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Blog May 2021 Updated July 2023

Bring your recycling MRF automation to the next level with AMCS Platform

The circular economy offers unique opportunities to waste and recycling companies.

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Conor Dowd

AMCS Director of Product Marketing

Investment by recycling companies in digitalisation and automation of their processes has often lagged larger capital spends on vehicles, plant and equipment at a MRF (Material Recovery Facility) level. Many MRF operators still rely today on a combination of spreadsheets, manual processes and ill-suited general ERP systems to support their growing recycling businesses.

The state-of-the-art AMCS Platform provides a MRF with a recycling specific software solution to integrate, automate and digitise all of the key business processes and workflows that drive efficiency, margin expansion and sustainability. We contribute to the success of our customers with an intelligent platform that automates and integrates data and processes, while supporting the transformation of resources in a circular economy.

Scalable deployment

The AMCS Platform is used to automate the recycling MRF operations of some of the largest global recyclers right through to smaller independent and family-owned businesses and all this is made possible by its scalable SaaS deployment.

The challenges of automation in a MRF include:

  • The stages of the value chain from buying of material to collection, processing, inventory management and final sale are interconnected. Companies lack the necessary visibility and control across these processes.
  • The measuring of the quality of both incoming and outgoing material has become critical to support both margins and sustainability.
  • Increasing environmental laws and regulations are leading to more paperwork and associated costs.
  • Recycling trading is characterised by complex multi-party agreements between buyers, sellers, brokers, freight and shipping companies and these can prove difficult to manage unless digitalised.

These challenges are constant regardless of the resources (metal, fiber, plastic, wood, food waste etc.) being processed by the MRF.

Valuable finished goods

A recycling MRF needs to be automated like a modern manufacturing plant, as it performs a similar task of transforming raw materials into valuable finished goods, often to a challenging quality specification for a global market.

AMCS has over 30 years’ experience in the automation of the operations of waste and recycling companies and the AMCS Platform reflects our implementation of the best practice MRF processes designed to take your MRF operations to the next level.

The AMCS Platform drives efficiency and margins in the following areas:

Demand Planning: This allows your MRF to build an integrated material collection and processing plan to support your production requirements to meet your sales commitments. This automated and integrated tool means that you can match your supply with demand at the right time.

Scale automation:  Designed for rapid entry of all scale tickets to accelerate traffic on your scale. Unattended scale operations are also possible with our Driver Assistance Terminal and paperless ticketless operations are also possible with the electronic capture of the drivers’ signature on an integrated signature pad so that the signed ticket can be emailed automatically. No printing and no paper necessary.

Pricing and Contract Management: supports highly configurable and automated pricing engine for recycling specific pricing, such as charges, rebates, claim adjustments etc. Automated pricing is possible with index linked pricing, minimum payloads, volume/tiered pricing for incoming tonnages etc.  These features are designed to automate your pricing, allowing it to reflect your underlying costs and to drive margin expansion.

Inspection of Incoming Material: It is essential to conduct consistent and rapid inspection of all incoming loads and with the AMCS Platform, site personnel can inspect all incoming loads with our mobile application.  Each load (including multi-customer, multi-material loads) can be rapidly broken down and the quality of each material graded and documented, Images of any unexpected quality deviations can be recorded and sent to the supplier via automated email. The process is integrated with our pricing engine if a quality claim leads to a price adjustment.  This provides you with a tool to protect quality and your margins.

Inventory Management: a comprehensive system to register incoming stock, materials being processed and finished goods. Embedded support for adjustments, cycle counting and reports.

Production planning: This allows you to plan the entire MRF production, such as baling, shredding and sorting. This is done on the basis of the budgeted sales / unloading obligations, so that you can follow the actual output.

Cost/Margin Tracking: records and tracks all costs (purchase, freight, MRF processing, etc.), giving you a gross margin per material type based on a weighted average basis.

Outbound Logistics: provides a planning tool to manage all aspects of outbound logistics (national or export) including capture of images, planning of slots, production of relevant documentation etc.

Mobile applications: drivers, site personnel, sales representatives, stock managers and other employees perform the most important tasks on a tablet or smartphone, without paper and fully integrated into the AMCS Platform.

Portals: a range of customer and supplier portals allows you to share and collaborate with your partners maximising self-service opportunities for all partners and digitising the exchange of data and documentation between all parties

In addition, the AMCS Platform provides a range of specific support features for sector use cases such as personal ID recording for gate metal purchases, moisture readings for fibre etc.

Want to know more about the opportunities and possibilities that the AMCS Platform offers to take the automation of your recycling MRF to the next level? Please feel free to contact Conor Dowd via [email protected]

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