When was the last time you walked into the grocery store and no one was in line? But later, when you went to pay for your groceries, the checkout line is packed.
When the lines are long, maybe the store will open additional checkout lanes or maybe a bagger will come help so customers move through the lines quicker. Either way you like the stores that can get you in and out fast because your time is valuable.
Using a stretch wrapper can be similar to waiting in line at the grocery. You must be equipped to deal with ebbs and flows. Maybe your operators stage pallets all day, and right before the end of their shift they need to wrap many loads in a short period of time.
If you don’t use a stretch wrapper that can handle enough loads per hour, your operators may experience bottlenecks and late shipments.
When you’re looking for a stretch wrapper, know when and how often you’re going to use it. Consider your peak production instead of your average production, and make your decision based on your unique situation.
Most semi-automatic stretch wrappers can handle about 15 to 20 loads per hour. But high speed automatic machines can handle up to 200 loads per hour. Conveyors can also feed loads into the wrap area and move loads from it, helping reduce bottlenecks associated with transporting loads to and from the machine.
If you don’t think the volume during your busiest hour justifies an automatic stretch wrapper, consider multiple semi-automatics or ones with features that increase productivity. For example, a great productivity feature is a remote control that lets the operator start the machine while on the forklift, eliminating about two minutes of labor associated with getting on and off the forklift to operate the machine.
Waiting in line can be frustrating. And so is waiting to wrap loads. While you may not be able to avoid long lines at the grocery, you can avoid the long line to use a stretch wrapper. When you know your peak volume, you can make choices based on your exact needs.
This post was published on April 6, 2016 and updated on September 13, 2017.