How to Evaluate Baler Performance

How to Evaluate Baler Performance

For over 35 years I have watched manufactures manipulate their performance specifications to portray their equipment in the best possible light albeit at the expense of common sense. A classic example is a vertical drum crusher was rate at UP TO 60 drums per hour. True the unit had a 59 second cycle time. If an operator could open the door and remove the crushed drum while loading the next drum in ONE second the unit would do 60 drums per hour. Not at all realistic but mathematically possible hence the term “up to”. Not all specification sheets are this extreme but as a buyer you have to drill down into the info and evaluate the equipment being quoted with criteria that applies to your specific application.

There are two key items that I would suggest you look at when analyzing different specifications as it pertains to Horizontal and Two Ram balers. Those items are Volume Displacement per hour and Ram Face pounds per square inch or P.S.I.. These are both mathematical calculations that cannot be manipulated. Allow me to explain.

Volume Displacement per hour is the volume of the hopper times the number of cycles per hour that the baler can produce. This is determined by the measuring the HxWxL of the hopper in inches or millimeter and then multiplying the volume by the number of strokes the baler is capable of at 100% efficiency. Keep in mind that no baler will operate at 100% efficiency. So as any an example if the baler can displace 10,000 cf./hr. and your material going into the baler weighs 1 #/cf then the baler could produce 10,000 #’s /hr. @100% efficiency. The next assumption would be to estimate your load factor. Typically that number will be in the 50% to 60% range. You have to factor in the amount of time to tie a bale, loading interruptions, maintenance issues, etc…

The next key item to look at is the ram face p.s.i.. This is also an easy math problem. Take the total ram force and divide it by the ram face surface area. As an example 100,000 3’s of ram force divided by a ram face that is 1,500 sq./in. = 66.6 p.s.i.

If you use these mathematical calculations then you can easily determine the performance of just about any baler you’re considering.