Flexus Balasystem AB is a Swedish manufacturer located in Nossebro (near Göteborg) with a long experience of designing and manufacturing systems for municipal solid waste, RDF, SRF, recycling and agricultural materials. The unique Flexus round-bale technology pioneered in Sweden and, with well over a hundred installations worldwide, is the optimum solution for the handling and disposal of MSW, offering significant advantages in terms of cost efficiency and environmental safety. Typical applications where the advantages of the round baling method is utilized is in context with handling/transportation of MSW as well as industrial waste and agricultural residue material.
The two brothers Jan and Bo Ansbjer founded the company BALA Industri in 1983. The company got its name from the Swedish abbreviation of Bröderna Ansbjers Lantbruksartiklar (Ansbjer Brothers' Agricultural Products). In the beginning the company mainly produced equipment for handling and storage of agricultural products. In 1992 the first bale press for waste materials was developed. With the successful development of the press and the enormous benefits it implied for the waste handling technology, it was in 1993 decided to create a company which would focus solely on the bale press and its potential market. Hence BALA Press AB was founded, with a predecessor to ATLE as part owner.
In 1999 ATLE bought the remaining shares from the founders of the company and became 100% owner. During 2000 the original business for the agricultural business was sold and the company focused fully on the unique bale press and its further development. In 2003 the two brothers took over BALA Press AB and renamed it to Flexus Balasystem AB. In 2007 the company moved into the newly built premises at Södra vägen 36 in Nossebro. Since the beginning of 2015 the company is wholly owned by Bo Ansbjer.
Flexus currently has well over 150 installations in nearly 30 countries around the world. Sales representatives and agents are available on more than 20 countries.
For many years waste has been collected by special lorries or containers and dumped at land fill sites. To handle and store waste in this way has generally been associated with bad smell, fire risk and unacceptable environmental conditions.
Flexus Balasystem AB has developed a unique method that has changed the handling and storage of waste completely.
Garbage, residual waste and industrial materials can easily be compressed to a fraction of the original volume and enclosed in cylindrical bales. A method that supports a sustainable waste management system for today and the future.
The Flexus baling unit is the heart of this unique system. Waste, recycled materials and other materials are transformed into easy to handle round bales. Ordinary lorries can be used for the transport and the bales can safely be stored outdoors.
The system can be designed for stationary installation and be fully integrated into a waste treatment plant. The installation is designed to meet the demands and conditions at each specific case.
The mobile baling system can be easily transported from site to site. This gives large flexibility to handle both smaller and larger baling commissions, for example at maintenance stops at MSW processing plants.
The material is fed into the baling chamber via a feed conveyor, and is force fed between the chains of the baling unit. The uncompressed material is rotated around the axis of the chamber and as more material enters, the chamber compression of the material increases.
The bale compression increases as more material is force fed into the chamber and the bale becomes evenly firm and stable. Only relatively low power is required to compress material in this way. Softer and smaller material fragments surrenders and embeds larger and harder objects during the compression process.
The computer system monitors the compression, by measuring the hydraulic pressure in the system.
The operator sets the compression level required for the baled material via the computerized system.
When full chamber pressure is reached, a net is wound around the bale. The net is fed into the chamber by means of jet air nozzles.
The net wound around the surface of the bale maintains its form and prevents the compressed material from expanding when the chamber is opened as well as increasing the mechanical strength of the bale.
The net is made of environmental friendly polythene. A roll of net is sufficient for more than 100 bales, and is easily changed by the operator.
The operator sets the required number of windings of the net and the computer system checks continuously that the net is properly fed.
Transfer to the wrapping unit
The baling chamber opens up and the heads of the chamber are pressed towards each circular end of the bale to hold it firmly during the transfer to the wrapping unit. The net wrapping and the high bale compression minimises material loss.
The bale is wrapped with a thin, strong and stretchable plastic film which is air tight and water resistant.
The wrapping is made by means of a sweep arm which rotates on the wrapping table to give a 50% overlap of film on the bale.
While the bale is being wrapped, the heads of the baling chamber returns to the baling position. The baling chamber closes and new material is fed into the unit. When wrapping is completed, the film is cut and the bale is loaded to the bale conveyor.
The stretch film, although thin, is very tough. This ensures the hermetic enclosure of the material which prevents the escape of litter as well as stops the degradation processes.
The stretch film and the net in which the bales are wrapped consists of polythene which converts to carbon dioxide and water when incinerated. The plastic film is only 25-30 µm and it constitutes of only 0,1-0,2% of the total weight of the bale. A roll of stretch film is sufficient for 15-25 bales depending on the number of layers. Rolls of film is easily replaced by the operator.
The wrapped bale is tilted onto a bale conveyor for unloading to further transportation or storage. If the conveyor is equipped with a scale and a marking unit, each bale can for example be marked with weight, material type or with a bar code, depending on the demands of the job.
- Clean and tidy storage and handling
- Odourless storage.
- Preservation of the material properties, no energy and mass loss.
- Water-tight outdoor storage.
- Reduced volume, approximately a third of the volume for MSW.
- Economically and environmentally good for seasonal variations at MSW plants.
- No fermentation.
- No self-ignition possible.
Low Energy Consumption
A complete plant with press, bale wrapper and conveyors consumes no more than 10-40 kW/h. Which comes out as low as approximately 1-1,5 kW per finished bale.
The low energy consumption owes to the special patented construction of the press. The functions of the press are electro-hydraulically powered. The press chamber has rotating sides and the feeding mat rests on rollers with ball bearings.
Leakage and Leaching
Thanks to the lack of oxygen inside the round bale there is no fermentation occurring inside. Storage is therefore without risk of build-up of methane gas. Poisonous substances can not be leached, since the stretch film effectively restrain all water from penetrating inside the bale (provided that the bales aren't submerged in water).
Stretch Film and Net
The stretch film and the net in which the bales are wrapped consist of polythene, which converts to carbon dioxide and water when incinerated. The plastic film is thin, only 25-30 µ and it constitutes only 0,1-0,2% of the total weight of the bale. A roll of stretch film weighs approximately 17 kg and is sufficient for approximately 18 bales.
The net is made of environmental friendly polythene. A roll of net weighs approximately 30 kg and is sufficient for approximately 100 bales.
The stretch film, although thin, is very tough. This ensures the hermetic enclosure of the material, which prevents the escape of litter as well as stops the degredation processes. The waste is compressed and wrapped with stretch film, into airtight bales. Without oxygen the processes of fermentation and degredation cannot start.
Degradation Processes in Waste
Degradation of waste involves two different processes; aerobic and anaerobic. In the aerobic phase the main degradation is oxidation reactions which produce CO2. Combustion and thermal degradation can be the consequence of this phase.
During the anaerobic degradation, three metabolically different groups of bacteria become active and result in hydrolytic, acetogenic and finally methanogenic degradation. This biodegradation process in which the organic substances are acting as a nutrient as well as an oxidation agent is a result of coordinated action of many different bacteria species in sequential reactions.
Any disturbance in such a consecutive system can delay or accelerate some of the biochemical step reactions and this affects the degradation rate and energy/mass losses in the stored material. By preventing oxygen and water from penetrating the waste, Flexus baling system offers such a disturbance, thus more or less halting the biochemical process.
Study of MSW in Round Bales
The first tests of storing waste in round bales were carried out by the University of Lund in Sweden. These findings has been confirmed by similar independent institutions in other countries.
The gas and temperature development, material and energy losses in the stored bales were measured.
Three different types of waste were stored, RDF (shredded), source separated waste and unsorted household waste, MSW.
Results from the Study
A short initial period of aerobic degradation, until residual oxygen was consumed was followed by very stable conditions. No considerable temperature increase or methane production were observed even after one year and most biological and oxidation reactions were virtually stopped.
In order to study the effect of particle size, shredded household waste was used in the same way. However, formation of methane was not observed in this case either.
The graph shows the gas and temperature development for one of the bales used in the study by the University of Lund.
The capacity of the press is to a large part dependant on what type of material is handled and how it is fed to the machine. During production conditions an hourly capacity of up to 40 bales has been confirmed for certain materials. However, maintenance work and such can not always be avoided, and many materials contains difficult parts that may lower the capacity of the press. When pressing MSW the effective capacity is around 15-25 bales/hour, including service and maintenance, cleaning and similar tasks.
Our product line consists mainly of two models; Breeze and Tornado. The Tornado model has a higher capacity and faster operation. Depending on your needs you may choose to utilize single or multiple machines to achieve the desired throughput. Other factors may also come into play, for example if your needs require a high throughput during short periods the faster Tornado model may be the better choice, while for a slower and steady throughput a Breeze will suffice.
What capacity is achievable for various materials depends on many variables. Contact us at Flexus Balasystem for more information and sharing of our knowledge and experience with specific materials.
A single bale has a diameter of approximately 120-135 centimeter, and it is 120 centimeter high.
A normal wheel loader can easily stack 4 bales high (4,8 metres), but with a telescopic stacker we see regular stacks of 8 bales in height. The bale layers are stacked with an offset, so that each bale covers half the area of two bales below, and thus locking them in place. The entire stack is then safer for storage, which is also important from a personal safety view.
On our website at www.flexus.se you can find a storage area calculator to approximate the storage capacity for a given area. You will also get a hunch about the total storage weight, depending on the material that is to be processed.