7 May 1999

SQUARE BALE WRAPS – FINISHED ARTICLE?

While round bale wrapping

remains the popular option

for those baling silage,

developments in square

bale wrapping continue.

Geoff Ashcroft reviews

some of the more recent

developments

THE very nature of a square bale continues to present bale wrapper companies with a challenge when it comes to smothering it in film, the bales slab-sided characteristics perhaps, adding to the complication.

So is it just a matter of time before square bale wrapping becomes an integral part of the baling operation?

But while some would argue that rolling a square bale and simultaneously applying film is the wrong approach to successful wrapping, there are a handful of companies who have made considerable steps towards perfecting the technique.

McHale Engineering of County Mayo, Ireland, offers three models of square bale wrapper. Two are linkage mounted models and share the 995 model designation, but are differentiated by an LM suffix which denotes small square bale suitability. Both machines are said to be suitable for round and square bale wrapping.

Dedicated square bale wrapping comes in the guise of McHales 998 model, a trailed machine which can wrap bale sizes from 0.8m x 0.7m to 1.6m x 1.20m in cross-section, and up to a maximum length of 1.8m. McHale says the baler can also handle double bales, such as two Claas Quadrant bales stacked on top of each other.

A conveyor system feeds the bales into the wrapping area before two pairs of powered rollers lift then roll the bale, while the film is applied in a circular motion around the "rolling" bale. Twin 750mm film dispensing units are fitted and a wrapping output of up to 80 bales an hour is said to be possible.

In-cab control

McHale offers the 998 with an in-cab control system which allows automatic operation of the wrapping cycle, once bale dimensions and the number of film layers required have been entered into the unit.

Kverneland offers a similar capacity with its UN7655 trailedsquare bale wrapper, which can handle bales stacked in pairs from Hesston 4600, 4820S and New Holland D710S big square balers.

Available with single or double film arms, the UN7655 is said to be suitable for a variety of bale sizes ranging from 0.6m x 0.9m to 0.7m x 1.2m in cross-section, and up to 1.8m in length. The wrapper can also handle round bales up to 1.2m in diameter.

With the wrapper positioned so its straddles the bale, two roller cradle arms then lift and present the bale to the film arms. Each roller cradle uses a pair of powered rollers which roll the bale as the film arms rotate around it.

Progress monitored

Wrapping progress is monitored by sensors linked to the wrapping computer, which can be overridden by the operator at any point during the sequence.

Envoy Design & Manufacturing, the former manufacturing division of Lawrence Edwards, is making its first steps towards marketing the Supa-Pac bale wrappers. For the past three years, the company has supplied bale wrappers to the US market for Case – in Case colours as the 8600 series – throughout north and South America and Envoy is hoping to extend the deal into Europe with a separate marketing agreement with Case Europe.

"We have also started marketing bale wrappers for Case in southern Ireland, and we hope this proves a suitable launch pad to step into Europe," says Sean Blanco, Envoys managing director.

Since severing links with Lawrence Edwards last year, Envoy has made considerable improvements to its square bale wrappers, which include the linkage mounted 7000SE, and trailed 8500R and 8500RE.

Revised drop mat

All models are supplied with a revised rear drop mat, to protect the wrap when bales are tipped off the rear of the wrapper. The wrappers also use a turntable locking mechanism, duplex chain drives and can be specified with cable or electro-hydraulic remote controls.

Envoy says square bales with cross-sections from 0.8m x 0.5m to 1m x 1m can be handled by the Supa-Pac wrappers, providing lengths do not exceed 1.7m.

A name which is perhaps synonymous with square bale wrapper development is Tanco, whose products can be found as part of LandMecs portfolio.

For the 1999 season, the company has made significant improvements to its range, which includes the Autowrap 1080 A and 1080 ATP, the latter being equipped with Tancos twin-pack loading arm for lifting pairs of bales from Hesston 4600, New Holland D710 and Claas Quadrant 1100 and 1150 balers.

Wider turntable support wheels are now fitted, while the pre-stretch film units have had their nylon gears replaced with steel gears. The company says the result is increased machine longevity and a more consistent stretch when starting to apply film.

In search of ever greater output, Tanco engineers have focused their attention on speeding up the loading/unloading process; a joystick control for example, is now fitted to make collecting a simpler operation using the 1080s squeeze arm.

The arm can be operated without affecting the wrapping speed, enabling the operator to prepare the next bale for loading while wrapping continues.

Finnish-built

Finnish-built Elho square bale wrappers marketed by Amazone include the 420F, 620F and 1410F models, the latter being a twin axle, trailed machine.

Said to be suitable for bales up to a maximum length of 1.7m, all three models are said to be a variation of the firms round bale wrappers, and use additional bale supporting rollers which ease the task of rolling square bales while wrapping commences. &#42

SQUARE BALE WRAPPER MANUFACTURERS

Amazone Ltd, Blyth Road, Harworth, Doncaster, South Yorks. (01302-751200). Models: Silo-Matic 420F, 620F, 1410F.

Danagri 3S, The Livestock Centre, Tasley, Bridgnorth, Shropshire. (01746-762777). Models: Tellefsdal Mini-Wrap 604, Autowrap 1514.

Envoy Design & Manufacturing, Firs Industrial Estate, Stourport Road, Kidderminster, Worcs. (01562-824921). Models: Supa-Pac 7000SE, 8500R, 8500RE.

Grays of Fetterangus Ltd, Peterhead, Aberdeenshire. (01771-623601). Model: Tubeline Multiwrapper.

Kverneland (UK) Ltd, PO Box 90, Haydock Lane, Haydock Industrial Estate, St Helens, Merseyside. (01942-272777). Model: UN7655.

Land Mechanisation Ltd, Cantrell Works, Bittaford, Ivybridge, Devon. (01752-891285). Models: Tanco 1080A, 1080ATP.

McHale Engineering, Kilmaine, Co Mayo, Ireland. (00353-9379100). Models: 995, 995LM, 998.

Rekord Sales (GB) Ltd, Manor Road, Mancetter, Atherstone, Warks. (01827-712424).