If you’re like most companies, when you decide to make a large equipment purchase (like a stretch wrapper) you go through a process. Most likely you spend time researching various manufacturers, products, and your own needs before you make the decision to purchase a machine. But the machine itself is only one link in a much larger value chain. If you’ve spent the time and energy to find the right automatic stretch wrapper, it’s worth taking the time to make sure you have the support in place to get the most out of your purchase.
There are a couple of things that you can do to ensure you are going to consistently get the best results from your automatic stretch wrapper. This support infrastructure addresses the stretch wrapping process from planning to maintenance and can make a big difference in the performance and life of your machine. The first step to create your support infrastructure is…
Before you wrap a single pallet load there is a certain amount of knowledge that someone in your organization is going to need to possess. Do you have people with the skills to operate an automatic stretch wrapper? How about maintain one? If not, how are you going to go about training?
Today’s stretch wrappers are easier to operate and more user-friendly than some older models, and you can find models with new technology that takes some of the operator skill out of the equation, but you are going to need personnel with some level of knowledge no matter the model/features you purchase. Taking the time to secure training before your machine is sitting on your floor is ideal, but at the very least you should be aware of the resources available to you through the machine's distributor or manufacturer.
Identify your stretch wrapping standards
Something else that you should have locked down before you start wrapping are your wrap standards. Having a stretch wrapping standard for each type of pallet load you will be wrapping is necessary to ensure consistent and effective stretch wrapping. A skilled operator should be able to develop wrap standards based on your machine’s capability, but there are a few things all wrap standards should address.
Your Wrap Standards Should Specify the Correct Containment Force.
Containment force requirements are key to effective stretch wrapping, so identifying your target containment force for each load type is critical.
Wrap Standards Should Specify the Load to Pallet Bond Requirements.
How are you going to secure the load to the pallet? Without a load to pallet bond, loads tend to shift and 'walk' off the pallet during shipment. Film cables are the most effective method.
Your Wrap Standards Should Address Requirements for Eliminating Long or Dragging Film Tails.
Excessive film tails can get caught in downstream equipment and cause loss of containment force or load failure.
Addressing all three of these requirements in your wrap standard is a good best practice and will help to eliminate shipping damage.
Don’t Forget to Check the Machine's Performance Occasionally
Your automatic stretch wrapper support infrastructure should always include a plan for performance checks. Stretch wrappers are by and large reliable, but even the best machines will eventually run into issues with enough use. You want to make sure your machine continues to run at a top performance level. While it may be tempting to “run it until it breaks”, without giving this thought, performance checks are a good way to increase the efficiency and lifespan of your machine.
Make Use of the Resources Available to You
You're not the first person whose had questions about how to select stretch wrapper features, find the right containment force, or develop wrap patterns. One of the best things you can do to get the most out of your automatic stretch wrapper is simply to make use of the resources available to you.
If you’re looking for a place to start, the Automatic Stretch Wrapper Buying Guide is a great jumping off point into the world of automatic stretch wrapping. With insider tips and tricks, the guide has all the information you need. Follow the link below to get your free copy.
If you still have questions, you can always call your Lantech representative to help you decide which model is best for you. Contact us today!
This post was published on October 18, 2016 and updated on November 22, 2019.