HSM gives UK retailer’s OCC a sporting chance
HSM-prepared bales ready to be shipped from the Sports Direct facility.
Photo supplied by HSM GmbH + Co. KG.

HSM gives UK retailer’s OCC a sporting chance

United Kingdom-based Sports Direct deploys 14 HSM balers to manage paper and plastic scrap.

January 21, 2020

More than a dozen balers made by Frickingen, Germany-based HSM GmbH + Co. KG are helping a United Kingdom retailer prepare recyclables for shipping at its national distribution center.

The balers are on the job at the national distribution center of Sports Direct, located in Shirebrook, Nottinghamshire, U.K. Sports Direct International PLC, which was founded in 1982, operates some 1,000 retail locations in that nation, offering sports, fitness, fashion and lifestyle clothing and equipment.

The HSM machines in Shirebrook prepare discarded materials generated at Sports Direct’s 1,000 stores, helping the retailer adhere to the firm’s recycling standards.

Sports Direct Facility Manager Martyn Joyce has been responsible for the management of waste in the company for more than 14 years, according to HSM. That task currently involves monitoring from 800 to 1,000 metric tons of old corrugated containers (OCC) collected each month, plus other materials that Joyce has strict orders to keep away from the OCC.

Sports Direct acquired its first HSM Baler in 2000, which “paid for itself in no time,” according to Joyce. Subsequently, the Shirebrook facility is now home to nine HSM automated balers for cardboard and five V-Press vertical models for plastic scrap.

The vertical balers process up to 40 metric tons each month and around 480 metric tons annually. A total of 2,200 bales are produced on a monthly basis by all baling machines within the warehouse, the company estimates.

Sports Direct has its own onsite maintenance team that performs daily, weekly and monthly checks. However, the firm also has a service contract with the baler maker, with HSM technicians visiting the Shirebrook site every six months to do any major servicing.

“If any complications arise, HSM’s experienced nationwide service team will respond promptly,” says Joyce. “With 2,200 bales produced each month, this has helped to improve productivity and decrease downtime of the baling machines, which are in continuous operation.“

Within the Sports Direct baler fleet is a “mill size” Model HSM VK 4812 automated baler, which incorporates an in-line feeding conveyor. The design features an “exceptionally large charging area” to enhance the feeding of boxes that may or may not be flattened. The model also achieves labor savings by eliminating a need to tie off bales manually, says HSM.

“The cardboard boxes produced here don’t have any rubbish in them such as plastics or staples, so we’ve had no issue selling our products because of their great quality,” states Joyce.

HSM says it has worked with the retailer so “each baler is assigned to different locations within the distribution center, to improve productivity and decrease downtime.” A custom modification at Sports Direct’s facility allows one of its balers to accept packaging via mezzanine gravity discharge chutes, permitting two streams to be processed simultaneously.

In addition to baling OCC and plastic, around 150 metric tons of “dry mixed recycling” is put through the site’s balers each month. Those bales are sent to a third party who will “recycle as much as they can out of it”, says Joyce.