Introductionuses And Benefits Of Stretch Wrapping Machine
If you are in a business which receives a moderate to large order of packages being delivered, you must know how backbreaking as well as time-consuming it can get to pack the products manually, transit them safely, and yet deliver them on time. That is why stretch wrap machines were invented in the first place. These machines not only relieve your workers from these heavy duty tasks, but they have also several more benefits to offer. Read on to find out more.
What Is Stretch Wrapping
Stretch wrap or stretch film is a highly stretchable plastic film used in the packaging industries to wrap items in order to pack and ship them. These are commonly made from linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) – a petroleum based thermoplastic. These films have high elastic recovery and hence, keep the product tightly bound. The thickness and the width of the stretch film to be used depends on the weight of the load, the size of the load, the material of the package, the number of items to be unified, the uniformity of the products to be wrapped together, required puncture resistance, and required durability. Stretch films are very useful since they are easy to apply, cheap, and recyclable – so environmentally friendly.
Uses Of Stretch Wrap
Stretch wrap is very useful in the packaging industry. Here are the most common uses of the same-
- One of the main reasons a stretch wrap is used is to unitize a load for shipment. Sometimes items can be too inconvenient or costly to pack and ship separately as individual pieces. Unitizing these products also is convenient in organizing the shipping arrangement, along with packing and shipping them. This uses less packaging material, hence it reduces cost of packing as well.
- Some other times, products to be shipped can be fragile and more vulnerable when shipped as one. Stretch wrapping a lot of the same product together gives them a united strength, reducing their individual fragility. This also stops them from moving and shifting during their transportation, which causes the most damage.
- Moreover, stretch films protect the load from moisture, dust, and the sun, as well as from being contaminated on the transportation path.
- Products wrapped in stretch films are also not so easy to steal without leaving a mark.
How Is Stretch Wrapping Done
Stretch wrapping is done is a few steps:
- First, the load is assembled on the pellet. In this, load placement on the pallet is key. For a good and tight stretch wrap, the load should not overhang the sides of the pallet or be more than four inches inside it. The pellet itself should be in good condition as well for a good packaging to happen.
- Once the load is on the pallet, the whole ensemble (pallet and load) is stretch wrapped together.
There are three ways you can apply a stretch wrap –
- Manually: This is done, as the name suggests, by a worker. However, as you can imagine, this is a very laborious job, especially if there are a lot of products to be stretch wrapped. A lot of material is also wasted in this method since it is impossible for a human being to calculate the amount of packing material required very precisely.
- Using a semi-automatic stretch wrap machine: For a semi-automatic stretch wrap machine, the load is placed on the stretch wrappers wrap zone and stretch film is applied thereafter. There are two different styles available in this kind of stretch wrap machine: turntable and straddle. While turntable models rotate the load on a turntable, straddle style models contain a wrap arm that moves the load around and applies the film.
- Using an auto stretch wrap machine: Auto stretch wrap machines are similar to semi-automatic stretch wrappers, except in this case, the machine typically includes infeed and exit conveyors to automatically cycle the loads on the machine, so that no worker is required to operate it.
No matter which type of stretch wrap machine is used, the containment force, i.e., the force that holds the load to its position, is the most important thing to get right. This varies from package to package and can be accurately decided by trial and error only.
Benefits Of Using Stretch Wrapping Machines
As we can understand from the above points, manual stretch wrapping is not a very practical option. In fact, stretch wrap machines are recommended for any business which has to wrap more than 15 loads per day. There are a number of benefits of using a stretch wrap machine as you can find below:
A time saver:
- The entire process of loading, wrapping the pallets as well as all the boxes, and then unloading can be really time-consuming and tedious to do manually. Plus if there is even one mistake, the whole process might need to be started over. Using a machine for the job will save you a lot of time, and you can use your human worker somewhere else, which requires human intelligence.
- This also relieves you from the waiting time for each loading, unloading, and stretch wrap. When you use a machine you know exactly how long the wrapping will take and you can organize your business activities more smoothly.
- A stretch wrap machine is much faster than manual labour. Depending on the settings available on a stretch wrap machine, they can be one or two times faster than wrapping by hand.
- A machine can also determine the force and number of wraps required much more accurately than a human. Therefore, you get a more consistent containment force for all your packages to be wrapped.
- Pallet loads over 5-7 feet in height can be very difficult to wrap by hand. Larger, taller packages can be wrapped easily when you are using a machine.
- As per some studies, about 20% of all warehouse accidents happen for people walking around machines. When you use a stretch wrap machine, your operator is on a forklift machine instead of on the floor, making him/her safer.
- Fatigue is another common issue among workers doing manual labour. The work that goes into stretch wrapping can come with additional back and muscle pain. Using a machine for robotic tasks like this keeps your employees safe.
A Money Saver:
- Using both semi-automatic and auto stretch wrap machines will save you a lot of cost in terms of materials. Automatic stretch wrap machines contain two film thread rollers where the second roller’s rotational speed is higher than the first, which results in stretching of the film used in it. This increases the tensile strength of the stretch wrap film and reduces your overall costs.
In fact, some stretch films have over a 100% stretch rate. Workers cannot reach their full potential by hand, but the wrap material will naturally tend to reach there. Because of this, the material keeps stretching when the load is in transit, potentially resulting in loosening the wrap. Only a machine reaches the full stretch limit, therefore, it wraps more pallets with less material, as well as almost completely eliminates wastage of material.
- On top of all this, you save a lot on labour cost as automation takes care of everything related to the packaging. You can hire less people and use them in areas where a machine cannot do the job.
Happier Workers Equals Better Productivity:
Since you spend on labour less, you can pay the workers you do hire a higher amount. Not working with heavy packages also makes them safer, and they are relieved from extreme working conditions. These benefits will make your workers happier, making them more dedicated towards their specific work duties, and in turn, your company will see a greater productivity in the workplace.
Choosing an auto stretch wrap machine is going to change the way you look at labour. However, when you do make the choice of investing in one, buy yours only from a reputed and certified stretch wrap machine dealer to avoid any fraud and scams in the same. Once you get it, enjoy your extended business and increased profit for a long time to come!