In product-based businesses, one of the most important parts of maintaining profitability is finding shipping methods and materials that protect products. Secondary packaging is crucial to the safe transportation of goods. One of the main factors in shipping products safely is the type of stretch film you use and how you apply it. Discover the different types of stretch film and the secret to protecting your products.

Hand Stretch Film

Hand stretch film is a specific film designed for hand-wrapping pallets. It is best for lower-capacity packaging operations and slower turnaround. Designed with a hand-wrapping method in mind, the hand stretch film rolls typically weigh about 10 pounds when full. Hand-wrapping pallets can cause injury over time for workers, and it’s best to reevaluate your needs continuously to see if your operation could benefit from a stretch wrapping machine. These are much faster and apply the perfect amount of containment force every time to reduce the likelihood of primary packaging and product damage. Hand stretch film is not optimal for operations that wrap more than 10 pallets a day, as hand-wrapping isn’t the most efficient method of wrapping larger quantities.

Machine Stretch Film

Machine stretch film specifically fits onto automatic and semi-automatic stretch wrapping machines. These come in much larger rolls than hand stretch film does, as machines have a larger capacity and don’t have to worry about injuries or overextending themselves from lifting heavy stretch film rolls. Machine stretch film is best for use in a machine such as a turntable, rotary arm, rotary ring, or horizontal stretch wrapping machines. Automatic and semi-automatic stretch wrapping machines from Robopac USA provide the exact right amount of containment force every single time. This allows for more consistent packing, safer products, and less waste of stretch film. Investing in a stretch wrapping machine can benefit your business’s secondary packaging operation greatly through added efficiency, less waste, and less product damage during shipment.

Cast Stretch Film

Cast stretch film is made using the process called case extrusion, which is when a thermoplastic material is continuously propelled through a flat die onto a chilled roll. This film type comes in different thicknesses that result from how fast the casting roll pulls the plastic away from the die during the case extrusion. This film type is very transparent, which allows the wrappers and shippers to see through the film to the wrapped product. This is good for operations that send multiple different products in one shipment since the product packaging will still be easily visible through the film. Although it doesn’t have the most reliable tear resistance, it does stretch more easily. This is best for products that don’t require maximum protection as this type of film may break more often than other films.

Blown Stretch Film

Blown stretch film results from the process of blown extrusion, which is when melted plastic is pumped through a circular die. This creates a thin, walled tube. Once air is allowed into the tube, the stretch tube can move to the desired width. Once this is accomplished, cool air is blown onto the film to cool it. This also works to make the film tougher and more tear-resistant than other film types. This film type is ideal for wrapping loads with sharp edges or more delicate products. One drawback of this type of film is that the film is much more opaque than other films, so it’s difficult to see through with ease.

Pre-Stretch Film

Pre-stretch film is a film that undergoes stretching before it reaches the products on the pallet. It is stretched, sometimes, as close as possible to its resistance point—just before the point of breaking—and then applied to the load. This means that the amount of stretch film necessary per shipment is less, as the film can cover more area after stretching. It is thinner than other films and more prone to breaking without the right technology, but it can save product when you use it properly.

Color Stretch Film

Color stretch films are the best option to help with organization and color-coding. One of the most prominent issues in warehouses and distribution centers is disorganization. This is a huge waste of time and resources. One of the best ways to solve this issue is by introducing a system to help organize loads and make them more easily identifiable. Color-coding pallets is a great way to help organize and make your pallets easier to identify. This is a great system for color-coding or even dating inventory.

How To Ensure Your Stretch Film Is Effective

The most important thing to remember when stretch wrapping pallets is that containment force is the key to ensuring that the products will be safe during the transportation process. While using a quality stretch film is important, even the best-quality stretch film won’t help if you wrap a pallet with the wrong containment force. At Robopac USA, we make sure all of our machines wrap your products with the exact right amount of containment force every single time.

There are many different types of stretch film to choose from to protect your products during the shipment process. Be sure to review all of your options before committing to one. Remember that there are many different types of stretch film, but what really protects your products is the containment force. Using the right containment force is the most important thing when it comes to the safe transportation of your products. Contact Robopac USA today to find out which of our superior stretch wrapping machines is best for your operation.

The Different Types of Stretch Film