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.
As one of the two basic styles of industrial balers, horizontal balers are used to compress and bind materials for shipping and recycling. The style of industrial baler differentiates in the way the material travels through the machine as well as in the way the material is loaded into the machine. In addition, horizontal balers take up take up more floor space than vertical balers and are generally used in larger facilities that produce high amounts of waste and deal with high volumes of dense scrap. Typical scrap materials that horizontal balers process include old corrugated cartons, non-ferrous scrap, textiles, newsprint and aluminum cans. The automotive or packaging industries often utilize larger horizontal industrial balers to make the removal and transportation of scrap materials easier, along with industries including packaging, industrial manufacturing, waste transfer and recycling.
Horizontal balers typically have input areas, loading areas, on one side of the machine so that the material can travel to the other side in a horizontal motion. However, horizontal balers may also have input areas on the top of the machine. Material can be loaded by hand, by conveyors or loader systems or by air systems. The input area leads to a chamber where the material is pounded, smashed or squeezed into a compact size. The compaction of the material can be powered through a hydraulic system, generally designed to minimize heat output and energy loss. Horizontal balers can be either open-ended or close-ended; open-ended balers can offer automatic binding or manual binding while close-ended balers generally require manual binding. The material is typically bound using wire, plastic or string and one bound is referred to as a bale and offers improved handling, disposal, transportation or secondary processing versus the raw material. Horizontal balers are can handle multiple materials at once and offer a higher throughput capacity as well as more automated functions than a vertical baler.
As recycling becomes more central to industrial and manufacturing processes, horizontal baling equipment will continue to play a central role in the process as well. Materials are baled and compacted in order to be shipped to recycling facilities to be reused in the production of future items within the same industry, such as scrap metal recycled into new sheet metal for car bodies. An environmentally friendly process, most horizontal baler manufacturers offer information such as the horizontal baler’s carbon footprint, or the machine’s total greenhouse gas emissions, so that consumers can be aware of their environmental impact. For high waste-producing industries, such as automotive manufacturing, the choice of compacting waste materials for recycling is also a matter of cost economy. Waste must be disposed of whether it is recycled or not, but recycling used materials for profit or for material recuperation provides an ROI on waste which would not have existed otherwise.