Bale Handling Systems
The key to a successful bale handling system is that it is a system. The operators and engineers must work out, with our help, what capacity is required, how feed is to be controlled and how the system is to be operated. Then the individual items of equipment will fall into place. We can suggest, from our experience, standard scenarios for control and operation. James Brinkley Company will provide, with proposals, a layout and sequence of operations to make sure the system meets capacity, control and operator requirements.
Bale handling equipment is designed for safety and ruggedness. Safety is met by providing side guards, emergency stop pull cord switches, lock outs, fences, electronic photo-eye fences or a combination of these. As lift trucks are involved with this equipment, and bales are heavy, extreme ruggedness is important. We provide replaceable, adjustable bumpers at load points. To try and avoid impacts to the equipment we design using floor angles over which the lift trucks cannot drive and pipe guards which transfer loads to the floor, not through the equipment.
Chain conveyors are simple devices but we use the best materials to provide a superior product. We use a clean structure primarily of rectangular tubing, H-78 mill chain (far wider than roller chain), UHMW chainways (which mean a long chain life), S-type drive and take-up for positive chain tensioning, and drive shafts made of Stressproof steel.
A key to proper function at startup is designing in the controls and wiring, not adding them on as an afterthought. Brinkley provides a sequence of operation, I/O list and control transducer layout for your approval, and then builds it into your system.
Stacked Bale Storage Conveyors
Generally the first unit in a line, this conveyor accepts bale stacks from a clamp or fork truck and stores a specified number of stacks so that they can be processed.
Lift truck approach is sensed by a magnetic loop sensor which readies the conveyor. Bale stacks are incrementally advanced by the conveyor and the drive is forward-reverse to ensure close proximity of stacks and stack availability to the next unit in line.
The conveyor uses three strands of H-78 chain. Drive size is generally 5 HP and the conveyor is provided with a safety fence to avoid bale stack tipping.
Bale Stack Downenders
The Downender accepts a bale stack either directly or from the stacked bale storage conveyor. It then rotates it to a horizontal position and conveys it to the next unit.
It is hydraulically operated with an integral 5 HP hydraulic power unit and is rotated on a pivot by Parker hydraulic cylinders, operating at 1500 PSI.
This unit can also be used to increase the height of the bale line from the accept level as it rotates.
The Downender bed includes an H-78 chain or belt conveyor to move the bale stack to the next unit, powered by a 1-1/2 HP drive. The Downender is provided with side fences for safe operation.
This unit is generally followed by a dewiring conveyor.
An alternative to the Downender is the Destacker. The Destacker is more compact than the Downender, but its cycle time per bale is slower. The Destacker uses a hydraulic operated clamp (manufactured by Long Reach for clamp trucks) to lift the bale stack above the bottom bale and allow the bottom bale to be conveyed onto the dewiring conveyor. After the bottom bale is conveyed out, the clamp lowers the bale stack to the conveyor, opens, and rises to lift the bale stack above the bottom bale again. The Destacker is operated by a 15 HP hydraulic power unit, and is totally enclosed by a fence for safety.
Manual dewiring takes place on the dewiring conveyor which generally follows the Downender. This conveyor utilizes at least two strands of H-78 chain. At the accept end, a bale cushion takes the bales one at a time from the Downender. The bales are on end in the Downender and must tip flat to the dewiring conveyor. The air cylinder cushion softens the tipping action.
Dewiring conveyors must accept at least one bale stack. Dewiring conveyors generally use H-78 chain with spike attachments to elevate bales to allow wire removal. Also available is an optional air cylinder operated turntable, foot pedal controlled, that allows individual bales to be rotated for dewiring.
The next step in the bale line may be an accumulating conveyor, which stores dewired bales. This conveyor steps and reverses to ensure close bale proximity while also making bales available to the next unit. This conveyor is generally a multi-strand chain conveyor and is of the length required to store bales for the necessary time to allow operator flexibility. Bale presence or count is sensed by photo eyes. If a right angle turn is required, air operated power jump rollers are used to move bales sideways onto the conveyor.