Making an investment in new technology pays off by boosting efficiency and throughput. That was certainly the case for Norsk Gjenvinning (NG), a large waste management company based in Norway, when it invested in a turnkey fiber recycling system from Bulk Handling Systems (BHS), which is based in Eugene, Oregon. The system features the latest Max-AI® technology and optical sorters from National Recovery Technologies (NRT), a member of the BHS family, and it can process up to 20 metric tons per hour (tph) and 120,000 metric tons annually.

In February 2020, NG was named Norway’s Smartest Industrial Company 2020 for this state-of-the-art system.

NG receives unsorted paper and cardboard from both residential and commercial customers from southern Norway. Its outbound material is used to create new paper and cardboard. The company handles about 25 percent of the nation’s waste as well as waste from Sweden, Denmark and the U.K.

In 2019, NG teamed with BHS to install the highly automated system featuring FiberPure™ technology. In addition to BHS screens, the company also integrated the latest technologies from NRT, including NRT ColorPlus™ with Max-AI® optical sorters, Max-AI® AQC (Autonomous Quality Control) robotic sorters for fiber sorting and Max-AI® VIS (Visual Identification System) units to monitor the quality of outbound paper. The investment allowed NG to take on more tonnage, create a more marketable product and decrease labor costs.

The NRT ColorPlus™ with Max-AI® optical sorter employs a high-resolution RGB line-scan sensor to identify and sort recyclables by color. Along with that, Max-AI® technology uses a camera and neural network-based artificial intelligence (AI) to identify recyclables and add a layer of intelligence for highly accurate and high-volume color sorting. The ColorPlus™ targets brown old corrugated containers (OCC) while Max-AI® targets OCC and boxboard of other colors.

“We can make very precise detection and ejection strategies closely together,” Thomas Brooks, Chief Technology Officer at BHS, says of the ColorPlus™ with Max-AI® sorter.

The NG system features three BHS screens, six NRT optical sorters, six robotic sorters and two Max-AI® VIS units, along with advanced system controls.

The inclusion and integration of these technologies from BHS delivered a system with high throughput and maximum automation for NG.

“We didn’t add any technology that gained precision and purity at the cost of throughput,” Brooks says. “We maintained throughput and in some cases increased throughput because of our ability to make decisions in a real-time, high-speed sorting application.”

As a result, NG’s system is highly automated and working at full production with two operating shifts, six days per week. The paper quality output exceeds current paper mill requirements and NG remains sold out of its fiber that it produces.

What makes NG’s system work well is the integration of different technologies coming together—the NRT ColorPlus™ integrating with the Max-AI® technology along with Max-AI® robotic sorters and Max-AI® VIS, all working together seamlessly, allowing for flexibility in the system.

“Unique technology was brought together to create something that’s quite powerful,” Brooks says. “In summation, it’s said often, that the result is greater than the sum of the parts. That’s really what we were driving with this application.”

Bulk Handling Systems | Eugene, Oregon | | 581-485-0999