Common Types of Stretch Wrap Machines and Equipment
In the packaging industry, stretch film is essential for securing products, organizing shipments, and reducing worker injury during shipping and handling. Made from linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE), stretch film is a sturdy yet thin plastic with a strong cling. Its elasticity acts as a rubber band, tightly securing products to pallets for easy shipment.
When it comes to stretch film and stretch wrap equipment, there are many different styles, gauges, and methods of application to choose from. Below is a rundown of common types of stretch wrap equipment that can cater to your operation.
Ideal for smaller operations that wrap up to ten pallets a day, manual wrapping is done by hand. The stretch film is applied around palettes by an operator who loads, wraps, and unloads everything themselves. While time consuming, hand wrapping stretch film can be more cost effective for smaller operations, rather than investing in a stretch wrap machine.
Semi-automatic wrapping requires operators to interact with a pallet stretch wrapper machine at the beginning and end of the wrapping process. The operator must attach the stretch wrap to the pallet load so that the machine can wrap the entire pallet securely and make appropriate adjustments depending on the load profile. Once the stretch wrapper machine is finished, an operator must secure the tail of the stretch wrap and move the wrapped pallet to its next location to make way for the next pallet load.
This equipment is great as a transitional machine if your operation is growing and moving away from a manual stretch wrapping system. This is ideal for operations that wrap ten or more pallets per day.
Besides the amount of pallets your operation may be handling, there are three different styles of semi-automatic stretch wrap machines for pallet wrapping you should consider.
High Profile: This machine uses a turntable which is higher off the ground to make forklift use easily accessible. With the additional height of this style, forklift operators can easily move pallets on and off the turntable.
Low Profile: In contrast, the low profile style has a turntable that is lower to the ground. Ramps are used to load and unload each pallet load from the turntable instead of a forklift.
Rotary Arms: The third style utilizes a rotary arm that can move around the pallet, instead of the pallet moving around the stretch wrap. This is ideal for heavy pallets that can not be moved using a forklift or ramp.
Depending on the size and scale of your packaging operation, one style of stretch wrapping equipment may be more beneficial than another.
Automatic stretch wrapping does not require any operator interaction with the machines. Pallets are loaded, wrapped, and unloaded automatically. An automatic stretch wrap machine will increase efficiency, cutting down on time and cost of labor. These are ideal for larger operations that handle and ship large quantities of palletized loads.
Automatic pallet wrapper equipment offers two different styles to fit the needs of your operation.
Floor Automatics: These machines are ideal for warehouse use where products are being moved from warehousing to shipping. Floor automatics are more economical than conveyorized automatics.
Conveyorized Automatics: These machines function at the end of a conveyor line where the stretch wrapping machine sits above the conveyor line and wraps pallets as they move down the line.
While automatic pallet wrap systems may be ideal for larger operations, small businesses can benefit from an automatic stretch wrapping machine as well.
In one instance, a small Wisconsin operation was struggling to find workers to palletize their product. After an assessment, it was determined that an automatic stretch wrapper would be beneficial in the operation’s success. Ultimately this automated pallet wrapping machine was able to apply stretch film, dispense pallets, and increase productivity and efficiency to deliver their products on time.
Types of Stretch Wrap Systems
There are three types of stretch wrap systems used in the wrapping process. These systems can be incorporated into semi-automatic or fully automatic systems depending on the scope of your operations.
Turntable: The turntable system involves a pallet being placed on a rotating platform that spins the pallet load as stretch film is applied to the pallet. The stretch film is usually applied from the base of the pallet to the top and then back down again for additional security. These are the most common types of stretch wrap systems and can be versatile to fit your unique operational needs.
Rotary Arm: Also called the straddle wrapper, this system uses a stretch wrap delivery system that wraps around a stationary load. The stretch film is applied horizontally and is ideal for loads that are unstable, fragile, or heavy.
Orbital: This system is also referred to as ring wrapper and is similar to the rotary arm in which the pallet is stationary while the stretch wrap delivery system moves. The stretch film in the orbital system wraps the pallet over and under usually as the load moves through a conveyor. This system is ideal for flat loads like doors or pipes.
We'll Help You Find the Right Stretch Wrap Equipment for Your Business
Whether you wrap two pallets or 200 pallets a day, finding the right stretch wrap equipment is essential to ensure successful business operations.
With so many different types of stretch wrap equipment available, it can be difficult to know which one to choose. Group O can help your business assess your needs to determine which type of stretch wrap equipment is right for you. For more information call 866-476-8761.