Baler as cost optimizer in the recycling plant



Balers were first used to press hay into bales for storage and transportation purposes in farming. Later, the need arose for waste reduction. Balers were thus used in the waste management industry to compact waste into easily storable bundles.

As environmental awareness increased, balers were used to reduce certain types of waste for recycling, starting with cardboard and paper. Nowadays, balers of various types are used for a wide range of materials. Most balers can deal with more than one type of material.

How do balers work?

In the past, balers were mechanically operated through the use of a handle-and-ratchet system. The first truly hydraulic baler was introduced in 1941. It did not take long for this technology to be adopted across multiple industries. Balers are now some of the most recognizable equipment within countless production and manufacturing facilities.

Balers are an important part of waste management systems. First, the equipment compresses the various materials once they have been separated by type. Subsequently, the output takes place in a standardized pack format. In this way, balers facilitate the further processing and removal of raw materials or residual waste.

Baling presses are available in many different designs. Thus, the systems adapt to a wide range of requirements and can be used in many areas. They optimize and accelerate processes. In addition, the balers enable the cost-effective operation of recycling plants.

Having said this, it is important to note that there are actually numerous configurations to choose from. Some will depend upon the materials being compressed, while others can be selected based on size, operational capacity, and load. This is why it is a good idea to take a closer look at how balers function.

Balers consist of a few key components:

  • A heavy-duty steel frame
  • An electric pump
  • A ram (also known as a plunger) driven by hydraulic power

Whether referring to a horizontal baler or a vertical configuration, the underlying principles are the same. Hydraulic force is used to compact materials into a manageable bundle (known as a bale). This bale can then be manipulated as may be required.

The good news is that our team offers a wide variety of solutions for modern businesses. These will help to reduce in-house management costs while ensuring that safety is never compromised. Let us, therefore, examine our balers in more detail.

These materials process balers

A wide variety of materials are produced in the course of waste disposal. Specific disposal is helpful and simplifies the recycling process. Accordingly, you need machines that are suitable for handling the different materials.

We at Hunkeler Systeme have baling presses for various waste and residual materials in our program. The materials that you can process with the balers include mainly:

  • Cardboard
  • Corrugated cardboard
  • Grey cardboard
  • Foils
  • Embossing foils
  • Paper chips
  • PET/PE
  • Rigid plastic

We also offer presses for foam or tires. Perhaps the main takeaway point here is that different materials will require different baling processes. Therefore, the term “one size fits all” is not relevant. Let’s move on to discuss the solutions provided by the team at Hunkeler Systeme.

Different sizes and formats for our balers

Unterschiedliche Grössen und Formate – diese Ballenpressen bieten wir

Balers are divided into small balers, medium-sized balers, and large balers. These are each designed for very different tasks. This ensures that you will find the baler in the Hunkeler Systeme range that suits your company and your tasks.

When choosing a system, the throughput capacity, as well as the size of the feed opening, are decisive factors. Small presses process between 15 and 30 cubic meters of cardboard or film per hour. In contrast, throughput rates of 800 to 1250 cubic meters of recyclable material per hour are possible with the larger models.

The size of the feed opening determines what types of material you can comfortably feed into the baler. If the recyclables are too large, this requires cumbersome and manual preparation. Compact balers have openings with a size of 800 by 495 millimeters. Larger presses are available, for example, with feed openings of 740 by 2100 or 1100 by 2250 millimeters.

The different balers also form bales with different size formats. The smaller balers produce bales weighing up to 70 kilograms. The side length of these bales is between 60 and 100 centimeters. With the largest balers, on the other hand, the weight of a bale is up to one ton. These bales, some of which are square, have a side length of up to 110 centimeters.

The different designs of balers

Die verschiedenen Bauformen von Ballenpressen

In the case of balers, a distinction is made between several design variants. The differences are mainly in the way of filling and transport of the raw material during processing.

Horizontal balers are particularly suitable for wide and bulky materials. Here, the material to be pressed is fed in from above. The pressing process takes place horizontally, and the finished bale is discharged from the side.

The horizontal balers are characterized mainly by their versatility. In fact, these machines are suitable for the whole range of materials. They press cardboard, films, and paper chips, as well as tires, foam, PET, or hollow bodies made of different materials. For this reason, horizontal balers are equally suitable for commercial, industrial, and waste disposal companies.

Vertical balers, on the other hand, are primarily designed for light packaging material. They are used, for example, to press cardboard, cardboard packaging, paper, and films. The advantages of these systems lie in their small footprint and high energy efficiency. For example, the vertical balers require hardly any more space than the finished bales.

With their features, vertical balers are well suited for retail and small manufacturing businesses. With these balers, you reduce on-site space requirements for packaging waste by up to 95 percent. This makes storage and removal particularly easy.

Channel balers are designed for large quantities of material. In this function, they are primarily intended for industry and commerce with large volumes of packaging material. Especially with this type of construction, individual construction variants are possible in order to align the balers according to the requirements.

The formed bales reach weights of up to one ton and side lengths of over one meter. Thus, these bales are optimally suited for loading trucks or containers. Channel balers are available with manual as well as fully automatic binding. Continuous baling operations are possible with automatic systems.

Manual tying or fully automatic baler

The presses differ in the way of tying the finished pressed bales. The smaller machines usually have manual tying. Quick-lock wires, for example, are used for this. Each bale is then tied by hand before being discharged from the baler.

The larger balers, on the other hand, operate fully automatically. The machine automatically encloses the baled bales with a metallic wire or similar fastener. The bales are then secured and immediately ready for transport. Automatic tying offers speed advantages and further reduces manual labor. This is particularly helpful when larger quantities of material for baling are continuously produced.

What bale stacking solutions are available?

What bale stacking solutions are available?

Space is always a concern within production and manufacturing facilities. Waste may also need to be stored for specific amounts of time before it is removed or processed further. This is when the benefits of bale stackers come into play.

The stacking systems offered by our team offer a host of innovative qualities. Equipped with a crane and gantry system, these units can accommodate various types of waste. Different models can also be selected in accordance with throughput and load capacities.

Another advantage involves the space-saving qualities of our bale stackers. It may be possible to stack up to three bales vertically. This will depend upon the area and the materials within the bale.

Possible applications for balers

Einsatzmöglichkeiten für Ballenpressen

Balers are very flexible in use due to the variation in size and materials to be processed. Thus, the machines can basically be used in all areas from small shops to industry.

Compact vertical balers are ideal for small commercial and retail operations. These take up little space and are inexpensive to purchase. Horizontal balers are suitable for businesses that want to compress different materials. These systems cover a wider range in terms of performance and functions.

Channel balers are suitable for large-scale industries and professional waste management companies. These process even large quantities of packaging waste within a short time. Moreover, they enable fully automatic operation. For example, the largest waste paper sorting plant in Switzerland uses balers from Hunkeler Systeme. Every year, the balers process around 70,000 tons of waste paper and prepare this raw material for further processing in the recycling industry.

In principle, all presses are suitable for compressing residual and packaging waste. They are also an important component in the recycling cycle. Before pressing, you separate the raw materials and then put them into the press. This produces single-variety, compressed bales consisting of valuable recycled material.

These bales are sought-after raw materials in the processing industry. Depending on the material, it may even be possible to sell the raw materials. In this way, you turn residual waste that would otherwise be disposed of at a high cost into valuable raw materials for recycling.

The notion of cost is extremely important in this sense. Manually manipulating waste materials can take time, and there are always safety concerns. These obligations may also impede ongoing in-house operations, sacrificing efficiency and productivity. Therefore, modern balers will free up a significant amount of time, ensuring an amenable return on investment.

Integration into existing systems and process automation

Integration in bestehende Systeme und die Prozessautomatisierung

The presses can be used both individually and as part of complete disposal systems. Especially in industrial plants, the combination with other systems is useful. This applies to packaging, production, and disposal systems.

In general, the balers are compatible with paper separators and extraction systems, for example. The balers with cutting-edge technology and the prepress flap systems have connections to air feed systems or conveyor belt feed systems.

This allows automated processes to be introduced. This applies to both disposal and production. The Naberezhyne Chelninsky board and paper mill in Russia serve as an example. Here, high-performance balers from Hunkeler are connected to paper separators. These transport the residues produced during the production of cardboard directly into the press.

With this simple setup, the entire process from the creation to the removal of production waste is already completely automated. The press takes over compression and also performs tying fully automatically. The machine then ejects the finished bales, and transport away is possible. In this way, uninterrupted production is possible seven days a week.

Process automation is a concept that the team at Hunkeler takes quite seriously. We appreciate the fact that integration within a fast-paced environment should never be taken for granted. The user-friendly nature of our balers ensures that operators will become quickly oriented with their various operations.

Furthermore, these very same qualities can accommodate on-the-fly adjustments while ensuring higher levels of on-site safety. Hunkeler always strives to remain one step ahead of the competition, so customers should expect further advancements.

Waste disposal companies benefit from automation in combination with sorting systems. These automatically sort recyclables such as paper, cardboard, films, PET, and other raw materials. Automatic and separate onward transport then takes place via conveyor belts. Here, a connection to baling presses is possible, each of which compresses individual raw materials according to type.

With fully automatic systems, sorting is successful right through to pressing into bales of always the same size. From there, further processing or loading into containers and trucks is possible without any problems.

Expansion of functions with the help of supplementary modules

Ausbau der Funktionen mithilfe von ergänzenden Modulen

Thanks to special modules, you can adapt the function of the presses to specific situations. This makes it possible to process certain forms of residual waste. This is possible, for example, with the PET recycling module.

The PET recycling module is specially designed for processing disposable PET plastic bottles. By using the module, particularly high compaction of these hollow bodies is possible. In this way, you can optimally collect plastic bottles in large quantities and prepare them for economic further processing. Foreign materials such as metal or wood are automatically separated by the PET recycling module and ejected.

Advantages of using balers

Vorteile durch den Einsatz von Ballenpressen

One of the most important advantages of baling presses is the possibility of compressing residual materials directly on site. Depending on the type of raw material and the baler, compression of up to 95 percent is possible. This saves space and enables easy disposal or further processing.

Especially the presses with automatic tying ensure enormous time savings. Manual work is reduced to a minimum. This optimizes costs and reduces the amount of work involved in handling residual materials.

The vertical baler HSM V-Press 860 TimeSave offers as an example, in addition to the well-known advantages of the baler series V-Press, a decisive added value: a considerable time saving and reduction of personnel commitment. Thanks to the time-saving lift-and-tilt device, filling the HSM V-Press 860 TimeSave with a collection trolley takes just a few seconds.

Another advantage is the standardized bales that the presses eject. These always have exactly the same size. This simplifies further processing. The bales can be stacked and loaded onto trucks or into containers. Due to the standard size, they have volumes, weights, and dimensions that you can plan well with.

Recycling plants are interested in sorted and compressed recyclables. For them, the finished bales are an important raw material. This is how you turn residual waste, which otherwise generates costs in disposal, into a raw material that you can sell.

Furthermore, a growing number of recycling centers are stringent in regard to the waste that they choose to accept. Baler materials are much less likely to cause logistical issues during transport and delivery.

Hunkeler Systeme balers also have an integrated energy-saving system. Thus, the systems switch off completely when the press is not operating. This saves costs and is an image as well as a competitive advantage in times of high energy prices.

These are the key advantages of Hunkeler Systeme balers in summary:

  • Reduction of the volume of residual materials
  • Automation of disposal processes
  • Saving manual labor
  • Standardized bales that are well suited for further transport
  • Compression of recycling material at the point of origin
  • Space-saving solution for processing residual materials
  • Energy-saving presses reduce operating costs
  • Valuable resources are returned to the raw material cycle
  • Cost optimization through fast, automatic processing and savings on storage and transport costs

If you are looking for disposal solutions for your company, contact us today. We at Hunkeler Systeme will be happy to advise you about baling presses and the possibilities for your business.

Whether you require a small baler or if a large unit is applicable, our team is on your side. We will also provide you with additional information in regard to a specific make or model. We provide layout plans and consult with you regarding your space requirements. Do not hesitate to contact us at a convenient time. We would be delighted to provide you with further assistance.