Case study: Motion delivers pressing, remote solution for AFF cotton baler

The baling press is the last step in the cotton ginning process and therefore has a significant role.

At the Australian Food and Fibre (AFF) cotton processing facility in Hay, southern NSW, the output target for their baler is 900 bales of processed cotton per day.  Over a typical 16-week processing window the plant runs 24/7. So when the baler went down recently, Motion was called in to find the reason – and a quick solution.

The baling press at AFF Hay uses servo-controlled hydraulic cylinders to manipulate and control the movement of the lint (cleaned) cotton into the baling chamber. In operation, the lint cotton is forced into the baling chamber by a pusher cylinder and after each load a vertically-oriented tramper cylinder descends, roughly compresses the lint cotton and returns to its rest position ready to compress the next load of product pushed into the cylinder.

When the baling chamber reaches full bale weight – which usually takes around seven charges – a third cylinder pushes up from underneath and compresses the cotton into a 227kg high-density bale ready for despatch.

To meet the AFF Hay production target, a bale is produced every 90 seconds. Over the course of two days, the operators of the baling machine noticed a deterioration in the operation of the pusher cylinder. According to the operators, sometimes the pusher was working fine, but at other times it wasn’t positioning properly and it just “wasn’t performing quite as we have come to expect.”

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