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July 2024

Excellent, excellent!

Every two years, the VAK, the trade association of the work equipment and municipal vehicle industry, presents an innovation award to recognise technologies that maintain quality of life and drive progress. In 2024, the ZOELLER subsidiary SCANTEC received the award for its first place in the assembly, component and control technology category.

The SCANTEC colleagues were delighted. “After all, the award shows that our technology really is one of the best solutions on the market. It is also a special kind of reward for the great commitment of everyone involved,” says SCANTEC Managing Director Ulrich Helfmeier. After all, he and his team have been working on the SmartScan technology for around two and a half years. “Some employees were even involved in the topic before that. Overall, we have been working on scanning waste for around five years,” says Helfmeier.

SmartScan is a recyclables scanner in the refuse collection vehicle that uses artificial intelligence to recognise incorrect waste. SmartScan analyses and assesses image data of the waste in the refuse collection vehicle fully automatically in real time without extending the duration of the tour. The image of the emptied waste is analysed for ten waste fractions with the help of artificial intelligence. The analysis is carried out both on the vehicle and via the ScanSuite results portal. The idea behind it: Increase recycling rates, reduce costs and increase sustainability. In addition, greater ability to act through data transparency – both on tours directly on the vehicle and in long-term dialogue with citizens. “The main beneficiaries of the technology will be citizens, who will have the opportunity to receive direct feedback on the composition of their bins in near real time. This means that separation information can be provided quickly, in a modern and fully automated way,” says Ulrich Helfmeier. And Thomas Schmitz, CEO of the ZOELLER GROUP, adds: “AI is only being used very hesitantly in waste management – but the possibilities are enormous and offer huge potential.”

Innovations for the future

The prize is intended to reward technical or organisational-structural innovations in the areas of waste disposal, street and sewer cleaning that help to solve the growing tasks of the industry more efficiently. “The health and safety of people and the conservation of resources are always at the forefront of new developments”, says the VAK e.V., as the industry is driven by ongoing innovative concepts and new technology. The VAK would like to highlight and honour special achievements in this area with the Innovation Award and thus contribute to securing the future. Products and technology are honoured in the categories of vehicle and device as well as assembly, component and control technology.

The winners were presented and chosen at IFAT 2024 in May. This is the second award for SCANTEC this year. At the beginning of May, the SmartScan technology was recognised by the TÜV AUSTRIA Group was the first AI solution in the circular economy in the DACH region to be certified with the TRUSTED AI Application test mark for its functional trustworthiness. This is a milestone in the industry and underlines SCANTEC’s technological leadership in the field of green tech.

You can find out more about SCANTEC solutions here.

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