Businesses utilize manufacturing plants, warehouses, and distribution centers to ensure their distribution chain functions as it should. Getting products from the warehouse to the shelves is an integral part of the process. Many business owners think about how their products will ship, the store locations, and the routes to get there, but many forget about how to ensure the products get from point A to point B safely. This process is called secondary packaging or palletizing shipments and is designed to keep products safe and secure while shipping to ensure less product and primary packaging damage.

Businesses typically use freight shipping when they aim to ship large quantities of a product. Most companies choose to palletize their shipments for this shipping method. Palletizing shipments help to improve efficiency while better protecting the products from damage along the distribution process. There are a few different ways to wrap pallets with stretch film. One of the ways is to hand wrap the pallets. Learn the problems with hand wrapping pallets and explore alternative options of pallet wrapping in the guide below.

The containment force is wrong

When your workers wrap their pallets by hand, containment force can be nearly impossible to get right every time. Containment force holds your load together by the number of revolutions of the stretch film multiplied by the wrap force of “tightness.” Containment force is essential to the safety of your shipment and needs to be just right to properly protect your products. Using too strong or too weak of containment force can lead to primary packaging and product damage during the shipment process. Too much containment force can crush primary packaging and cause product damage before the products even make it to the shelves. Too little containment force can allow the products to shift during the transport and cause them to become damaged or to fall. To avoid this problem, use one of Robopac USA’s semi-automatic of automatic pallet wrapper machines. They are designed to get the right amount of containment force every time.

The wrapping is inconsistent

Inconsistency is another main issue that arises when hand wrapping pallets. For a lot of operations, multiple workers hand wrap loads for shipment. This means there will be differences in the way each worker wraps pallets. It is also common that the same worker will hand wrap a load differently every time. While consistency is key, consistency in hand wrapping is not guaranteed with the factor of human error and natural variability. Robopac USA stretch wrappers are designed with consistency and reliability in mind, so every load is wrapped right every time. Consistency in wrapping ensures that your products are wrapped properly every time and you won’t have to worry about some loads being improperly wrapped, as they will all be wrapped correctly by Robopac USA’s superior technology.

Hand wrapping is costly

Another one of the problems with hand wrapping pallets is that is can be costly While most companies may assume that the investment into a semi-automatic or fully automatic pallet wrapping machine may be too large to handle, it’s actually much more cost-effective than hand wrapping every single load in the long run. Hand wrapping requires manual labor, which is costly. You are paying multiple people to do what a machine can do. This can be tens of employees or more at larger operations. Another way hand wrapping can cost your business money is by human error of overwrapping a load. Putting too much film on the load is wasteful and can get costly quickly. Automating your packaging operation can save you a significant amount of money each year on both film and labor costs. Check out Robopac’s website to calculate film and labor savings over time to see just how quickly the savings pay for the cost of the initial investment of the machine.

It can be hard on your workers

Hand wrapping can be surprisingly cumbersome for employees. Workers will have to exert physical force and energy on wrapping the load to attempt to get the right containment force. Truly, hand wrapping pallets has poor ergonomics for the workers who are putting the stretch film on the load by hand. Wrapping stretch film onto pallets by hand can potentially cause injury to the worker. This can result in higher employee turnover rate, lowered retention rates, and increased frequency of workers’ compensation claims. This task can sometimes cause immediate injury or chronic injuries over time. It involves a repetitive motion that is strenuous on workers’ backs. With a semi-automatic or an automatic stretch wrapping machine, you can allow your workers to be reassigned to areas where their labor is more necessary. It can also help improve your employee retention rates, make hiring easier, and cut down on unfortunate and costly worker’s compensation claims at your company.

The better alternative to hand wrapping

Instead of paying a person to do what a machine can do more consistently at a lower cost over time, you should consider using the alternative method of investing in an automatic stretch wrapping machine. This machine can increase the speed of wrapping compared to hand wrapping. Semi-automatic and automatic stretch wrapping machines also cut down on the need for labor, which in turn saves your company money. For a one-time investment, you could save tens of thousands of dollars on labor costs per year. Semi-automatic and automatic stretch wrapping machines lend to a safer, more efficient, and more effective secondary packaging environment.

Contact Robopac USA today for more information about the different kinds of automatic and semi-automatic stretch wrapping machines. Our team of experts aims to understand your unique operation to help you find the perfect packaging solution for your needs. There are many types of machines designed to fit the unique needs of your industry, warehouse space, and volume of products. Browse our selection of machines online and learn more about our exclusive R-connect and Cube technology. Our state-of-the-art technology is designed with warehouse efficiency, safety, and precision in mind.

Problems Hand Wrapping Pallets Infographic