The History of Balers
Modern balers are descendants of hay presses, invented in the mid-nineteenth century, that made it easier to gather and stack hay. The earliest hay presses were stationary units built into a barn and extending two to three stories into the hayloft. They used a team of horses that raised a press weight then dropped it to compress the hay. Others used horse or mule powered sweeps at the press bottom geared press or jackscrew. Before hay presses, farmers collected hay by hand with forks and rakes. Stationary presses led to portable ones.
The first mobile, man powered, hay baler was invented in the 1860s and required the help of several workers. During the late 19th Century, inventors continued to improve balers making some that worked with one person and plungers. The baler market lacked a consistent, standard model for several years and did not stabilize until after the turn of the century.
The 1900s saw the introduction of mechanical balers. In 1936, the first automatic baler, the round baler, was invented by George Innes. It had a self-tie system that used Appleby type knotters from a John Deere grain binder. In 1939, Ed Nolt patented a modified version of Innes’ baling machine, which was more reliable and became the standard. The round baler continues to be the most common type of baler used today.
As farms became more mechanized and the number of farmers decreased, farm equipment manufacturers lost their market. Since most equipment was designed to last for many years, remaining farmers were unlikely to need new equipment for many years. As their market dried up, manufacturers looked for other sources of revenue.
In their search for a new market, producers landed on waste management. Industry produces tons of waste in the form of boxes, paper, and cardboard. When it is placed in trash containers, it takes up a great deal of room. In the 1940’s, the first industrial baler, using the design of a hay baler, was introduced to handle industrial waste. By compacting waste into bundles, it took up less space and made it easier to dispose of it.
The surge in balers came during the rising environmental concerns of the 1970’s and 1980’s. Companies created the position of waste management director that supervised the recycling and proper handling of industrial waste products. Out of their efforts came the recycling baler whose initial use was to recycle cardboard.
The Design of Balers
Waste balers are heavy equipment used to compress waste products into a form that is easier to handle for recycling or disposal. They are designed to take large volumes of trash and reduce it to a fraction of its size. The types of materials compressed include cardboard, foam rubber, plastic, and other materials left over from production and manufacturing.
A waste baler has three parts: the container, compactor, and power unit. Waste is collected in the container. When the container is full, the waste is compacted into a bundle or bale by the compactor. After compaction, the bundle is wrapped to protect the waste material from water damage, contain it from being windblown, seal in any odors, keep vermin out, and prevent damage that could be caused by dislodged waste.
The development of waste balers has led to several designs to fit specific conditions. A baler can be a critical addition to a company’s operation. Choosing the right one to fit the conditions is essential. The many types include vertical, horizontal, auto-tie horizontal, closed door horizontal, and two ram.
The most common type of baler is vertical where waste material is crushed using downward force. They are smaller than other balers and can operate in areas that have an eight foot ceiling. Vertical balers are used by stores and small companies with little waste.
The horizontal baler operates similar to the vertical version except that it compresses waste material from the side. Waste is dumped into a hopper. A ram compresses the waste into a closed rectangular space. Unlike vertical balers, horizontal ones can be larger as much as 40 feet in length and can handle larger loads of trash.
Special versions of the horizontal baler are the auto-tie and closed door varieties. Auto-tie horizontal balers automatically tie the completed horizontal bale. Closed door horizontal balers include a wall at the end of the bale chamber with a sturdy surface for the baler to push against. Bales produced in this manner are very tight and dense making them easier to ship and contain more waste.
The two ram baler has the same design as the single ram version but with two rams. One ram collects and compresses the material while the other ram ties and ejects the bale. This form of baler has a very large feed opening to handle and compress material faster.
These basic designs are a few of the many types available. Each manufacturer has developed machines with other features that can handle a wide variety of materials in several different volumes. To get more information, it would be wise to contact manufacturers to get their guidance and assistance.
Types of Balers
The process of choosing a baler depends on the type of waste material, the amount of material, the available space, and the cost. Manufacturers have balers designed to fit a wide variety of customer needs. Some producers specialize in equipment for a specific industry from food waste to metal scrap. It is important to determine why a baler is needed and how it will be used.
Heavy Duty Balers
Heavy duty balers are used for waste that requires a great deal of pressure to be compacted. The baling press version of heavy duty balers uses one or more hydraulic arms to compress material against itself to form large rectangular bales. Materials for a heavy duty baler can be larger and denser such as truck tires. A special version of a heavy duty baler is the drum crusher that can compress full or empty 55 gallon drums to a height of 2.5".
Vertical balers are one type of industrial baler used in the compression and binding of materials to ease the process of handling, storage, transportation or recycling. The style of baler is determined by the method of input and direction of material flow in the baler, and can be either horizontal or vertical. Vertical balers tend to be more compact than horizontal balers and are used in facilities that produce lower amounts of waste, and deal with materials that are light in density and volume.
Horizontal balers are one of two main structures industrial balers use to compress waste materials or byproducts to improve the ease of handling, transportation, storage or recycling. The style of industrial baler is differentiated by the way material is loaded into and travels through the machine, either horizontally or vertically. While vertical balers are typically loaded from the top and tend to be more compact, horizontal balers take up more floor space and are used in larger facilities producing high amounts of dense scrap.
Industrial balers, also known as industrial baling machines or industrial baler machines, are generally large equipment utilized by automotive, plastic product manufacturing, industrial manufacturing, retail, food service, education, oil and agricultural industries every day. Usually made of steel, they are used to convert materials into bales for shipment and disposal, recycling and/or secondary processes. Bales, which are simply materials that have been compressed or compacted into and bound as bundles, are most often made up of waste and byproducts. The creation of bundles is advantageous because bundles, which are comparably dense and small, are easier to handle and less expensive to transport than unbundled waste.
Round balers are a method of collecting hay from the field by rolling it into tightly packed cylinders. The size of the bale depends on the size of the chamber, which can vary from 48" to 72" in diameter and 5’ wide weighing between 1000 lb. to 2000 lb. There are smaller versions that produce small bales of 20" by 20" and weigh 50 lb.
Bailers are machines used in the process of material compaction for the purposes of improved ease of handling, transportation, storage and/or recycling for a variety of industries. The primary function of industrial balers is to compact and bind, or “bale”, waste and recyclable materials. Compacting and baling waste materials reduces the storage size and transportation size of the material allowing companies to spend less in its disposal, as well as the disposal having a beneficial environmental impact, for example, baled materials can be reused in the production of new objects.
There is a wide assortment of specialty balers that are designed to handle one type of material. Saw dust balers are used in sawmills and millwork plants. They exert tremendous pressure to create dense bales of saw and paper dust. Foam scrap balers have a large feeder hopper with two rams to produce bales for storage or recycling of foam. Moisture extraction balers use the same principles as other balers with the addition of a liquid collection chamber. These are a few of the specialty balers that are specifically designed for a single recycling purpose.
Cardboard balers compress cardboard and empty boxes into a manageable bale or bundle for recycling or repurposing. Once compressed, the bundle is tied off for disposal or shipment. By compacting cardboard, companies are able to contain large amounts of excess cardboard and keep it out of landfills. Also, compressed cardboard is far less likely to be a fire hazard or obstruction and frees up warehouse space.
Cardboard balers are available as both vertical and horizontal balers, but because vertical balers are more well-suited to lightweight waste compression, they are the more logical choice. Note that vertical balers are named as such because their input zone, or where the material is loaded, is located at the top end of the baler. After it enters the baler, it is fed down into the baler’s chamber, where one or more hydraulic arms pound and crush it into a compact bale.
Baler machines, or simply balers, are devices that have been designed to compress materials into a bale for storage, transport or handling. A bale is simply a bundle of material that is tightly wrapped and bound with hoops or cords. These baler machines can also be used for cardboard and paper products but also with more heavy duty materials like metals and plastics. Another industrial baler machine is the tire baling machine, which, true to its name, compresses rubber tires, using strong hydraulic arms. As illustrated, balers offer an impressive list of capabilities and can be utilized in an extensive range of industries.
Baling machines are devices that have been designed to compress materials into a bale for storage, transport or handling. A bale is simply a bundle that is tightly wrapped and bound with hoops or cords. Baling machines come in several forms, each producing a different type of bale, either cylindrical or rectangular, of various sizes, bound by twine, strapping, netting or wire.
Some baling machines are stationary, while others can be towed behind a towing vehicle, like a tow truck or a tractor. The design of a baling machine can vary greatly depending on its intended application. Hay baling machines, for instance, feature tines to move the hay and hydraulic arms to compress it, but other machines may not have tines at all. Baling machines are frequently utilized in industrial recycling applications, but they can also be used for agricultural purposes. Baling machines come in many different configurations and are very versatile machines, being able to assist in the recycling of paper, plastic, metal, and many other materials.
A baling press is a device used to compress materials into a larger bale that is more convenient for transportation or storage. Baling presses are generally made of steel and usually manufactured with one or more hydraulic arms that press materials toward each other to form a stackable square bale. Generally, two overarching models of the baling press exist: the vertical press and the horizontal press. As one would expect, vertical baling presses feature a hydraulic arm that operates on a vertical plane and horizontal baling presses has an arm that works on a horizontal plane.
Scrap balers crush, bale, and compact a broad range of scrap materials for the purpose of recycling or waste recovery. They can allow for the separation of various waste materials and the ability to compact them for collection. Items that can be processed range from small aluminum cans and newspaper to objects as large as vehicles or washing machines. Whenever an application needs scrap materials to be dealt with efficiently, there are balers available that are built specifically for baling certain waste materials of certain quantities.
Metal balers are designed to bale ferrous and non-ferrous metals. They have to have very thick walls to avoid damage from the sharp jagged edges of metal scraps, which could puncture the sidewalls. When metals are baled, they are organized by type for recycling. Metal balers crush with an intensity of approximately 4,000 psi. The baling process makes it easier to melt and reprocess scrap metal since bales are denser and more compact than loose pieces.
Plastic balers make it easier to handle odd scraps of plastic by compressing them into manageable form. Collecting and baling plastic can produce extra revenue by selling the bales to plastic processors. When choosing a plastic baler, it is important to consider the types of plastic to be processed since some plastics retain their shape while others are easy to compress. Drink containers, jugs, and certain other plastics resist being reformed and require extra force to be compressed.
The main attraction of used balers, aside from their lower cost, are their addition to the effort to reduce environmental waste and the recycling of displaced equipment. By purchasing a used baler, a company can reduce its carbon footprint and further protect the environment. All of the various types of balers are available.
The purchase of a used baler includes the same process used to purchase a new one with the added step of a thorough testing of the machine’s capabilities. The best guarantee of a quality used baler is buying it from a reputable knowledgeable refurbishing agent. Proper guidance and advice from an experienced provider can be very helpful and remove risk.
Compactors are designed to compress waste materials and scrap products for easier transportation, handling and better space efficiency. Industries such as food processing, manufacturing facilities, retail and consumer businesses and automotive factories all benefit in terms of environmentally and economically from compacting trash. Reducing the bulk volume of trash reduces the money and effort required to dispose of it.
Compactors are similar to industrial balers in that they reduce waste, but are typically used for non-recyclable materials in order to save space in landfills and other trash disposal locations.
A trash compactor is a device that has been fitted with a hydraulic arm to compress and tightly pack any type of material. The best example is a garbage truck that has a large compacting arm on the back of the truck that presses garbage to increase the truck’s collecting space.
Several years ago, in-home trash compactors were very popular and are still available. Their biggest drawback is their cost, which is between $400 and $1500. They are a perfect solution for homes that collect large amounts of waste and have little room to store it.
The main purpose of a waste compactor is storage. Waste in baskets, barrels, and bags takes up space and decreases storage area. A waste compactor can reduce waste to a more reasonable size for storage before disposal. This is especially true with small operations that produce waste but do not have the room to store it until it is picked up. Compacting it removes the worry of what to do with the waste and forms it into a manageable shape for collection.
Industrial waste compactors help businesses to simplify their waste management and help them save money. They come under several names such as trash compactor, dumpster, and dumpster compactor. Several versions are available on the market from ones designed to compact cardboard to others that crush furniture.
Typical industrial compactors are pre-crushers, self-contained, X-press pack, and indoor. Pre-crushers break up large pieces of trash before it is moved on to a compactor. Self-contained compactors are a version of the horizontal or vertical baler and are preferred by restaurants and businesses that have organic waste. They are tightly sealed to contain odors and liquids. X-press compactors are smaller and designed for companies that have limited space but large amounts of waste. Indoor compactors are larger versions of the household compactor that is used by businesses that cater to the public and need immediate containment of waste.
Safety and compliance standards and regulations
The Accredited Standard Committee (ASC) Z245 for Equipment Technology and Operations for Wastes and Re-cyclable Materials established standards for trash compactors 27 years ago and for balers 18 years ago. As required by American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the requirements are revised every five years. ANSI Z245 covers operations involving mobile refuse collection, processing and disposal equipment, waste containers, and the companies that do recycling.
Regulations require that compactors and balers must be operated by a person who is 18 years of age or older, and the machine must be turned on or off by a key. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) uses the regulations of ANSI as part of their inspection process and will cite or shut down any operation that is out of compliance.
As trash compacting innovations and inventions are introduced, OSHA and ANSI adjust and amend their requirements to fit any new equipment or conditions. Many of the regulations are designed to protect equipment operators from hazardous conditions that could endanger their health.
Saving the environment
With the ever growing concern for the environment and the continuing efforts of companies to meet governmental standards, it is very likely that the baler and compactor industries will continue to make an impact on controlling and minimizing waste. Advances in technology will most likely produce equipment designs that will perfect the present methods of waste management. Below are a few examples of future developments.
The electronics industry is constantly introducing new devices to replace existing ones leading to a need to dispose of outdated equipment. To meet the need to control electronic waste, Electronic Recyclers International has developed methods that can recycle several thousands pounds of electronic waste every hour. Though this is a small fraction of the over 90 million tons of e-waste produced each year, it is a major step in controlling what looks to be a major form of future waste.
Another innovation is biodegradable plastic that started out as a small part of the market but has been steadily growing each year. Researchers are presently perfecting a plastic that will biodegrade in a few hours instead of never or centuries. North Dakota University is developing a plastic that reacts to sunlight.
One of the largest electronics companies in the world, Texas Instruments, is perfecting a method of separating waste material using robotic technology to detect recyclable waste. The segregation process can cut down in waste that ends up in landfills.
Waste management will continue to be a concern to save the planet. Ecology researchers and scientists are continuing to find better ways to reduce what goes into garbage dumps and landfills to increase what can be reused. Balers have been the first step in their efforts.