OEM Partner Profile: OEM Helps Reduce Waste Disposal Costs

OEM Helps Reduce Waste Disposal Costs

Harmony Enterprises’ scalable PLC-controlled compactor cuts waste handling labor, hauling and recycling costs by 40 to 70%.

No matter what the industry, solid waste disposal is part of the equation. While most aspects of waste handling are done behind the scenes, unsightly refuse containers often are found at numerous facilities ranging from restaurants to large industrial complexes.

Waste disposal is a significant expenditure. Employee time dedicated to waste bin monitoring, plus hauling and recycling costs add up quickly for establishments of all sizes.

“Also, waste that is not well managed can pose a significant fire and safety risk,” notes Lane Powell, new business development manager, Harmony Enterprises, an OEM Partner in the Rockwell Automation PartnerNetwork™ program. “And depending on the organization, open waste containers encourage employee pilferage as well.”

Harmony Enterprises, a third-generation family business headquartered in Harmony, Minnesota, aims to improve recycling and waste disposal efficiency for its global customer base. The company’s product line includes PLC-enabled waste balers and compactors, including SmartPack automatic trash compactors, Insite wireless monitoring and SunPak solar options.

The company’s scalable portfolio helps serve a variety of industries and waste handling applications. For example, Indoor Power Packer waste compactors are available in three sizes to address various capacity and footprint requirements. The mid-size 450SS Power Packer is particularly versatile, meeting the needs of casual dining restaurants, hospitality firms, healthcare organizations and more.

Sporting a stainless-steel cabinet, the 450SS Power Packer is designed to replace open waste containers and built with both aesthetics and durability in mind. The easy-to-operate system also packs impressive performance into its streamlined design.

The 450SS includes a Rockwell Automation control platform featuring an Allen-Bradley® Micro820™ controller and Allen-Bradley push buttons, relays, contactors and other industrial components.

“Simple and efficient operation is key,” notes Powell. “The Power Packer is designed for indoor use and back-end waste. Most of the ‘magic’ happens inside the equipment — shielded from accidental view by patrons, visitors or residents.”

To begin operation, the employee opens the loading door and inserts the waste material. After closing the door, the operator selects “compaction” via push button. Waste accumulates and is compacted within a cube each time an employee adds material.

The “cube full” indicator light and buzzer activates when the container reaches capacity. Then, the operator opens the waste cube door, removes the cube using a hydraulic lift cart, and deposits the bagged waste in a dumpster. The cube is replaced, a bag is inserted and the process repeats.

The compactor achieves a 4:1 compaction ratio and 16-second cycle time.

“In other words, waste is compacted up to 1/25th of the original volume, which impacts hauling costs,” Powell explains. “Four trips to the dumpster are reduced to one, which frees up employees for other tasks.” 

According to Harmony Enterprises, the compactor decreases waste handling costs by 40 to 70%.

“One of our customers saved $900 per month on waste hauling costs alone after installing a 450SS Power Packer at their facility,” Powell says. “They have reduced trash pick-up from twice a week to once a week.”

Other less tangible benefits that result from waste kept out of view include minimizing employee pilferage and improving the overall appearance of the property. 

To help streamline delivery of the compactor system, Harmony Enterprises relies on local Allen-Bradley distributor, Werner Electric Supply Company.

“Werner Electric provides the controller and industrial components as a kitted solution we order with one purchase order,” Powell says. “The control system is essentially plug and play when it arrives at our shop.”

“We have customers in more than 80 countries and do all of our manufacturing here in Harmony,” Powell continues. “To produce our products efficiently and cost-effectively, we rely on Rockwell Automation for off-the-shelf availability and a good price point.” 

Rockwell Automation OEM Partner, Harmony Enterprises, Inc., designs and manufactures equipment for the solid waste and recycling industry. The company’s product line includes vertical and horizontal balers, customized baling systems, and conveyor fed automatic recycling systems. The waste compactor line of equipment offers indoor and outdoor units for the solid waste industry. Wireless monitoring capabilities provides users with data to help manage labor costs.


The Journal From Rockwell Automation and Our PartnerNetwork™ is published by Putman Media, Inc.


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The JOURNAL from Rockwell Automation and Our PartnerNetwork™ is a bimonthly magazine, published by Putman Media, Inc., designed to educate engineers about leading-edge industrial automation methods, trends and technologies.