Enabling Circular Economy: RoboCRM Research Project

Although Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) recycling has been in operation for over a decade now, recovery of secondary raw materials is still far from effective. Our main focus over the last few years has been to improve the way in which we dispose and process flat panel displays.

Automation and Artificial Intelligence brought unprecedented increase in efficiency and safety. It changed the way we think of disposed screens – what was a problematic and hazardous waste before, now is a source of valuable materials.

As batteries are one of the richest sources of Critical Raw Materials (CRMs), we would like to improve the way they are processed too. At the moment processing WEEE that contains batteries is challenging, as it’s not safe for human operators. We need a flexible, automated system to address this challenge. 

We have recently partnered with Robotics and Drives and University of Limerick in a consortium “Advanced Robotics to capture Critical Raw Materials in WEEE recycling for a Circular Economy” to bring a new technology – RoboCRM to life.

RoboCRM uses non-destructive detection methods (such as computer vision systems) in conjunction with pattern recognition and an artificial intelligence engine to identify and sort batteries and electronics containing batteries from the main WEEE stream. Once identified and categorised, these battery powered WEEE items can be processed to support greater recovery of raw materials and CRMs.

We are delighted to receive Circuléire support for this innovation project that will bring us one step closer towards Circular Economy.

circuleire funding

CIRCULÉIRE’s overarching objective between 2020-2022 is to source, test, finance, and scale, circular manufacturing systems, supply chains and circular business models to deliver significant reductions in both CO2 emissions and waste across our Industry Membership over the programmes’ lifespan. More details on Circuléire Innovation Fund 

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