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What You Should Know About Balers for Distribution Centres

Distribution centres are important businesses for managing and sending out products. In the United Kingdom alone, there are more than 1,500 distribution centres.

However, distribution centres face several challenges, especially when it comes to waste. To keep work safety at its finest and ensure that employees have a safe work environment, they need to find ways to safely manage waste.

One way to do so is with balers. Let’s take a look at what to know about distribution centres, balers, and waste management.

Common Challenges Facing Distribution Centres

Before we jump into the ins and outs of plastic balers, let’s take a minute to talk about the challenges that distribution centres face. Knowing these challenges will give you a better understanding of why and how balers come into the picture.

Most distribution centres face an overabundance of bulky waste. The majority of these waste products are cardboard and plastics, including shrinkwrap and film. They have to figure out the logistics of getting rid of that waste without disturbing overall productivity in the centre.

The trouble is, many distribution centres force their employees to leave the building multiple times a day to dispose of dry waste. This wastes valuable time and costs the businesses a lot of money.

Plus, when employees frequently open the doors to the distribution centres, the building loses heat and has to output more energy to maintain the warehouse. During the winter months, this can lead to higher heating bills as well as employee health issues.

With all these waste management issues in distribution centres, many businesses are forced to come up with a better solution for getting rid of bulky products. Otherwise, they could cost themselves time, revenue, and employee health.

Improving Waste Management in Distribution Centres

Now that you understand a little bit more about the challenges facing distribution centres, let’s talk about how to overcome them. That way you can put these issues behind you and improve your business.

The easiest way to improve waste management in distribution centres is to install a recycling baler. Recycling balers can either be for plastics or for cardboard, but either way, their function is the same: they compress these raw materials and free up space in the distribution centre.


distribution centres


Wast compacting machines also reduce the overall volume of waste. The result is that your employees have more space to work and safer working conditions.

On top of that, effective baler solutions help distribution centres increase their profits and reduce the costs of waste disposal. Balers take a large part of employee labour out of the picture, giving your employees more time to focus on their jobs and helping to boost productivity and profit.

Baling machines also help you reduce waste management costs because they automate many of the processes that you previously paid employees to take care of. Their intelligent software also helps troubleshoot issues and reduces your maintenance costs.

Types of Balers

Now that you know about the reason why balers are important in distribution centres, let’s talk about the types of balers out there. There are several different balers that you can choose from, and each has a different purpose.

Vertical Balers

Vertical balers are one of the most common balers you’ll find, regardless of whether it’s in a distribution centre or another location. These balers use a downward force to process recyclable materials into manageable bales.

Vertical balers are smaller than most other types of balers and can fit in smaller warehouses. Since they’re not as large as other balers, many companies use them in private business settings since they work well in limited spaces.

Vertical balers aren’t as efficient as horizontal balers. However, they make up for that in the fact that they typically cost a lot less than their larger, horizontal counterparts.


Vertical prepress flap baler
Vertical prepress flap baler


Horizontal Balers

Another popular baler option is a horizontal baler. These balers use a ram to compress materials in a hopper. The ram works from the side, compressing the materials into easy-to-manage bales.

Horizontal balers are quite large and can be as long as 12 meters. Since they’re so large, they’re extremely efficient and can handle large amounts of waste. That makes them great for distribution centres.


Horizontal shear baler
Horizontal shear baler


Auto-Tie Horizontal Balers

One type of horizontal baler is the auto-tie baler. These balers automatically tie the materials after they compress them into bales. This is a great feature for reducing company time spent on waste management.

Since these balers auto-tie the bales, companies who go through large amounts of waste typically select this type of baler. They’re recommended for companies that produce more than 150 metric tons of waste each month.

Closed-Door Horizontal Balers

Another variety of horizontal balers is closed-door balers. These balers are suited for high-quality, dense bales. Since the machinery works with a closed door, they’re best for processing thicker plastics that don’t compress as easily.

These balers have a closed door that sits at the end of the bale chamber. The door provides a wall that the ram can push the recyclables against. That helps it to compact the waste before ejecting it out of the door.

Closed-door horizontal balers make for easy waste removal. And, since they have a large feed-in opening, they’re ideal for tons of different materials in numerous sizes.

Two-Ram Balers

Aside from vertical and horizontal balers, you may also come across two-ram balers. These balers are suitable for companies that have large volumes of waste, such as distribution centres.

Two-ram balers work in the same manner as standard, single-ram balers. However, they have two different rams on them. One ram gathers and compresses the material while the other ejects and ties it.

These balers have a wide feed opening so that businesses can add more waste to the baler in less time. The design is highly efficient and can tackle huge quantities of tons of different materials.

How to Choose the Right Baler for Your Business

As you can see, balers offer tons of benefits to distribution centres. That’s why so many companies choose to use them in order to tackle their waste products.

To select a baler for your distribution centre, you’ll need to keep a couple of key factors in mind. These factors include:

  • Type, size, and volume of waste
  • The conditions and logistics in your waste management area
  • Spacial restrictions

Let’s take a closer look at the factors you’ll want to consider when choosing a baler for your distribution centre.

Feed Opening Size

When looking for a baler, you need to think about how big of an opening you need on the baler. It needs to be large enough for you to throw your waste materials into the baler.

On top of that, you need to think about the bale lamination thickness. The thickness could affect the integrity of the bale, so you’ll want to keep that in mind when selecting a feed opening as well.

Hourly Capacity

Next, you need to think about the hourly capacity of your baler. This is a function of the cylinder bore, HP, and the charge box size.

Consider all of these components of the machine to get an idea of how many bales it can produce in an hour. Knowing this will help you keep up with your hourly waste and keep your distribution centre clean.

Shear vs No Shear

You also need to consider whether or not you’ll need a shear. Think about whether or not this is an additional piece of machinery your distribution centre will require.

Storage Above the Baler

Depending on your waste output, you’ll need storage space over your baler. The exact storage space that you’ll need will affect what type of baler you choose for your business.

Bale Size

Next, you need to think about what type of bale size you want to produce. This will vary depending on your waste management system and the size bales that nearby recycling and waste plants can handle.

Be sure to check your waste management provider’s specifications for bale sizes. That way you can select a baler that produces bales that don’t exceed the limitations.

Bale Weight

Just like how mills have bale size restrictions, they also have bale weight and density restrictions. The bale weight limits will determine what cylinder size and ram force your chosen baler need to have.

Get Started With Balers for Distribution Centres

Having balers in distribution centres is a great way to effectively manage any waste products from operations. With a baler, you can save money and time on your waste management logistics.

Are you ready to get started with balers for your own distribution centre? Get in touch with our team and we’ll get you hooked up with the best balers on the market.