Liquid Extraction Baler Uncovers Profit in Waste

Liquid Extraction Baler Uncovers Profit in Waste

Challenge

  • Deliver a cost-effective liquid extraction baler that meets volume and footprint requirements of intermediate-size bottlers, brewers and contract packagers

Solutions

Results

  • Automatic cycling efficiently delivers dense mill-sized bales of aluminum, PET or Tetra Pak containers
  • Stainless steel construction improves durability
  • Vertical orientation conserves space
  • Expected ROI: 12 to 18 months

This efficient solution from Harmony Enterprises fills market gap with a durable, space-saving design – and exceptional ROI

Meeting the market’s insatiable thirst for unique products that are tasty and safe to consume is at the forefront for beverage producers. But profitability also depends on managing the complete beverage lifecycle – from bottling and distribution to the disposal of out-of-specification or out-of-date products.

“Manufacturers, bottlers and co-packers must efficiently discard filled containers that are rejected during the production process,” said Nick Roberts, national sales manager, Harmony Enterprises. “In addition, they are responsible for products that are returned because they have reached their expiration date before being sold.”

Minnesota-based Harmony Enterprises is focused on improving waste disposal and recycling efficiency for its global customer base. The company’s extensive product line includes PLC-enabled waste balers and compactors to meet diverse commercial and industrial requirements.

Recently, Harmony introduced the ExtractPack Pro intermediate liquid extraction baler to address an unmet need for a vertical, stainless steel baler in the beverage disposal marketplace.

Sized Right & Built to Last

“Our research uncovered a gap in the liquid extraction baler market,” said Lane Powell, new business development manager, Harmony Enterprises. “Industry professionals told us they wanted a liquid extraction baler capable of high volumes that took up as little space as possible.”

Existing options included only low-volume, hand-fed solutions ideal for smaller operations – and high-volume horizontal balers designed to produce mill-sized bales. Mill-size bales are extremely dense and can be sent directly to mills for final recycling.

The new ExtractPack Pro fits the niche between these options – and produces mill-sized bales in a vertical, space-saving footprint. The machine is an optimal fit for operations that typically process about one or two mill-sized bales of recyclable aluminum, PET or Tetra Pak® containers per day. Each bale is equivalent to about 21,000 12-ounce aluminum cans.

And the ExtractPack Pro is built to last. In addition to filling a unique need, it is the first vertical baler on the market to feature stainless steel construction.

Allen-Bradley Industrial Components.

Simply Efficient Operation

The ExtractPack Pro liquid extraction baler is based on a Rockwell Automation® control platform including an Allen-Bradley® MicroLogix® 1200 controller and Allen-Bradley push buttons, safety relays, sensors and other components. The hydraulically-powered machine allows simple and efficient standalone operation – and can be easily configured for network integration.

In a typical application, product is deposited into a hopper and then run by conveyer to the back of the baler. When the baler chamber is full, it automatically cycles to activate a platen that compresses the product. The platen and chamber floor are lined with “shark teeth,” which perforate the containers as they are compressed to form a bale. The machine continues to cycle on-demand until the bale has reached full size.

An indicator light is activated when the bale is full. Then, the operator stops the machine and ties-off the bale. To help enable safe bale removal, the bale is hydraulically ejected from the front of the machine onto a pallet.

Throughout operation, a closed-loop product catch system captures the extracted liquid. The liquid can be discharged and collected from two points on the machine.

“With a cycle time of 38.5 seconds, the machine is very efficient,” Powell said. “If fed continuously with product by a 36-inch conveyor, the ExtractPack Pro baler can create and eject a mill-size bale in about 46 minutes.”

In addition, the machine includes a “sleep mode,” which allows it to draw less power while remaining ready to process product.

Capturing Impressive Return on Investment (ROI)

“Oftentimes, intermediate-size producers pay by the ton to have beverage containers destroyed and recycled,” explained Roberts. “Our new machine delivers the functionality they need in a space-saving footprint – so they can destroy product on site automatically, sell directly to recyclers and recoup revenue.”

Harmony Enterprises anticipates customers will see a return on their investment within 12 to 18 months.

“The results have been very good thus far,” said Roberts. “In fact, our first installation quickly led to a request for a similar system from a nearby company that had seen the ExtractPack Pro in action.”

Learn more about how Rockwell Automation helps improve machine builder performance.

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