In secondary packaging, there’s nothing worse that someone opening up a truck door and the loading dock to find damaged product. Unfortunately this is too common.
Containment force is the key to stretch wrapping your loads correctly as it is what holds loads together. Depending on the products you’re shipping, you need different amounts of containment on different areas of the load.
What is Containment Force?
Containment force can be easily calculated. It is the amount of wrap force multiplied by the amount of film layers. Wrap force is how tightly each layer of film is being wrapped around the load. Containment force is the total pressure of all the layers of film. As you add layers the wrap force multiplies.
How do I know if I have enough containment force on my load?
Depending on a loads weight and stability, there is a correct amount of containment force for each load. Past performance is the best predictor of future performance. If none exists, there are easy guidelines to follow. First, understand the optimal wrap pattern for the loads. This is the right amount of containment force with the least amount of film. As part of your stretch wrapper’s settings, you can dial in wrap force, film layers and film delivery system speed. You can also choose different types of stretch film, gauges and pre-stretch levels. The interactions between all these variables aren’t always obvious and if you change one you might have to make adjustments to another.
When measuring containment force of your stretch wrapped pallet, you should check three critical areas: the top, the middle, and the bottom. Containment force usually varies at each of these locations. If you don’t have a containment force tool, contact us to learn more about which tool might be right for you.
You need to make sure you have the correct amount of force in all three areas. The recommended level of containment force changes based on the size of the load. Below are some general suggestions for different load weights. If you need help, you can contact the team at Robopac USA to get a recommendation based on your specific packaging strategies.
- Light Loads (from 0 to 500 pounds) require 2 to 6 pounds of containment force
- Medium Loads (from 500 to 1,100 pounds) require 6 to 8 pounds of containment force
- Heavy Loads (from 1,100 to 1,700 pounds) require 8 to 17 pounds of containment force
- Extreme Loads (from 1,700 to 2,200 pounds) require 15 to 22 pounds of containment force
Consistent standards are vital in the stretch wrapping process. For example, when a food or beverage manufacturer produces a product, they randomly sample products to ensure they are meeting a set of standards. The same can be done for stretch wrapping. Once you have set standards for your pallets to ship correctly and they consistently arrive at their destination without primary packaging or product damage, put a practice in place to monitor to ensure they continue to maintain your wrapping standards. We recommend measuring at the top, middle and bottom of the load on at least one load once per shift. If you find variations outside your standard, it is easy to identify the problem and make the necessary adjustments to avoid potential damage.