Managing a pallet’s load is much easier to do when it’s been stretch wrapped. This makes it easier to store, inventory, and ship. You don’t have to worry about missing items from the load, and it further helps protect your products from damage and keeps them cleaner. A stretch wrap machine is the most time and labor efficient way to wrap a load on a pallet, but it’s important to understand the mechanics behind the machine to use it effectively.
3 Categories of Stretch Wrap Application
Stretch wrap is applied in three basic methods: manual, semi-automatic, and high speed automatic. It is usually preferable to avoid the manual method because it can be physically demanding, high cost, and inconsistent.
A semi-automatic stretch wrap machine will either be a turntable or an overarm (straddle type). You will first need to put the load in the machine’s designated wrap zone. Turntable models will spin in a circle, like a record player to wrap the load while the roll of stretch film remains stationary. In overarm models, the load stays still while an arm holding the stretch film rotates around the pallet.
High speed automatic stretch wrappers work similarly to the semi-automatic types, but do not require a human to manually place the load into the wrap zone. Instead, these types include infeed and exit conveyors to move the load to and from the wrapper where the film is automatically applied.
6 Ways a Stretch Wrap Machine Protects Your Products
The point of using a stretch wrap machine is to better protect your products. This protection can be executed in a variety of ways.
- When 50 small boxes get wrapped together, they become one large box, typically called a unit load. One large box is much more stable than 50 small boxes.
- When all items on a pallet are properly aligned and wrapped together, it’s more efficient to handle and store and inventory unit loads, especially in warehouse distribution where utmost efficiency is desired.
- In some cases stretch wrapping may not be the primary source of load containment, but add dust and moisture protection.
- A unit load with several layers of stretch wrap will be less prone to tampering and make it more difficult for items to go missing or become stolen.
- If you use UV stretch wrap, you can also increase your load’s protection from outdoor storage in sunny conditions.
- The stretch film itself is often not designed for direct food contact, but when food is packaged with a few layers of stretch wrap it can help extend the shelf life of many foods.
Increase Efficiency and Decrease Costs with Help from Fastpak Systems
Whether you’re just starting out or looking to expand and upgrade your existing business, we have all the materials and equipment you need to create an efficient and cost-effective packaging and shipping operation. From boxes, void fillers, tape, and strapping, to tensioners and sealers, stretch wrap, and stretch wrap machines, we can tailor a solution for your particular application. Give us a call or reach out online to learn more or place an order.