Commitment to quality and customer satisfaction is not just an ideal, but a corporate policy for Sea Ray (Knoxville, TN), a manufacturer of pleasure boats.

That commitment has paid off. The company has earned J.D. Power and Associates' Highest Customer Satisfaction Award for 3 straight years. Sea Ray has also received the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences "Five Star Diamond Award," and is the first pleasure boat manufacturer to earn ISO 9002 certification.

Unfortunately, manufacturing large numbers of boats produces an enormous amount of trash. For example, Sea Ray's Knoxville plant alone generates some 60 tons of trash each week. To minimize the cost of handling this unwelcome byproduct, several Sea Ray plants are using the Clydesdale industrial trash compactor from Kenbay LLC (Mendham, NJ).

The compactor is approximately 4 feet wide, 5 feet deep and 7 feet tall-or about the same footprint as a standard shipping pallet. Sea Ray's Knoxville plant has two compactors: one on the assembly line and one in the distribution center. "We are always looking to cut our costs," says Craig Laboranti, operations manager of the Knoxville plant. "Compacting our waste with the Clydesdale allowed us to improve our tons per haul by 15 percent."

Research has shown that as much as 80 percent of a typical dumpster's load is air. The Clydesdale helped Sea Ray eliminate this costly inefficiency. Prior to using the compactor, the Knoxville plant dumpsters had to be emptied eight to 10 times a day by two forklift operators, who emptied the containers into a larger open-top dumpster at a remote location.

Since the plant began using the compactor, both the number of forklift operators and the hauls to the large dumpster have been cut in half, Laboranti says. And, because the compactor is a self-contained unit, trash is less visible.

"The Clydesdale had the added benefit of reducing forklift traffic within our facility, which is always a safety concern," Laboranti says.

The reduction in forklift traffic is one reason why the Knoxville plant recently received the Brunswick Corp. Gold Award for Safety for logging 1 million hours without an accident.

Operation of the compactor is straightforward. First, a heavy-duty polythene bag is placed inside the machine. Before the crushing process starts, a metal shield descends into the bag to protect it from sharp objects. Wet or dry trash is then deposited through the top of the machine. When the bag is full, a hydraulic press quietly compacts the waste with a force of more than 4,400 pounds.

After compaction, the bag is removed from the bottom of the machine. Compacted stacks are typically 35 cubic feet and weigh between 750 and 1,100 pounds.

Sea Ray's plant in Riverview, TN, had a similar experience with the Clydesdale. The Riverview facility churns out 100 boats per week, as well as 48 tons of trash. "Before we began using the compactor, we had standard 9-yard dumpsters in two locations that had to be emptied out three to four times a day. At the end of each shift, there would be a line waiting for the forklift to return," explains Jay Bunch, operations manager at the Riverview plant.

"Now, the carpet trash isn't even removed once a day, and the Clydesdale, sitting in the middle of the line, is emptied only about twice a day. We still have a dedicated forklift operator, but we are able to use the time freed up for him to work in other areas that aren't being serviced correctly," he explains.

Baja Marine, a Sea Ray subsidiary, also uses a Clydesdale on the line in its plant in Bucyrus, OH. "After 3 years of constant use, it has never broken down or needed major repairs," says Jerry Goldsberry, Baja's shipping supervisor. "Before we used the Clydesdale, we were throwing trash into metal hoppers that were constantly being dumped by four janitors. Now the assembly line operators dump trash into the Clydesdale right in their area, and we only have to empty it twice a day. Since we got it, we've reduced janitorial staff by one person and freed up two other janitors to do other things in the plant.

"It is just a great machine. Anytime you can reduce your staff hours and pay for it within a year, you've got a great investment."

For more information on trash compactors, call Kenbay at 888-353-6229, visit, or eInquiry 3.