First America Brings Recycling Services to Robotics and Industrial Automation Industries

Feb 5, 2024, 15:18 PM
Content author:
Arnulfo Moreno
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First America, certified in technology remarketing and recycling, is debuting its newly established recycling services for the AI/robotics and industrial automation markets at the Reverse Logistics Association show in Las Vegas Feb. 6 – 8. This comes on the heels of the company’s recent expansion into energy industry segments including solar power, batteries, fuel cells and electric vehicle (EV)/high voltage (HV) technologies.

“When people hear of AI, they usually think first of software,” said Les Bury, president of First America. “But AI is driving the growth of robotics and industrial automation markets. As technology development accelerates, so do replacement cycles for these material handling and manufacturing-support systems. That’s where the need comes in for efficient recycling services.”

Bury explained in a press release from the company that the country’s biggest retailers are already starting to struggle with the challenge of what to do with their smart equipment once it reaches end-of-life, while also complying with both environmental and data privacy requirements. “One of the focuses at the RLA show is on returns,” he said. “First America is now in a position to help retailers and warehousers recycle returns and also recycle any outdated equipment or robots they have,” he said.

First America to Both Employ Robotics and Recycle Robotics
Logistics and transportation facilities, warehouses, and manufacturing centers are also showing interest in robotics recycling. Even the recycling industry is putting robotics to work, with First America planning to deploy robotics in its sorting operations later this year.

James Li, CEO of First America, said First America is applying machine vision or cameras to scan the materials to recycle, using AI to review and identify and categorize the materials, and then using robotics to sort the materials by type and grade. “Applying AI and robotics makes the process highly efficient and accurate, which will help us to better serve more of these burgeoning markets,” Li added.

Bury noted that First America will apply its full suite of capabilities to provide successful robotics recycling, including data destruction, asset management, parts harvesting, shredding and refining, resource recovery, transportation, and resale. The company has already begun serving major warehouse operators, as well as companies that provide service and maintenance of robotics equipment.

Bury said that nearly all industrial robotics equipment uses or operates in conjunction with systems that include electronic data and communications capabilities. Customers anticipating the disposal of these systems need assurance of data-security and chain-of-custody documentation to protect confidential data and ensure the destruction of proprietary technology once a system is obsolete.

Secure Data Destruction Matters in AI and Robotics Recycling, Too
As an R2/V3-certified electronics recycler, First America ensures the security of its customers’ propriety data and technology while also guaranteeing the use of environmentally proven and approved methods of recycling materials and subsystems and managing the disposal and reuse of hazardous and non-hazardous components alike.

In deciding to expand into robotics and other service areas, First America looks for opportunities to create a leadership position, Bury said. “We bring our expertise and problem-solving abilities to new technologies. For instance, industrial robots can be quite large, so we have had to use the largest spaces available to us across our eight locations to establish early market leadership.”

“As with the solar and battery technologies we started recycling last year, intelligent, efficient reuse and recycling of AI and robotics assets can help create a cleaner future.” Bury said. “Working with First America, eco-minded customers can not only recycle various materials but can also recover additional monetary value by processing whole units and components for sale or reuse.”

First America, certified in technology remarketing and recycling, is debuting its newly established recycling services...
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