April 30, 2007
Richard Price wants to do away with the stick-poking and switch-rattling that he has seen countless times at material recycling facilities he has visited during his career.
Where there once were plants with5-, 10-, or 20-motor systems operating, plants now have “118-moto systems with screens, shakers, and belts,” said Price, an electrical engineer who started Advanced MRF Co. in a San Diego coffee shop in late 2005.
“They are very complex plants with a lot of human interaction, and there’s always the guy who knew he had to poke a stick into the machine to get it going again,” he said. “I developed AMRF to bring technology to trash recycling. We need to make the machines we have more effective. The key is downtime, or even worse, the black belt, where all the sorters are there, the conveyors are going and the motors are running, but there’s nothing on them. Downtime will cost an operator $60 to $70 a minute.”