1. How can I choose the right two-ram?
Just like any other piece of equipment, making the right decision on which make and model is critical. Take time to research; don’t buy solely on price. The size and speed of the unit as well as feed opening, compression force and cylinder stroke all play critical roles. For example, not all 12-inch two-rams feature the same compression force or the same cylinder penetration into the chamber, all of which affect performance and bale weights.
2. Is it better to go with a narrow or wide box on the baler?
Since narrow-box two-rams are generally 45-inches cross chamber versus 60 inches on a wide box, the narrow box has the benefit of increased platen pressure. For instance, a narrow box 10-inch two-ram can have a similar shearing capacity and total force compared with a wide box 12-inch cylinder. However, you will also be tying off the bale on the long side, so if you have material with more memory (like plastics), you might want to lean toward the wide box.
3. What role does cylinder size play?
Cylinder size combined with system pressure is what give you your total force. The larger the cylinder bore, the more compression you have on material. However, that comes at a cost as a larger cylinder require more GPM (gallons per minute) of hydraulic fluid. This means to make a larger 12-inch cylinder as fast as a smaller 8-inch cylinder requires more horsepower.
4. How does a baler’s horsepower affect my production?
Horsepower combined with GPM are what give you your speed. Choosing the right combination for your volume and material requirements is critical. Fiber applications (OCC, ONP or high-grades) usually come in fairly dense, and horsepower is not as critical, but containers (UBCs, PET and HDPE) take a lot of material to make a bale, requiring more strokes, so speed is critical in volume applications.
5. Should I purchase a baler based on my current volume?
The short answer to this is “No.” I tell everyone to plan ahead when purchasing a two-ram. It’s a large investment, not only financially but also in the growth and future of your business. Think about where you expect your volume to be in the next two to three years and purchase based on that. It will save you more in the long term and your operation will be ready for the future.