At its most basic, stretch wrapping is about loads. The goal of every load that has ever been stretch wrapped is to reach its destination in the same condition it was in when it was shipped. Stretch wrapping seeks to unitize and secure loads so that they have the best chance of achieving that goal.
When purchasing a stretch wrapper, however, buyers can sometimes lose sight of this goal, focusing instead solely on cost. While cost is certainly a factor that should be considered in the purchasing decision, by thinking “load” first you can ultimately choose the stretch wrapping solution that best fits your needs.
The Art and Science of Stretch Wrapping
For years, finding the balance of cost and effective stretch wrapping was more art than science. Wrap standards were developed through trial and error so the most obvious reference for efficiency when purchasing a new machine was cost. Now, however, the science of stretch wrapping has overtaken the art.
Today we understand the science of effective stretch wrapping better than ever before. Rather than pure trial and error, we can look at the variety of variables that go into a load and make decisions about how to best wrap it.
Variables like film type, pre-stretch amount, load weight, and containment force work together to influence the probability of a load arriving undamaged.
One of the most important variables to consider is the load itself.
Think “Load” First
What a load is made of and how the individual components are arranged on the pallet have a big impact on how the load should be pallet wrapped. We’ve talked about this in regards to distribution centers especially (because they regularly have to wrap non-standard loads), but understanding the makeup of your typical load will go a long way to finding the right wrapping solution regardless of application.
The Automatic Stretch Wrapper Buying Guide is a free resource that will help walk you through the issues and opportunities (like thinking about “load” first). You can download your copy by following the link below and filling out a brief form.
How does “load” impact your buying decision?
Knowing if your typical loads are extremely light/heavy, unstable, uniform, etc. means understanding the challenges your stretch wrapping solution needs to overcome. This, in turn, impacts the types of features you should look for in a stretch wrapper.
By thinking about your loads first you can look at the science of stretch wrapping to make the best purchasing decision.
Automatic Stretch Wrapper Buying Guide
Navigating the world of stretch wrapping can be difficult. When you take your first steps into stretch wrapping there are a lot of variables to understand and the consequences of a misstep can add up to thousands of dollars in lost inventory and downtime.
To make the best stretch wrap purchasing decision it is imperative that you understand the issues and opportunities associated with owning and operating an automatic stretch wrapper.
This post was published on September 22, 2016 and updated on September 13, 2017.