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Milestone achieved for Digital Watermarks Initiative with validation of first prototype

Press release for immediate release – Brussels, 13 September 2021 Following last week's partnership announcement, the Digital Watermarks Initiative HolyGrail 2.0 has reached its first milestone with the successful validation of the project's first prototype detection sorting unit. Developed by the machine vendor Pellenc ST and the digital watermarks technology provider Digimarc, the prototype, which combines the digital watermarks technology and NIR/VIS infrared for sorting of packaging waste, achieved a >95% ejection rate. This sorter is now ready to be installed in the Amager Resource Centre (ARC) in Copenhagen to start the semi-industrial test phase. Over the next four months, trials and demonstrations with around 125.000 pieces of packaging representing up to 260 different stock-keeping units (SKUs), all prepared by HolyGrail 2.0 members, will be held in Copenhagen. Engineers will test for several parameters including the speed and accuracy of the system, to ensure its ability to withstand the pressures of full-scale industrial operations. If successful, digitally watermarked products could be introduced to store shelves in Denmark, France and Germany by the first half of 2022 for in-market demonstrations and industrial-scale trials. Open Houses comprising a virtual tour and demonstration of the prototype sorting detection unit will happen at ARC on 19 October and 18 November 2021. Interested stakeholders can register here.

PR contact details AIM – European Brands Association: Eva Schneider, eva.schneider@aim.be

 

About Digital Watermarks Initiative HolyGrail 2.0 The Digital Watermarks Initiative HolyGrail 2.0 – driven by AIM - European Brands Association and powered by the Alliance to End Plastic Waste – is a pilot project with the objective to prove the technical viability of digital watermarks for accurate sorting of packaging waste as well as the economic viability of the business case at large-scale. Digital watermarks are imperceptible codes, the size of a postage stamp, covering the surface of a consumer goods packaging and carrying a wide range of attributes. The aim is that once the packaging has entered into a waste sorting facility, the digital watermark can be detected and decoded by a high-resolution camera on the sorting line, which then – based on the transferred attributes (e.g. food vs. non-food) – is able to sort the packaging in corresponding streams. This would result in better and more accurate sorting streams, thus consequently in higher quality recyclates benefiting the complete packaging value chain. More information