As a category of heavy-duty machine engineered specifically to provide scrap recyclers with the versatility to process heavy metal materials as well as light metals - creating logs, bales or sheared-to-length material, ready for efficient transportation to buyers - the growing popularity of shear/baler/loggers (SBLs) is not surprising.
At a basic level, in operation, the SBL is fed ferrous or non-ferrous metal. Material is initially reduced to the right size for compression into a loose log, and is then either cut to length by the shear or compressed into a more dense bale. Logs, bales or sheared-to-length material (commonly between three- and four-foot lengths) are expelled, ready for transport. Material produced by SBLs is generally sold direct to a smelter, or to another scrap recycler for shredding or further processing.
Over the last decade, these machines have become increasingly robust, automated and mobile. Units are now available from some manufacturers in track-mounted configurations for high-level mobility on any site. The latest model SBLs, whether stationary, portable or mobile, are also built with high-strength steel structures and engineered for extreme conditions. They are integrated with sophisticated software, electronics and hydraulics, and include remote-control operation, advanced safety and machine monitoring features, as well as simplified maintenance. Many of today's portable and mobile units are also hydraulically self-raising, requiring no crane for easy loading onto a trailer for transport, and due to their integrated outriggers, provide for quick setup and no need for foundation. Similar to stationary models, which are generally built heavier and with higher capacity, both portable and mobile SBLs are extremely versatile. These machines will effectively handle heavy ferrous metal including rebar, railroad ties and i-beams, as well as non-ferrous such as white goods and other light metals. Plus, these machines are increasingly being used in C&D recycling applications.
Selecting the right SBL for the application involves first considering that moving such heavy machinery (the shear makes these machines especially heavy) can come at a high cost, and may pose challenges based on local road regulations. If machines do not require being moved, stationary machines are a great choice. Buyers need to match machine capacity, user features and manufacturer support with their mobility requirements, volume of material that is being processed and the type of scrap being handled.