The forces driving improvements in baler technology include better throughput rate and bale density, multi-purpose capability, automation, meeting various space requirements and dependability. Above all demand continues for the ability to process more material at a higher speed and at lower costs.
In the recycling industry there’s a growing realization that while equipment is a large initial cost, labor costs are generally the highest costs in any recycling plant (a cost that only goes up as time goes on). As such there is a current trend toward large regional plants with high-volume baling capacity.
A small recycling facility that uses a small baler requires a similar labor force to a large facility that bales at high volume. A facility equipped with a large baler that processes a high volume is generally more competitive. Consequently, there is a demand for larger balers as well as automatic balers that allow a facility to reduce labor costs without losing end-product quality.
More and more facility managers are asking to have an operating system on their baler that is connected to the computers in their office. A computer-controlled system can eliminate the human mathematical errors that can occur in the baling and reporting process.
On the operational side, the system allows employees to use presets for types of materials, bale length, etc. On the reporting side, data such as production per shift of different materials, down time, bale weights, and wire usage can be checked by office personnel at any given time over any given period or printed for archive purposes.
Companies such as Van Dyk Baler Corp. in Orangeville, Ontario have applied innovations to achieve more maintenance-friendly and energy-saving equipment. Maintenance-friendly materials and parts include self-cleaning needle heads, self-aligning hydraulic cylinders, anti-friction bearings and energy-saving modifications include the pre-press flap, which allows a high capacity to be achieved at low motor power and low power consumption.
Van Dyk Baler, the exclusive Canadian and U.S. distributor of Bollegraaf recycling machinery reports that its new machines feature hydraulic, electrical, PC, mechanical, and Bollegraaf Information and Operating System (BIOS) improvements. In addition, the company has added an after-sales service coordinator to insure that customers continue to achieve the best possible results from their machinery.
Written by Meredith DiMenna, special projects coordinator at Van Dyk Baler Corp., based in Stamford, Connecticut.