Harris--Proud Past, Bright Future

Features - Scrap Industry News

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March 29, 2006

The roots of Harris Shredder trace back to the very origins of large-scale scrap processing equipment. Russell Clemons (R.C.) Harris was a skilled machinist who co-founded a sawmill equipment and locomotive repair business and machine shop in central Georgia in 1889.

R.C. Harris and succeeding generations of family members and co-workers provided machinery to serve several additional industries throughout the early part of the 20th century. In 1938, R.C.’s son Russell and grandson Tom Ray Harris led the design of a scrap metal baling press with hydraulic circuits that could provide greater compression force at faster speeds than anything else being used at the time.

The first Harris hydraulic baler was installed in Americus, Ga., in 1938 and remained on the job for decades afterward—providing the first example of the Harris durability that would become legendary in the scrap business around the world.

During and after World War II, as the scrap metal business boomed, Harris Foundry & Machine Co. supplied the growing industry with the heavy-duty baling presses it needed to bolster the war effort and then keep the post-War industrial economy humming.

The 1950s saw the production and installation of increasingly larger scrap balers and shears as the Harris reputation for high-volume production and unmatched toughness and reliability spread within the industry.

Harris’ ability to serve global markets was enhanced in the 1960s with its acquisition by a publicly traded company that infused the equipment maker with the necessary capital to increase its production capacity and stretch its marketing reach around the world. The introduction of products like the HRB baler line and the acquisition of other outstanding equipment lines such as Selco and Amfab/TransPak further broadened the Harris product line.

Today, the Harris Waste Management Group is part of the FKI family of companies, and its reach into the recycling market is greater than ever. The line of Harris shredders joins a comprehensive line of recycling equipment that includes balers, shears, shredders and conveyors in an array of styles and sizes to serve the metals, paper and plastic recycling markets, as well as solid waste equipment through the TransPak line.

From its fabrication plants in Baxley and Cordele, Ga., Harris Waste Management Group produces the recycling equipment that keeps the industry moving forward. The 300,000-square foot Cordele plant has become the machine shop that the scrap processing industry relies on not only for its balers and shears, but also now for metals shredders that will bring the Harris trademark for reliability and durability into the shredder market.