COEUR D’ALENE – The claw of the machine dropped and grabbed at piles of broken down metal – bits and chunks of sheet and pipe. The baling machine operator guided the claw as it lifted its load, swung to the side and dropped the items into another section of the giant machine, crushing and compacting the metal into square chunks. At Hern Iron Works Recycling they call the baler, “Wall-E,” after the waste-collecting robot in the 2008 Pixar film of the same name. The machine is part of the foundry operation’s recent effort to switch gears and weather the recession. Located on Hern Road, off Atlas Road north of the Coeur d’Alene Rifle and Pistol Club, the foundry has been in operation since 1971, when current owner Jack Hern’s father built it. It sits on 30 forested acres. “It’s been going fast or slow here for 40 years,” Hern said.