How Semi-Automatic Stretch Wrappers Can Slash Labor Costs

Posted by Kelly Wathen

Manufacturing workers are expensive. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. manufacturers pay their employees a little over three times the national minimum wage. And other advanced economies pay their worker just as much or even more.

To maximize the value of their people while on the clock, smart companies are now equipping them with better tools to make them more efficient. Instead of wrapping by hand or using antiquated machines, these companies are investing in semi-automatic stretch wrappers enhanced with productivity features that can save time and money.

For example, a machine that can automatically cut the film at the end of a wrap cycle, typically saves thirty seconds of labor per load, or one that will attach film at the start of the cycle and cut it at the end, saves an average two minutes per load because drivers don’t have to get off their forklifts.

By letting machines do the work, operators can spend time doing things like staging another load, printing shipping labels, or completing bills of lading thus making their day more productive.

These advantages don’t just sound cool, they pay off – thousands of dollars over just a few years in fact. The chart below shows the labor and cost that can be saved by adding popular automation features to semi-automatic stretch wrappers.


Labor savings chart


The more you get the machine to do, the better off you are. Adding an automation feature might raise the cost of the machine $.08 or €.07 per load, however, it is more than offset by the labor savings. By automatically attaching the film and cutting it at the end of a cycle you save $.46 or €.66 per load on labor.  What that means to you is $.38 or €.59 back into your pocket every load you wrap.

Why stop here? There are other productivity enhancing features like a scale built into a stretch wrapper’s turntable so you can wrap and weigh at the same time. This might be your opportunity to rethink what you are doing. If you want to learn more about how you can improve your stretch wrapping, visit


Simple Automation Lantech XT Calculator

This post was published on October 16, 2015 and updated on November 14, 2018.

Topics: Stretch Wrapping, Labor Savings

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