-founder John Shegerian expects to welcome ‘siblings’ of SAM later this year. In fact, the entrepreneur aims to have up to a dozen of the robotic systems installed by 2020.

A sample of devices being treated at ERI’s site in Fresno.

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