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CHOOSING A PALLET WRAPPER: 3 QUESTIONS TO ASK
23 June 2016
Even if pallet wrapping is the last step in your packaging line, it’s one of the most important parts of the process. Keep in mind that your product needs to be moved from one place to another without being damaged. The better your equipment wraps and protects your product, the greater ROI that product can deliver.
There are three main questions to answer to make sure you choose the pallet-wrapping technology best suited to your needs:
1. How many loads are you wrapping right now and how fast, and what’s your goal for this rate?
2. What kind of pallet loads do you have? Boxes? Bags? Irregular shapes? Fragile or unstable?
3. What is your budget?
Now that you have the answers, let’s take a look at the options:
This stretch wrapping system places a load on a turntable that rotates to dispense the wrapping film. It allows you to wrap up to 45–55 loads per hour (depending on load height) and consistently maintains the correct film tension, which is key to successful stretch wrapping. A turntable wrapping machine is a good option for very stable loads and a low-to-medium production rate.
The rotary arm stretch wrapper uses an overhead arm that rotates around the load to apply the film, eliminating the need to rotate the load and allowing high-speed wrapping of lighter, fragile , heavier and unstable loads. It’s designed to maintain precise, consistent film tension and can replace the output of up to five turntable stretch wrappers, with a production rate of up to 95 loads per hour.
Stretch hood technology is universally applicable because it can secure a wide range of pallet loads. This type of wrapping system is costlier than rotary arm or turntable equipment but optimizes product safety by protecting against humidity, UV and other weather threats as well as against the danger of cargo shift during transport. It’s the best choice for manufacturers who need their product to be visible on the pallet, because stretch hooding technology produces a transparent hood. In addition to ensuring product visibility, this technology minimizes film usage. Stretch hooders produce the highest production rate, wrapping up to 100 loads per hour.
In addition to the three types of pallet wrappers available, this equipment is available in varying degrees of automation: manual, semi-automatic and automatic. Choosing the extent of automation that’s right for you depends on the packaging output you need to handle and your budget. Manual wrappers require an employee to apply film manually, a level of automation that works best in low-output settings. Semi-automatic machines include turntable wrappers and rotary arm machines that wrap automatically, but require an employee to use a forklift to place the unwrapped load and pick up the wrapped one. Fully automatic equipment uses conveyors to deliver loads, which then have wrapping film automatically applied, cut and sealed. Fully automatic wrappers are ideally suited to high-output packaging.
Wrap your investment in safety
Product characteristics, desired wrapping rate and budget all play a part in determining which type of pallet wrapper is best suited to your manufacturing process. To use these factors in selecting a pallet wrapper, answer the three questions at the beginning of this article, identify the type of pallet load you have and the wrapping rate you seek, and decide whether your budget will accommodate a manual, semi-automatic or fully automatic wrapper.
You’re invested in your product. Protect your product—and your investment—by completing your packaging line with the best pallet wrapper you can choose, so that product reaches your customers in perfect condition and maximizes your ROI.
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