How to Keep Safe When Using Waste Machinery

While serious workplace accidents are rare, The National Safety Council recorded 4.5 million occupational injuries in 2017, at a $161.5 billion cost to the economy and warehousing had the second highest percentage of incidents. Waste management is a high-risk industry. Using baling machinery designed to compact materials down to minuscule size and sever heavy-duty metallic baling wire is particularly dangerous.

With the regulatory landscape embracing more relaxed workplace protections, it will increasingly fall on management’s shoulders to protect their workforce from anything untoward. But some sensible precautions and a proper procedure can help you eliminate the risk of workplace accidents and keep your workforce safe when using waste machinery.

Assess the risk and communicate it

Carrying out a comprehensive risk assessment on any machinery is vital to spot any hazards and risks within the machine. Using an independent to check this is a good idea as you need someone with a thorough knowledge of the legal landscape as well as the machine itself. Once you’ve done this, you need to make sure staff know all about the risks involved and the safe practices they can follow in order to minimize them. It’s all about creating a culture where safety takes priority over everything else. After all, even a minor accident will have a serious impact on your bottom line.

Make space around machinery

While it’s tempting to place a baler in the corner of the warehouse, taking up minimal floor space, the irony of this is that it will often make processing inefficient and create conditions for unsafe loading. Allocate plenty of space around the baler to improve accessibility,

The right equipment for the job

Age, capacity, and upkeep are three important determinants of baler safety. These factors can lead to balers becoming overloaded, underpowered, or dysfunctional, which means it’s more likely to lead with jams. More jams mean more operator interventions and this is when the accidents happen. Prevent this by ensuring your machinery is up to the task with consistent maintenance. If you need more power then consider upgrading when you can.

Ensuring your equipment meets any regulatory baselines is important but not enough. Machine guarding is no good if there’s something wrong with one of your protectors. Conduct regular audits of your machinery via independent contractors. You can’t rely on your staff alone to deal with problems or identify any long-term structural deficiencies. Another way of limiting damage to your baler is by investing in Baling Wire Direct’s high-grade wires with the machine-appropriate gauge.

Insist on full training

It’s hard to gather concrete statistics on the number of operators working without training on the specific machine they’re using. How many people have read the manual from back to front? We’d wager not many.

Anyone operating heavy machinery should know what to do in any given eventuality. There’s no substitute for experience and knowledge. Only trained and experienced operators should be allowed to operate heavy machinery in the first place. You need to know that if something goes down, the person in the driving seat can deal with it. Ensuring people aren’t using dangerous machinery solo by implementing buddy systems will also go a long way to preventing accidents.

When it comes to workplace safety, these things should help you keep yourself and your employees from coming to any serious harm around waste management equipment. Investing time, effort, and money in good safety practices means you’re protecting something more valuable than profit: your employees’ health and wellbeing.

What Baling Wire is Best for Paper Recycling?

At Baling Wire Direct, we know how important recycling is. It’s a way of reducing the amount of garbage we send to landfill, limiting our energy consumption and conserving our vital natural resources. It’s a $117 billion industry, contributing over 500,000 direct jobs and returning close to 10% of its contributions as tax revenues.

As recycling has grown in importance, regulatory changes on a city, state, and federal level have meant businesses with heavy paper recycling outputs need to turn to more efficient on-site waste management solutions. For paper recycling, this means using baling machines to compact waste paper and cardboard products into tightly bound cubes (bales) that can be more easily stored and transported.

What is a baling machine?

A baling machine, or a baler, is used to compress and bind materials into more manageable bundles for ease of transportation and storage. Once upon a time, these were mainly used for agricultural products (hay, cotton, flax, and straw), but nowadays, one of their most common uses is in the recycling industry.

What baling wire is best for paper recycling?

As well as squashing materials into more user-friendly bales, balers also securely tie them together with the right wire for the task in hand. It’s important to use the correct gauge for your machine type, with due consideration for the amount of paper recycling you’ll be doing as well as the likely weight load of your densely compacted paper bundles. The best baling wire for paper recycling depends on the quantities you’re recycling and the baler you’re using to do it.

Single loop bale ties

A robust and resilient type of wire that will resist expansion, single loop bale ties are a good flexible choice for most purposes. You’ll have to tie single loop bale ties by hand for the most part. But this means it’s more economical as well because you cut it to your required dimensions, you’ll end up cutting down on wire waste into the bargain. If you have a vertical baler, chances are you’ll want to get your hands on some of this.

Hi-tensile galvanized stem wire

Heavy-duty galvanized stem wire is sometimes referred to as stump wire, carrier wire or strand wire. Its high-tensile manufacture makes it incredibly strong and capable of withstanding intense pressure. This makes it perfect for holding together large and heavy bales that need to be quickly moved around and transported long distances. A corrosion-resistant zinc coating helps prevent the wire losing its strength over time by minimizing things like rust.

Black annealed box wire

Black annealed box wire is a seriously resilient product with high-tensile strength and high ductility, meaning it can withstand the harshest of climates. The best annealed wires will have metallurgically certified chemical compositions with individually annealed strands. A light coat of wax adds smoothness to the metal, protecting it from rust and helping it pass through your baler with minimal wear and tear.

Still not sure if you’ve found what you’re looking for? Get in touch with us. Whatever your baling wire needs, you’ll find the right product for you at Baling Wire Direct.

Promoting Sustainability: How Baling Wire Can Help

In the modern climate, running a sustainable enterprise has several benefits. Your customers may make decisions based on their environmental impact, your variable costs may be more volatile if you use unsustainable and finite materials or practices, or you may want to do your part to combat global warming. With climate change awareness only looking to increase in the upcoming years, looking towards implementing sustainable practices now may pay dividends in later years. But just how can baling wire promote sustainability?

Use in the Recycling Industry

One of the most common uses of baling wire is in the recycling industry. Baling has great usage in waste reduction and management, and in many cases, it can be more environmentally friendly than waste compactors. Balers can compact different types of recyclable materials in a way that minimizes their volume and hence maximizes the value recyclers obtain by reducing storage costs. Balers can complement existing waste management systems and increase the efficiency of your recycling operation.

Balers are ideal for recycling operations that revolve around reusing materials, as opposed to applying recycling processes that do not require the materials to retain their form. Cardboard boxes are a prime example of how balers are preferable to compactors. If you deal with cardboard regularly, compacting it with a compactor can often affect the durability of the cardboard and morph it out of shape.

Even if the flutes are not affected, this can be less sustainable as the cardboard can only be reused if it has been shredded, mixed with water and chemicals and then mixed with new wood pulp and processed into new cardboard. The electricity required for these processes, as well as the chemicals, still takes a toll on the environment. It requires fewer steps just to reuse the boxes. It is only possible to compact the boxes that will enable them to be reused, such as baling. This is true for any other materials that need to retain their form to be reused without many recycling processes being applied.

Even if the materials that are being baled are not designated for re-use, baling waste can speed up the waste disposal process. This is good for the environment, as a quicker turnaround at recycling plants means more waste can be recycled and turned into renewable electricity.

Wire vs. Twine

Baling wire is sometimes replaced by baling twine, but on farms, this is a mistake. Baling wire can be better for the environment simply because even after it has been used for its original purpose it has an incredible potential for reuse. Many farmers don’t go anywhere without baling wire, as baling wire and pliers can be incredibly handy for quick fixes. From repairing chain link fences to holding up old mufflers, baling wire has too many uses to mention.

Baling wire can also be more sustainable than baling twine due to its high strength. One of the tenets of the sustainability movement is to reduce, and a set yard of baling wire has the strength of countless yards of twine, meaning you won’t have to replace it either. This means if you’re using twine, you may want to consider switching to wire to reduce the amount of baling material you need.

Why is the Gauge of Your Baling Wire Important?

It is very important to buy high-quality baling wire, but even the highest quality wire will let you down if you choose a gauge that is not fit for your requirements. Without an experienced engineer on your roster, you may find it difficult to predict the correct gauge for your job. To understand why the gauge of your baling wire is important, you need to understand a few things about gauge in general.

What does the gauge mean?

The gauge has been a measurement of wire thickness for many years now, and the corresponding gauge numbers were originally based on how many times a rod was pulled through a draw plate to make it thinner. The original rod was pulled through 0 times; hence, a gauge of 0 is the thickest standard wire gauge you can get. This is why thicker gauges are represented by lower gauge numbers, which may originally seem counterproductive.

Is a thicker gauge always stronger?

A higher gauge is preferable when strength is needed for a job, but it isn’t always the only indicator of strength. Some baling wire, for example, galvanized annealed wire, has a higher tensile strength than wire that has not been treated in the same way. Tensile strength dictates how much tension the wire can withstand, which is typically provided by pressure exerted by the commodities that are baled together tightly.

What does weak baling wire mean for my job?

If baling wire does not have the requisite strength to keep your commodities in bales, it can break. This means that if you have ordered a set amount of baling wire but have misjudged the gauge, you may find that you may not be able to use any of the other wire as it is not matched to your requirements. This can be incredibly frustrating and can cost you time as well as money, so try to avoid this when possible.

So why not buy thicker wire, just in case?

If you are in any doubt about the gauge, you may be tempted to go for the thicker wire. This can save you from purchasing too much weak wire that you are unable to use, but if you can check, you probably should. That is because wire with a lower gauge is more expensive to buy, as well as ship (as the product is heavier as well). Consistently buying wire that is much stronger than you require is not economical.

Is there anything else that will affect the required gauge?

Some baling machines can only use certain gauges, so you need to first decide what gauge you actually require, and then find the closest gauge to that which your machine can use. A vertical baler will typically use higher gauges than an auto tie baler. Gauge required also varies based on the material that you want to bale, with foam typically requiring the lowest gauge and cardboard or newspaper requiring higher gauges.

If you have any more questions about the importance of baling wire gauge, contact Baling Wire Direct.

What Types of Cardboard can be Baled?

Cardboard typically refers to corrugated fiberboard, but generally covers all heavy-duty paper products that are thicker and more durable than regular paper. Corrugated fiberboard is what most people think of as cardboard, and it is a popular packing material due to its lightweight and relative eco-friendliness due in part to its recyclable and biodegradable nature.

Paperboard

Paperboard is a single layered paper material typically used for packaging that needs to be less durable than corrugated fiberboards, such as folding cartons and set-up boxes. Paperboard can be configured as containerboard, folding boxboard, solid board (bleached or unbleached), white lined chipboard, or binder’s board.

Paperboard is one of the most frequently used packaging materials, used across many different industries. There is a lot of paperboard scrap created globally, and this should be recycled, having been first baled. Many different baling machines can bale paperboard, and depending on the size of the bale different gauges will be required. However, due to the massive variety of paperboard available, there are no specific baling wires required for paperboard baling. Dual ram, long stroke, auto tie, and manual tie horizontal balers can all be used to bale paperboard.

You may encounter some problems when baling paperboard due to estimating the gauge size required for the bale. For example, if you are baling together many different types of paperboard, the pressure that the baling wire needs to be strong enough but will also need to be different each time with each different bale composition. That’s why if you’re baling many different types of paperboard you should choose a wire on the lower gauge end of the scale, in case a bale contains thicker paperboard than usual (e.g., a bale composed of a higher percentage of white lined chipboard).

Corrugated Fiberboard

Corrugated cardboards come in different forms and designs. Typically you will be working with one of the following:

  • Single Face Cardboard – the most economical cardboard to buy, it is thinner than other cardboard but offers more protection than paperboard.
  • Single Wall Cardboard – this cardboard has a flute between two layers of paper, making this cardboard more durable than single face. Flutes gauges range from F to A, with A being the thickest and F offering the least thickness and hence the least protection from impact.
  • Double Wall Cardboard – this cardboard offers better impact protection due to its two layers.
  • Triple Wall Cardboard – this cardboard is so strong that it often is used in place of wood crates. It is used in heavy industrial

All corrugated fiberboard products can be baled by different cardboard balers, but they will require different gauge wires. If the same number of cardboard sheets were baled into equal volumes, single face cardboard would put the least pressure on the baling wire hence this requires a higher gauge. Whereas triple wall cardboard would put the most pressure on the baling wire and would require a thick gauge like 10 or 11.

If you have more questions pertaining to the suitability of your cardboard in baling operations, and the different wire gauges that may be suitable to your needs, contact Baling Wire Direct today

Explaining Cardboard Baling Wire

Few people without certain industrial or agricultural backgrounds have heard of baling wire. However, even those who know and use the term ‘haywire’ may not be aware that this term came from the excellent ability to bale or ‘hay’ wire to be used in machinery or farm equipment fixes. Though there are many different types of baling wire with many different gauge options, understanding the uses and features of cardboard baling wire is actually quite simple.

Uses

Baling wire was traditionally strong wire used to keep hay bales together on farms, but its tensile strength and ability to withstand pressure from packed items has made it widely used in the industrial sector to package commodities together. Cardboard is one such commodity that needs to be packaged at many stages along its life. When it is produced, it needs to be packed for shipping, whereas when it is being stored as stock it needs to be in bales, and when it is being recycled or disposed of in large quantities, it needs to be stored efficiently, which are achieved by baling. In short, cardboard baling allows better management of space by containing and compacting cardboard in a safe way.

Why is baling wire needed?

To those who aren’t familiar with baling, baling wire may seem like an extra variable cost that compacting cardboard does not require. However, despite compacting and baling having similar space-saving benefits, the process that is right for your business depends on what is happening to the cardboard after the process is undertaken. Baling and compacting reduce the volume of cardboard, but only baling keeps the materials safe for re-use. If you need to reduce the space of waste cardboard before simply disposing of it a compactor may be right for you, but if your cardboard is going to be re-used you need baling wire to keep the cardboard compact as well as safe and reusable.

Types

Baling wire comes in many different shapes and sizes.

  • Single Loop Bale Ties – single loop bale ties typically range from 9 to 24 feet in length but can be made in almost any length depending on the requirements. They come in gauge lengths from 11 to 14, and for cardboard, the gauge requirement depends on the baling machine to be used as well as the size of the bale. For example, if using a vertical baler, 13 or 14 gauge wire should be used for cardboard, but if you are using an auto tie baler you can form large bales that need the stronger 10 gauge wire to keep the cardboard safe and compressed.
  • Black Annealed Baling Wire – this baling wire is often the choice when there is only space to store cardboard outdoors (e.g., some recycling operations), as it is resistant to climate and environmental factors. It is also resilient and flexible, so if you have different sizes of cardboard that need to be stored you may want this wire.
  • Galvanized Stem Wire – if you are storing a high volume of cardboard in a bale, this wire is recommended due to its incredible strength.

Whatever the baling wire gauge or type you need for your cardboard Baling Wire Direct can assist you with its large selection of cardboard baling wire.

Choosing the Right Baling Wire Gauge: A Guide

Wire gauge is the thickness of wire. Some may find it confusing, but for historical reasons lower gauge wire is actually thicker. Choosing the right baling wire is important because if you choose wire that has too low a gauge for your needs you may not be maximizing your cost-effectiveness, and if you choose a wire that has too high a gauge it may not withstand the pressure and break.

Baling gauges depend on the type of baler you are using, as well as the density and dimensions of your bales. The material you are baling can also affect the type of gauge you need, as some materials put more pressure on wires than others.

Vertical Balers

Vertical balers are typically used for small volumes and limited budgets, good for producing about two bales a day. These balers commonly require 12, 13 or 14 gauge wire. They are commonly used to bale corrugated cardboard, plastic wrap, and textiles, but can bale other materials.

For cardboard: Look for lighter 13 or 14 gauge wire.

For newspaper: Look for slightly thicker 12 gauge wire, but 13 can often suffice.

For plastic shrink wrap: Look for 13 or 14 gauge wire.

For other plastics: The gauge may need to be as low as 12.

For foam: You need to use thicker wire, 11 gauge is standard, for example.

Horizontal Balers

Horizontal balers are for continuous use and can be automatic or manual, fit for processing wider ranges of materials such as thicker cardboard and plastic containers.

For cardboard: Horizontal balers can use wire as thick as 11 gauge, up to 13 gauge.

For newspaper: 12 or 13 gauge wire is still recommended.

For plastics (including shrink wrap): You can use 11 or 12 gauge wire.

For foam: 11 gauge is recommended with horizontal balers.

Single Ram Auto Tie Balers

Single ram auto tie balers are the best for baling high volumes of paper or corrugated cardboard and can use stronger wire. These are common in recycling centers, printing plants, and box manufacturers.

For almost all materials, single ram auto tie balers typically use 10, 11 or 12 gauge wire. The thickness needed often depends on the volume of material being baled. The exception is foam, for which 12 gauge wire is not strong enough. 10 or 11 gauge is hence recommended.

Two Ram Auto Tie Balers

These balers are ideal for facilities dealing with a variety of materials and are commonly used in material recovery facilities, less-specific recycling operations, scrapyards, and landfills. With higher variability comes the trade-off of being able to use thinner wires than single ram auto ties, but two-rams can still use thick gauges.

For cardboard and newspaper baling, you should be looking for 11 to 13 gauge wire.

For plastic shrink wrap, other plastics, and foam, you should be looking for 11 or 12 gauge wire.

Choosing the right gauge can be confusing, and if you are in doubt about which gauges suit your requirements, contact Baling Wire Direct or your operation’s engineer.

How to Choose the Right Baling Wire for Your Requirements

One of the more well-known facts about baling wire is that it has a huge amount of potential usages. In an agricultural setting, it is often called farm wire due to its diverse applications on the farm and field, from mending fences to binding hay bales to even supporting loose mufflers. In industrial settings it is used to bind together cardboard, paper, metal sheeting, or other recyclable materials. This may lead you to think that any type of baling wire can be used for any type of fix, but this is not always the case. Often you need the right baling wire for the job.

You need to bundle together commodities

Whether you need to group, compact and keep together plastic, paper, cardboard, metal, or clothing you need a flexible baling wire that can be cut to whichever length you need. Single loop bale ties are the most commonly used baling wire for this purpose, and for good reason. They can be cut to almost any length the buyer requires, which also makes them perfect for a buyer with very specific requirements.

Single loop bale ties typically come in a variety of gauges (from 11 to 14) and typically range from 9 to 24 feet in length. The right gauge often depends on the equipment you have access to, and it is always recommended to find out the specific gauge your machine requires. If you use a different size to what your machine needs, your baling can become quite an arduous process.

Single loop bale ties can come in different types, some of which will suit your gauge requirements better or the specific baling process you want to undertake, whether it’s vertical, horizontal, auto tie, or two ram baling. For example, green bale ties are perfect for vertical baling of recyclables. Galvanized single loop bale ties are perfect for vertical, down-stroke and horizontal balers that need protection from corrosive substances and external damage.

You need to store commodities of different sizes or in challenging climates

If you need to store different sizes or types of cardboard, plastic, metal, or other commodities then you need a resilient baling wire with high tensile strength and a lot of gauge options. Black annealed wire is the perfect choice for this requirement. This wire is wax coated with individually annealed strands and means it is able to withstand even the harshest climates. These wires aren’t brittle, have increased flexibility, and a maintained atomic structure and are perfect for outdoor purposes.

You frequently need to bundle tightly compressed packages for shipping, storage or sale

If you need a wire that is incredibly strong, able to withstand a lot of pressure and lasts a long time, you need galvanized stem wire. It is high tensile, with an elongation of 8% and able to be used by auto-tie, two-ram, and even double-ram balers, as well as being able to withstand coiling during packaging. This wire is used by many for economic benefits. The steel inside the wire is galvanized in zinc to help it withstand against corrosion and provide steel protection for well over 100 years.

How is Galvanized Stem Wire Made

The baling process is one that many industries conduct on a daily basis, especially those in the recycling and waste management industries. Baling wire is a material that is often used in the process to help bind materials that are going to be transported and keep them in one piece. There are different types of baling wire and one is referred to galvanized stem wire. It goes through a different process than other baling wire and is known for being one of the strongest and most durable types. If you’ve heard of this before but never exactly understood what it is as well as what it’s made of, here is a breakdown below.

What is Galvanized Stem Wire?

For those who have never heard of it before, galvanized stem wire is used for the purposes of bundling large packages and preparing them to be shipped, stored, or sold. This is necessary so that items are tightly compressed, compact and safe at all times, especially while being transported. Galvanized stem wire which is often referred to as carrier wire, stump wire, or stand wire, is commonly used during the baling process while helping to package recyclable items like plastic, cardboard, or just about anything else that can be recycled.

For the most part, this type of wire can withstand enormous amounts of pressure and last over a long period of time. It has even been said that it can provide ongoing protection for steel for up to 170 years which is a few lifetimes.

How is it Made?

In terms of how galvanized stem wire is made, it’s usually coated with a material such as zinc. This is because zinc is known to be able to withstand different environments making it more of a practical material in terms of longevity. This makes it more resistant against rust and corrosion, which is one of the reasons that it’s able to last for so long.

For galvanized stem wire to be made effectively, the right amount of zinc coating needs to be added to the underlying material. Modern manufacturers tend to use an electroplating technique in which they add a thin layer of zinc over the underlying material.

Another approach would be the hot-dip technique which is where the iron or steel material is dipped into liquid zinc, and then a thick layer is formed over the material.

More technically, once the wire is removed from the dip, the zinc will be exposed to oxygen, and then zinc oxide is formed. That zinc oxide then reacts with the carbon dioxide that’s present in the atmosphere and creates zinc carbonate.

Galvanized stem wire is a quality product that is often worth the buy when correctly sourced. Knowing that your wires are likely to last for many years to come can make you feel as though it is worth every dollar spent. Also, knowing the process that it goes through to become the quality stem wire you use on a daily basis can give you a deeper appreciation for it as well.

Why is Baling Wire so Expensive?

Baling wire is a material that has usefulness in the market because of its ability to help bundle large amounts of material. The recycling industry especially has a great use for baling wire to compress materials that need to be recycled and deliver them to the appropriate place.

One challenge businesses may have, however, is understanding the price of baling wire as in some instances, it can seem relatively high. There are reasons behind this that often have to do with the production process and other factors too. With that being said, here is why baling wire is so expensive for those who may be wondering.

Inflation

One of the primary reasons that baling wire can be so expensive is because of reasons like importation from foreign countries. To begin with, manufacturers located in China, as well as other countries outside of the US, have different quality standards and regulations than other countries do. This means that they can produce baling wire using a range of different materials and potentially cut costs in the process. This can directly impact the market and cause inflation for a number of reasons.

For one, manufacturers in the US usually have strict quality control which means they have rigid guidelines in place. This is to ensure they maintain a high standard and produce quality products. With that being said, seeing as US manufacturers can’t use cheap or harmful materials like lead when producing baling wire, they have to source quality raw materials which aren’t typically cheap.

Gauges

When buying baling wire, you will notice that they come in a range of different gauges. This could be anything from 11 to 14 gauge wires depending on the use. The longer the wire, the more you’re likely to pay, but you will find that there are discounts available if you tend to be a repeat customer or want to buy in bulk.

Types of Wire

There are different types of baling wire, and each goes through a different process before the final product is produced. Having said that, this can directly affect the price of the wire, so take that into consideration as well.

For instance, there is galvanized baling wire available which has an added coating of zinc so that it can withstand different environmental changes without undergoing corrosion. Because of the extra materials that are being used as well as the process, the price could potentially be more than anticipated.

On the other hand, there is also black annealed baling wire available which is more ductile and typically used for single-ram baling applications. Annealed wires are heated and then cooled, which again, is a different process which could contribute to it being sold at relatively high rates.

Most businesses are looking for ways to minimize expenses, so they like to know what they’re buying, for what price, and where they can potentially save. This can especially be said about baling wire seeing as it will be a recurring expense for recycling businesses and the likes in most cases. The above article hopefully gives you a better understanding as to why it’s priced at the rate it is.