Choosing the right semi-automatic stretch wrapper for a specific application can be tricky. The most important thing to keep in mind when making your decision are the loads that will be wrapped on it. While there are several different models of semi-automatic machines, there are two general categories of stretch wrappers: a turntable wrapper and a straddle wrapper.
A turntable stretch wrapper, rotates the load on a turntable while the film delivery system moves up and down a mast, dispensing stretch film. With a straddle wrapper, the load remains stationary while a wrap arm holding the film delivery system rotates around it.
To decide which one is best for your application consider these four things:
1. The Weight of Your Load
Turntable wrappers have a max weight capacity of about 5,000 pounds. If your loads are heavier than that a straddle wrapper would be best.
Straddle wrappers are also a better choice for light or unstable loads. Turntable wrappers usually rotate between 12 - 15 revolutions per minute so the load must be stable with the weight distributed evenly, otherwise it could fall apart as it rotates.
2. Available Floor Space
Sometimes a more compact stretch wrapper is desirable because floor space is limited. In this case a turntable would be best. Straddle wrappers take up more floor space because of the rotating wrap arm and supporting framework.
A turntable stretch wrapper fits nicely between dock doors, which is a popular location for semi-automatic stretch wrappers. They're also portable, you can always move it, if the need arises. A straddle wrapper is more permanent because it needs to be anchored to the floor.
3. Ceiling Height
If you have a low ceiling, the turntable stretch wrapper might be a better solution. Turntable stretch wrappers are typically shorter than straddle wrapper for the same load height capacities.
Budget is usually the very first consideration. Turntable wrappers typically range from $6,000 to $15,000, while straddle wrappers start in the $17,500 range.
While there are many factors that go into the decision making process, reflecting on these four considerations will help you make an informed decision.
After you've chosen the type of machine, its time to consider other features you might want to add that could improve productivity, like an automatic cut and clamp unit, or that would help you wrap more effectively, like a feature that will keep your loads from sliding off their pallets during transit.
If you’re having trouble deciding between a turntable and a straddle stretch wrapper, you can learn more at Lantech.com.
This post was published on May 6, 2016 and updated on October 4, 2018.