David Rainer
"HD200 ASF AutoBaler National Foods Milk Ltd Penrith Plant is the second largest liquid milk processing plant nationally – processing in excess of 500,000 litres of milk each day. A major part of the continuous improvement programme launched in 1999 was to drive to recycle plastic, cardboard, metal containers, detergent containers and water at levels above the generally accepted industry standards. One area of particular importance was the physical compaction of the HDPE Plastic milk bottles. The nature of these bottles means that the resin has a strong memory and retains its original shape even after compaction. Several compactor units were tried based on the traditional bale type designed with poor results. The problems encountered centred around the desire of the plastic bottles to return to their original shape. When the pressure was released in the press the plastic expanded resulting in difficulties in removing the bale from the press. The Trethewey Industries AutoBaler was referred to national Foods as an alternative. The results were immediate, the ease of extraction of the bale from the press did not present any difficulties for the operator. The automatic start and hold under pressure were additional features that resulted in the baler being located in the material recycle area which is an unmanned area. Operators dispose of waste HDPE bottles directly into the Trethewey AutoBaler and when full an alarm identifies the need to remove the bale. Additionally the skate mechanism that the bale sits on results in the operator very easily removing the bale from the AutoBaler with no potential of injury and positioning the bale ready to be picked up by a fork lift. The Trethewey Industries AutoBaler has solved several problem areas relating to the compaction, and subsequent transportation of waste HDPE milk bottles. The bales of HDPE bottles are now purchased fro recycling. The National Foods Penrith site now recycles 90% of all HDPE materials used on site thanks largely to the Trethewey Industries AutoBaler: Model HD200ASF. "