A stretch wrap machine is a valuable investment for your secondary packaging line, but you won’t get your money’s worth if you don’t use your equipment effectively. From the type of stretch wrapper you buy to small operational improvements that boost efficiency, there’s a lot to keep in mind when optimizing your stretch wrapper and the rest of your workflow.
Fortunately, many of the common stretch wrapping issues warehouses face are easy to circumvent. Discover a few mistakes to avoid when using a stretch wrap machine in your secondary packaging line so you can optimize your operations.
Wasting Money on Stretch Film
There are many ways to make your stretch film more cost-effective. The most effective way to save money on stretch film is by utilizing pre-stretch technology.
Automatic and semi-automatic stretch wrapper machines are able to achieve greater pre-stretch than any manual process can manage. As a result, the film is tighter and more secure around the pallet load. Warehouses also save a lot on material costs with this usage. Robopac USA’s Cube Technology includes multi-level variable pre-stretch that can result in 30 to 55 percent savings in film cost and usage. Ensuring your stretch wrap machine is using stretch film efficiently helps you avoid material waste and other costly mistakes.
Not Optimizing Wrap Settings
Every product load is different, so it’s important to pay close attention to wrap settings to ensure you’re applying the optimal amount of containment force to each and every load. Not optimizing your wrap settings leads to inefficient use of stretch film and unstable loads, which puts products, employees, and customers at risk.
Robopac USA’s Cube Technology offers superior control, flexibility, and efficiency for wrapping product loads. With features like multi-level variable pre-stretch and containment force, proactive corner compensation, and strategic film placement, you can program your stretch wrapper to divide a load into nine custom layers, each with its own wrap speed, strength, and placement. The result is complete control over the wrapping process, delivering a stable load with the perfect amount of film and containment force from top to bottom.
Not Maximizing Efficiency for Drivers and Operators
Automation helps streamline your workflow, but only if you integrate it properly. Without the right steps and features, you can’t achieve maximum efficiency with your stretch wrapper.
Take forklift drivers and machine operators, for example. Do your drivers have to exit their fork trucks to start the stretch wrap machine? Do machine operators have to take time to attach or cut film at the beginning and end of the wrap cycle? These steps might seem small, but over time they add up to a lot of wasted time and energy that your employees could be applying to more important tasks.
You can save time by choosing a semi-automatic or automatic stretch wrapper that includes an automatic cut and clamping device. This makes it so your operator does not have to attach the film at the beginning of the cycle and cut the film at the end of the wrap cycle. Small improvements like this can make all the difference when maximizing efficiency and streamlining your workflow.
Automatic vs. Semi-Automatic Equipment
Operator responsibilities, such as starting the stretch wrap machine or attaching and cutting film, are just one of many aspects you need to consider when choosing between automatic and semi-automatic equipment. With most semi-automatic stretch wrappers, you often need an operator to load pallets, attach and detach stretch film, and start the machine. Automatic stretch wrappers eliminate these steps to create a fully automated process.
One of the biggest mistakes to avoid when using a stretch wrap machine is to make an uninformed decision about what kind of equipment you install in your facility. Automatic stretch wrappers create a more streamlined workflow, but they often take up more space in your facility due to a larger footprint and, in many cases, protective fencing and conveyors. As a result, automatic stretch wrap machines are ideal for high-volume facilities that handle heavy product demands. Semi-automatic machines, on the other hand, are better for warehouses that have less space and don’t need the higher speeds of an automatic stretch wrapper.
Not Weighing Loads Before Shipment
Weighing your product loads before you ship them helps you stay organized and can help you avoid discrepancies and other incidents throughout the shipment process. When you weigh product loads on your own, you’re able to double-check shipping costs to ensure you’re not paying too much to transport your goods. Moreover, a thorough record of pallet weights helps you monitor for theft or other forms of product loss throughout the supply chain.
Weighing your product loads is important, but adding an extra step to your packaging process can be tedious and time-consuming. That’s why many warehouses invest in turntable stretch wrappers with an under-the-turntable scale package to consolidate these steps and increase efficiency in the packaging line.
Choosing the Wrong Scale Package
If you choose a scale package for your stretch wrapper machine, make sure you’re choosing one that is durable and accurate. The best scale packages are located under the turntable so they’re safe from damage. It’s easier to damage scale kits that are integrated into the turntable itself. As a result, these scales don’t weigh loads properly or require frequent recalibration.
Creating Unstable Pallets With Improper Wrapping
One crucial wrapping technique is roping. Film roping helps attach the product load to the pallet to prevent tipping, swaying, and other accidents during transit. Ensure your loads stay on the pallet by choosing a stretch wrapper with a roping device.
The roper will drive the film down the pallet into a cable below where the forks of a forklift go into the pallet to lift it. This cable isn’t compromised, so you won’t have to worry about losing containment force at the bottom of the pallet. Roping locks the load to a pallet and ensures your products stay secure as they move throughout your warehouse and the rest of your supply chain.
Hindering Flexibility in Your Workflow
Are bottlenecks a major issue in your warehouse? One way to prevent them is by investing in portable stretch wrappers that allow you to wrap pallets anywhere in your facility. Portable stretch wrappers allow you to take the stretch wrap machine to the pallet itself; this extra mobility increases flexibility and helps you eliminate bottlenecks in your workflow.
Find the Best Solutions With Robopac USA
When you’re ready to optimize your stretch wrapping process, turn to the experts at Robopac USA. With cutting-edge solutions tailored to your specific business needs, we can help you find the equipment you need to enhance your workflow. Explore our selection of rotary arm stretch wrapping machines and other stretch wrapping solutions when you visit Robopac USA today.