Pallet wrapping machines are highly complex industrial tools with many moving parts. They may appear sturdy, but that doesn’t mean they’re immune to the occasional problem. If you don’t perform the proper maintenance, your pallet wrapping machine can experience a number of issues, including faulty sensors and blown fuses from film buildup around the rotating mechanisms. These problems are time-consuming and costly to repair, not to mention the downtime that will inevitably bring production to a screeching halt. Thankfully, you can minimize the number of repairs you’ll need to make by performing daily or weekly maintenance on your machines. It doesn’t hurt to perform regular inspections, either—they’ll help you pinpoint imminent problems before they occur or at their earliest stage. In this guide on daily maintenance for your pallet wrapping machine, we’ll go over everything you need to know about keeping your machinery in good shape.
Inspect Before Use
Performing a daily inspection before you use your machine can help you identify potential problems or hazards. Your inspection should start with a thorough look at the outside of the pallet wrapper. Check for anything that’s out-of-the-ordinary, such as an improperly installed film roll or film debris. If you notice anything peculiar, inspect the machine and solve any problems before you begin wrapping loads. If you continue with wrapping loads before addressing the problem, the machine could break, or a worker could sustain a serious injury. You’ll also want to listen for anything strange. If you hear any odd noises, such as squeaking, scraping, or grinding, stop the machine and take a closer look. A strange noise can indicate that the film is stuck or that a component of the device is broken.
Keep It Clean
If you want your pallet wrapper to run smoothly and correctly, you should keep it clean and free from debris. Every part of the pallet wrapper is vital, but one component you may want to pay special attention to is the rollers. You should give the rollers a visual inspection, looking for labels or dirt buildup—which you can clean off using rags and a suitable cleaner—and score marks in the rubber, which occurs when snapped film winds around the rollers and an operator needs to cut it manually.
Lubrication Is Key
The moving parts in your pallet wrapping machine are, as the name suggests, constantly moving and often interacting with each other. When these parts don’t have the proper lubrication, they’ll create high amounts of friction as they rotate and rub against each other. This can lead to wear-and-tear and even result in equipment failure. To keep your pallet wrapper in top condition, lubricate the bearings, chains, gear meshing, and other moving parts with SAE 30 oil on a quarterly basis. Doing so will ensure the machine’s longevity and efficiency.
Use the Right Kind of Film
Most pallet wrappers have their own unique requirements, which means you can’t treat two different machines the same and expect identical results. If your machine isn’t functioning correctly, stop and check that you’re using the right kind of film. Some devices can only handle unstretched film, while others work better with pre-stretched film. Using an incompatible type of film can cause problems with your machine—for example, the film could catch in the rollers and become trapped, or the machine may try to overcompensate and use too much film per pallet load. When this happens, it results in a huge waste of time and money, and it isn’t very environmentally friendly. Making sure you’re using the right kind of film before you start can save you a lot of headaches.
Watch the Weight
Another part of daily maintenance for your pallet wrapping machine involves watching the weight of your loads. It would be incredible if pallet wrappers could withstand an infinite amount of weight, but until such miraculous technology exists, they can only handle so much. Make sure to remind your workers that devices can only withstand a specific amount of weight. If they overload the pallet wrapper, they could damage both the package and the machine in the process. The machine might overcompensate by overwrapping the load or break down completely under the excessive weight. To prevent this, make sure workers are weighing packages before placing them on the machine. If the package is heavier than what the pallet wrapper’s weight capacity allows, they’ll need to find a different machine to accommodate it or wrap the pallet by hand.
Train Your Employees
It’s important to make sure your employees have the correct training to clean, inspect, and operate the machinery in the warehouse properly. They’ll be the ones using the equipment, after all, so it only makes sense that they should know such pertinent information. Here are some things you’ll want your workers to know:
- The kind of maintenance they should be performing daily, weekly, monthly, and annually
- How to clean the machine before and after use
- Common problems to watch out for
- Which problems they can fix themselves, and which ones require calling a repair service
- The different types of stretch wrap and which kind to use for each machine
You’ll also want to supply them with a copy of the equipment owner’s manual in case they encounter a problem that they can’t repair on their own. By giving your employees the information they need to be productive, proactive, and responsible, you’re setting up the foundation for a highly efficient work environment.
Robopac USA is the largest secondary packaging equipment company in the world. We pride ourselves on helping businesses run more efficiently with our state-of-the-art, fully automatic stretch wrappers and other secondary packaging equipment so that they can focus on growing and expanding their company instead of worrying about warehouse operations. We offer innovative machinery designed with R-Connect and CUBE Technology, which allow for remote connection to your devices and help ensure product integrity. We also offer unbeatable technical support and service academy training. Come browse through our selection of stretch wrappers, packers, palletizers, and more today!