Don’t lose sight of the most important reason why you’re considering a stretch wrap machine in the first place: to get your load from its origin to its destination in the same condition in which it left.
Machines wrap better than people, but they are not capable of making decisions as they work, so you’ll need to understand what you want the machine to be able to do.
1. What kind of stretch wrap will you be using?
When you’re considering purchasing a stretch wrap machine, you’ve got to consider the gauge, the pre-stretch ability, and the material of the film that will run through it. It will never be the same wrap that you’ve been using on the hand rollers.
2. How much load containment force do you need?
Each layer of your load needs to have the correct amount of containment force: the wrap force multiplied by the number of film layers. The right amount depends on the type of load you’re wrapping. Heavy loads require more containment force; lighter loads require less.
3. How will you wrap the pallets and how many wraps will be necessary?
A stretch wrap machine is great at wrapping your pallets quickly and effectively, but it can’t think for itself. You’ll need to choose the number of top and bottom wrap counts. You must also decide the wrap force and how much overwrap you want applied.
4. What will you do to limit breakage?
Breaks are more than just an annoyance. They’re the biggest problem in stretch wrapping. Often they lead to a chain of disastrous consequences. Breaks in the wrap are, indeed, the enemy.
5. Do you need additional reinforcements?
You may need to secure partial layers with the roping technique or you may need to band. Sometimes your load may even call for steel or polyester strapping. Stretch wrap can’t solve all your potential issues, especially if your load is heavy and/or unstable.
6. What type of stretch wrap machine is best suited for your specific application?
Think about the size, weight, and variability of the loads you will be wrapping. Stable, light-weight loads of consumer goods would do well with a turntable style stretch wrap machine, while unstable or heavy loads would do better with a rotary arm machine.
7. What kind of production speed to you require?
Whether you choose a highly automated machine that can achieve speeds as high as 150 loads per hour or you prefer the redundancy of two lower volume machines in parallel can depend on available space, labor costs, and maintenance expenses.
8. Who is the best partner?
Experience, resources, specialists, and engineers at your distributor’s location proves that they are more than just order takers, but partners in productivity.
If a stretch wrap machine sounds like a great addition to your facility, but you’re still wondering how to justify the cost to your cost-conscious management team, IPS Packaging has published a FREE eBook to help you provide the most up-to-date data available to your bosses. They’ll be thrilled to know that ROI is typically realized for a stretch wrap machine in less than a year.