What is your product/technology?
Optisort’s OBS 600, an automatic battery sorting machine for waste portable batteries.
How does it work?
It recognises all cylindrical and 9V batteries and sorts them into required chemical fractions such as alkaline, nickel-metal hydrid, nickel-cadmium and lithium.
Where would it ideally be used?
By sorters and recyclers that specialise in battery and e-waste recycling.
How is it different?
Today it is the only commercially available battery sorting machine in the world. As well as sorting batteries it also collects information about them such as type, size, brand and model name. Customers can also use it to monitor the process and to facilitate administration and reporting.
What benefits does it offer?
It enables recyclers and sorters to sort batteries with less manpower. What previously had been done by four people can now be done by one or two. The sorting expertise is also consistent and does not leave the building.
It includes a new feeding system which allows a throughput of eight batteries per second, more accurate classification and new ID-units with enhanced accessibility for maintenance. The system also comes with a feature for recirculation of unidentified batteries which decreases the rate of unidentified batteries to less than 3%. With the new features the total throughput per hour increases to over 600 kg.
Where has it been used?
G&P Batteries in the UK and Renova in Sweden.
From Euro 235,000 up to Euro 570 000 depending on size and options.
Workforce can be cut by at least 50%.
What about maintenance?
Maintenance contracts can be added to the delivery but a lot of maintenance can be done by the customer.
What is its life span?
How is it future-proofed?
As the technology is based on computer vision the system recognises the material in the same way a human does, it is very flexible. When new chemistries enter the waste stream these only have to be added to the system and it will continue to work.
Any future applications?
The technology has already been developed to be able to recognise waste from electronics, lamps and printed circuit boards. This will be launched during 2014.
How many have you sold and where?
Two systems so far in UK and Sweden. Negotiations in all bigger European countries and in USA and Canada.