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Being environmentally friendly and saving the planet for the future generations is undoubtedly crucial today, which is why there’s such a heavy emphasis on recycling, waste processing and material recovery. Specific equipment is required in any MRF (Material Recovery Facility), such as conveyor systems, forklifts, loaders, screens, balers, etc.

Other than sorting and separating systems, most machinery can be bought or rented within a short timeframe, as can labor. However, it can be difficult to rent a baler on an “as-needed” basis. Breakdowns can lead to long delays and extensive downtime, which is why it’s important to ensure that balers are installed, operated and maintained properly!

The Do’s and Don’ts of Baler Maintenance

If you want to maximize efficiency and performance at your facility, keep the following baler maintenance “dos and don’ts” in mind:

  1. Inspection & Cleaning – Like most other machinery, balers operate better when they’re kept clean and free of dust/debris. Set up a regular schedule for cleaning, inspections and, preventive maintenance. Also lay out a set of daily, weekly, monthly and annual inspection guidelines for operators and maintenance personnel to follow.
  2. Preventive Maintenance – Routine preventive and anticipated maintenance can help you find and correct minor problems before they cause a major breakdown. These activities can also help your equipment last longer, in addition to improving the efficiency, performance and, output of your baler.
  3. Well-Planned Schedule – A properly planned schedule allows you to reduce the disruption caused by major maintenance activities (such as relining the baler). You can do this by picking a “slow” production period, and planning operation processes around fixed daily/weekly/monthly/annual maintenance schedules.
  4. Operator Safety – It’s crucial to keep the safety of your personnel foremost when you’re performing maintenance activities. Not only does this mean taking sufficient measures to ensure they are safe during inspection/cleaning/repair, but also scheduling these frequently enough to prevent safety-related issues during regular operation.
  5. Personnel Training – The employees operating your baler should be properly trained on usage, maintenance as well as safety, even if your facility uses automated equipment. The operator needs to be accountable for daily inspections, cleaning and monitoring, since poor operation can affect the baler’s safety, performance and lifespan.
  6. Critical Spare Parts – Baler parts can take time to find and purchase, so don’t wait for a breakdown before buying them. Ask your supplier or the manufacturer for a list of critical parts, and maintain an updated inventory at all times. This helps to minimize downtime for repairs, as well as any losses you may sustain as a result!
  7. Component Lifespans – Just like critical spare parts, the repair/replacement time for a major component could cut into your profits. Don’t let it catch you off guard. Research the expected life of hydraulic and electrical components, cylinders, etc. as well as common issues, and maintain a list of local suppliers with ready stock for these.
  8. Wire Tier Spare Parts – You should also maintain an inventory of parts that wear down most often and/or have longer lead times for replacement/repair, like those for the wire tier. Consult the baler manufacturer to understand which wire tier parts they keep in stock, the lead time for them, and if they are made by other manufacturers.
  9. Hydraulic System – The hydraulic system for the baler operates under conditions of high pressure and temperature, so you need to check its operation regularly. Analyze the hydraulic fluid, maintain an oil analysis program, keep the operating environment clean and cool, and monitor bale density/weight often to ensure they are correct.

Your baler can give you decades of profitable use with the proper care but it cannot take care of itself. Treat it as the backbone of your facility, and call the experts at Northern California Compactors if you need any assistance – we’ll be glad to help you do it right!