The Komar Crunch

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Which Type of Auger-Pak® Does Your Facility Need?
Komar serves three main applications with the Komar Auger-Pak®: Cardboard, Wood, and General Waste. Many facilities have all three waste streams present. Does this mean that every facility requires three Auger-Pak® units? The short answer is No. While we serve customers, who have enough volume in each application to justify three separate units, this is not typical. This article will help you understand which of our industrial auger compactor lines will best serve your needs.

Cardboard Applications:

When is a unit dedicated to cardboard?
Medium to high-volume cardboard generators want to recycle their cardboard because they get rebates and avoid landfill fees. To recycle cardboard, they must keep it separate from the rest of their waste stream. Separation requires a dedicated unit to process cardboard. The alternative technology for this volume of cardboard processing is an auto-tie baler. To learn about the auger’s advantages, go here.

Cardboard Processing in Auger-Pak®

If a facility does not have a lot of cardboard, it will be difficult for them to realize a positive ROI in purchasing a dedicated Auger-Pak® for cardboard. They will either throw cardboard in with the rest of their waste or select a smaller cardboard recycling system, like a downstroke baler or hydraulic ram compactor.


General Waste Applications:

What is general waste?
In the simplest terms, “general waste” means a mixed waste application. The main goal is either volume reduction or product destruction, and the processed material is going to a landfill, not a recycler. Common types of general waste are: bagged trash; furniture; consumer goods for product destruction; unsalable items from donation centers; and mixed industrial facility waste. If you do not have enough wood or cardboard to justify a dedicated unit, it is common to throw this material in with the rest of your general waste stream.

General Waste Processing in Auger-Pak®

Wood Waste Applications:

Why make the distinction from general waste?
Like general waste, wood waste is typically going to a landfill. Unlike general waste, wood-dominate applications benefit from the addition of cutting teeth on the auger screw. The teeth help to grab the wood and shred it more effectively. When a facility is filling up several open-top dumpsters of wood waste per week, they can usually easily justify an Auger-Pak® for this waste stream.

Wood Processing in Auger-Pak®

Wood Processing in Auger-Pak®

Because wood waste is going to a landfill, it is ordinarily fine to also process some general waste in this unit. The caveat is the presence of something in the general waste stream that could catch on the teeth and wrap the auger screw. We call these items “red flag materials.” Common red flag materials are banding, plastic film, cardboard, full metal framing around crates (corner bracing is okay), and metal sheeting. Depending on how much of this material you must process, as well as the size of your wood waste, your Komar sales expert will help you to determine if the wood screw or the general screw will be best for your application.

The Trifecta:

When do facilities require all three Auger-Pak® units?
Some facilities have a medium-high volume of both cardboard and wood waste from their shipping and receiving operations. They purchase an Auger-Pak® for cardboard to process it for transportation to the recycler. They also purchase an Auger-Pak® (with cutting teeth) to process their wood waste safely and efficiently for transportation to the landfill. Finally, they have enough additional material (such as bagged trash, bulk waste, banding, plastic film, etc.) to get an additional unit for their general waste.

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 Which technology is best for fulfillment and distribution centers?

High-volume fulfillment centers and distribution warehouses generate a considerable amount of cardboard from their order fulfillment, re-packaging, and return processes. Depending on facility size, that amount of cardboard could be anywhere from 150 to 300 tons per month. This incredible volume of the material requires the most efficient, cost-effective, and reliable technology to process cardboard out of the facility. We believe that the Komar auger compactor (Komar Auger-Pak®) is the right solution for this objective.

The Myth of the Baled Premium

Depending on their geographical location, high-volume cardboard generating facilities can sell their cardboard to a recycler. When these facilities ask recyclers about the buyback rate for cardboard, many recyclers will indicate that they pay a $15 to $20 per ton premium for baled cardboard. Based on this buyback premium, a lot of generating facilities will decide to buy a baler.
As with all process equipment, there are costs associated with operating and maintaining a baler. When considering process efficiency, operational costs, maintenance and labor requirements, safety concerns, and reliability, it becomes evident that the small buyback premium recyclers pay for baled cardboard does not begin to cover the extra cost of producing bales.

The Komar Auger-Pak®

The Komar Auger-Pak® was invented to solve the issues with the traditional baling process. To understand how the auger eliminates these issues, it is essential first to understand how the Auger-Pak® works. Here is a step-by-step illustrated guide:


Benefits of the Komar Auger-Pak®

Regained Floor Space

The auger compactor sits outside of your facility.
Only the conveyor, or in some cases, the dumper, remain inside. Exposure to the elements is not a problem for the Auger-Pak® because it does not have intricate or fragile parts like those found in the baler’s auto-tie system. You will regain all of the floor space for the baler’s footprint, the dedicated forklift paths around the baler, and the area where you use to store the bales.



No Moving, Stacking, and Loading Bales

The auger compactor packs directly into the hauling container.
Because the Auger-Pak® compacts cardboard directly into the hauling container, it eliminates the forklift and forklift operator’s need to handle bales. In addition to saving these resources’ direct cost, you also eliminate the associated maintenance costs for the forklift and the risk to your employees in moving and stacking heavy bales. When the hauler arrives, they do not have to wait for your employee to load their trailer. The roll-off container they pick up is already full and ready to be rolled off their flatbed.



No Chute Jams

The auger’s in-feed is never blocked and is twice the size of a baler’s infeed, preventing chute jams.


While a baler’s ram is compacting, it temporarily blocks the baler’s throat. During this time, cardboard backs up in the throat and is subject to jam. The relatively smaller size of the baller’s in-feed opening exacerbates this problem.



No Drag-Back

The auger does not experience drag-back because it always pushes material forward, eliminating spaces for material to become trapped.  When a baler’s ram is retracting, it can catch some material just pushed forward and drag it back. Over time this material builds up under or behind the ram and causes jams that require downtime and labor to fix.


Simple Design for Lower Maintenance 

The auger has one major moving part, the auger screw.
The Auger-Pak® utilizes the auger screw to break down the material and compacts it directly into the hauling container. Supported by a simple but strong self-lubricating bearing support system, the auger doesn’t have many tiny moving parts that can break down and cause processing disruption.


The baler’s auto-tie system is very complex.
The baler’s needle and threading of industrial-grade wire draw similarities to a loom or giant sewing machine. It has hundreds of tiny moving parts exposed continuously to debris that can stop them from working correctly. A full-time operator must be available to keep this system

properly lubricated, aligned, and clear of debilitating debris. Due to the complexity and fragility of this process, the auto-tie system often malfunctions or breaks completely.
This video shows an auto-tie system at work: an Auto-tie system at work.


Clean All-Electric Drive

Komar’s EM-Auger-Pak® line is all-electric. Electromechanical drives are inherently low maintenance and quiet, with no hydraulic oil leaks. Komar’s electric drives boast a 500% shock load rating to process difficult materials with ease. Hydraulic systems power a lot of industrial equipment, including some of Komar’s biggest auger compactors. However, if you do not need a hydraulic drive to do the job, an electromechanical drive is a simple, clean power option.


No Baling Wire

The wire to tie bales is expensive. The average cost of wire per ton of baled cardboard is $5.33 to $5.88. The cost of wire alone takes away at least a fourth of the baled ton premium. Having wire under immense tension is a safety hazard. Whether it is loading a new role of heavy wire on the baler, adjusting the wire running down the baler, or fixing a problem inside the tying mechanism, these actions pose a serious risk of injury. Eliminating baler wire is much safer for your employees.


Eliminates Flammable Material Inside of Your Building

 A Komar Auger-Pak® puts processed cardboard inside a hauling container’s metal enclosure, which has minimal access to oxygen. Installing an auger means a lower risk of fire, which will significantly drop insurance costs and the fire protection system’s cost. Cardboard is a very flammable material. Having a lot of cardboard stacked inside or outside of the facility is a safety risk. Because of this risk, the facility must upgrade its fire protection system when installing a baler.



When a recycler or a mill offers a $15-$20 per ton premium for baled cardboard, they are only offering the cardboard generating facility the amount of money the recycler/mill saves from having to bale it themselves. The recycler/mill wouldn’t offer more because they would lose money.
This reality implies that to make money at baling, the cardboard generating facility must have a more efficient baling operation than the recycler or the mill. Recyclers and mills bale cardboard as their primary business function. They have a completely optimized system with much bigger balers. The hydraulic technicians and mechanics on staff specialize in the baler’s systems and have an intricate understanding of how to drive cost out of the baling process.

In a fulfillment or distribution center, cardboard is a by-product of the primary business operations. The cost to bale cardboard will almost always be much higher than the $15-$20 per ton premium that the recycler/mill is paying to bale. The facility’s advantage is to have the most efficient and cost-effective way to get cardboard out of the facility. The Komar Auger-Pak® solves the problems and cost issues associated with baling, giving cardboard generating facilities a superior return on their investment.

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 Auger Compactor vs. Ram Compactor

You have decided that it is time for your company to replace an existing compactor or to purchase a new compactor for the first time. Suddenly, you are in a world of charge capacities, compaction ratios, crushing forces, and cycle times. It’s time to cut through the noise and focus on what’s really important: operational efficiency and a superior return on investment.  This article is a high-level comparison between the ram compactor and the Komar auger compactor (Auger-Pak®).

Achieving Higher Compaction and Larger Payloads

The primary purpose of a compactor is to reduce material volume. The more material you can compact into the roll-off container, the more money you save on transportation costs. While both technologies promise high compaction ratios, it is essential to note that the Komar Auger-Pak® typically packs at least twice the volume into a roll-off container as the equivalent sized ram compactor.

Komar Auger-Pak® Wood Payload

Komar Auger-Pak® Cardboard Payload

Why is the Auger Better at Compacting?

Augers Shred & Compact in One Machine

Unlike a ram compactor, the Komar Auger-Pak® breaks up and shreds material as it compacts. The auger’s shredding capability is inherent to the continuous forward rotation of the auger screw. As the auger screw turns, it shreds. Enhanced by the tapered design of the processing chamber, this shredding action produces relatively small pieces as it pushes material into the roll-off container. We like to call this 3D destruction.

The ram compactor, on the other hand, only pushes material into the container. Because the material is not shredded, it does not compact as tightly. We call this 2D destruction. The 3D destruction of the Komar auger provides a higher compaction ratio, and as a result, a larger payload. Many of our customers have gone from one pull a day to one pull a week using the auger compactor.

Komar Auger-Pak® – Shredding & Compacting

Ram Compactor – Only Compacting

Why is the Auger Faster and More Efficient?

Elimination of Cyclical Processing

This Processing Difference has Many Implications:

(1) No Cycle Time

The auger is faster because it does not spend half of its time going in reverse.

(2) Continuous Feeding

The auger provides optimum processing with continuous metered feeding. Employees do not have to wait for a ram to reposition before putting more material into the processing chamber.

(3) No Spring-Back

When a ram retracts, the material that was under pressure springs back. Spring-back causes loss of processing progress. The material must be re-compacted multiple times before it is small enough to be pushed into the roll-off container. An auger does not experience material spring-back.

Why is the Auger Lower Maintenance?

(1) All-Electric Drive

Hydraulic systems power a lot of industrial equipment, including some of Komar’s biggest auger compactors. However, if you do not need a hydraulic drive to do the job, an electromechanical drive is a simple, clean power option. Komar’s EM-Auger-Pak® line is all-electric and ranges from 15-180hp. Electromechanical drives are inherently low maintenance and quiet with no hydraulic oil leaks. Komar’s electric drives boast a 500% shock load rating to process difficult materials with ease.

(2) No Drag-Back

When a ram is retracting, it can catch some material around the ram and drag it back. Over time this caught material builds up under and around the ram attracting unwanted pests. Periodic removal of the ram is required to clear away the debris. Drag-back can also cause jams that require downtime and labor to fix. The auger does not experience drag back because it is always pushing material forward, eliminating spaces for material to become trapped.

(3) No Chute Jamming

Chute jams occur when the flow of material builds up on top of the reciprocating ram during the retraction phase of the ram cycle. This build-up causes the material to jam or bridge across the chute opening. Often the compactor must be fully shut down to clear the jam manually, which is dangerous and labor-intensive.


When selecting a compactor it is important to focus on operational efficiency and a superior return on investment.  The auger compactor’s method of processing, continuous forward rotation, prevents operational issues like spring-back, drag-back, and chute jamming.  Eliminating these issues drastically cuts down on maintenance and labor costs.   Continuous forward rotation also saves time, as the auger doesn’t have to reverse before compacting more material, nor is there additional wait time between loading.  Finally, the auger utilizes 3-D destruction, shredding material as it compacts it into the roll-off container.  Shredding leads to tighter compacting and, by extension, much larger payloads.  Larger payloads mean a significant reduction in transportation costs.  If you are ready to improve your operational efficiency and your bottom line, it’s time to consider an auger-compactor.


Why Komar?

Forty Years of Perfecting Auger Technology

When it comes to auger processing technology, Komar is the leading expert in the field. With a relentless focus on continuous improvement through engineering, manufacturing, and service Komar has spent the last forty years perfecting the auger compactor for a wide range of applications. Adopted by manufacturers, fulfillment and distribution centers, recyclers, retail warehouses, and many other operations, the Komar Auger-Pak® is nationally recognized for its reliability, efficiency, and longevity.

Engineering and Processing Components Matter

Everyone claims to use top-of-the-line components. Komar has made substantial investments in its engineering and manufacturing processes to supply them. Komar is unique in employing a solid steel auger shaft, cast steel flights, and an electromechanical drive system with a 500% shock load rating. This setup powerfully applies the most torque to break down and compact material efficiently, without putting the equipment under duress.

Expert Service and OEM Parts are Essential

Every Komar Service Technician is factory-trained on Komar’s full line of equipment. When a Komar technician arrives at your facility, they come equipped with the expert skillset, tools, and OEM parts to get the job done quickly and to the highest quality standards. Many of our competitors will suggest that a cheaper option for service support is to use their local network of contracted general equipment technicians. Not explicitly trained on the customer’s equipment, and without direct access to factory parts, these technicians often take much longer to get the equipment back up and running. For most customers, downtime is costly, so having an expert who can arrive the same day and get the job done right provides a higher value proposition.