SCCH: AI Improves Plastics Recycling

Bernhard Freudenthaler, Area Manager for Data Science at SCCH and Sophie Pachner, R&D Engineer at EREMA at the IoT-Forum in Vienna

The firm of EREMA Engineering Recycling Maschinen und Anlagen Ges.m.b.H. and Software Competence Center Hagenberg (SCCH) have joined forces to explore ways in which digitalization and AI can improve recycling levels.

Development of assistance systems

In future, assistance systems should be able to ensure consistent product quality, recognize patterns in production data, optimize components and processes, issue alerts in the event of anomalies and develop forecasting models. SCCH contributes its expertise in the fields of data integration, knowledge extraction, process modelling and process optimization. For this, machine learning methods are used to analyse data. The machines are fitted with numerous sensors that are available for use.

One particular challenge for data management is tracking material flows throughout the value chain. To enable analysis of data gathered from various companies, SCCH is developing methods of data collection that protect privacy. With this, it will be possible in future to have an overall view of value chains without the need to transfer data out of one company to another. By using AI, waste will be linked and so turned into “smart waste”.

Explainable artificial Intelligence

SCCH has developed a dashboard for the portrayal and analysis of process data. To make the complex processes in plastics recycling understandable and transparent, Explainable AI is used.

EREMA and SCCH are currently project partners on the flagship project circPLAST-mr which is exploring the mechanical recycling of plastics, and on the CHASE project, which focuses on the chemical process industry.