Stretch wrappers will revolutionize the efficiency of your processes. They improve productivity, reduce film cost and product damage, and, most importantly, they eliminate some of the bodily risks that come with wrapping loads manually. But they also come with their own safety concerns. In this article, we will explore tips for installing and maintaining a semi-automatic pallet wrapper so that you can avoid many of the dangerous scenarios that impede other businesses.
We recommend using a certified technician to install your stretch wrapper, as they are experts in installing the machine. If you choose to install the machine internally, this article will tell you the considerations that go into installing one of these machines, the dangers you should avoid in the process, and how to keep it safely operating after its installation. As a business leader, you know a pallet wrapper is an excellent investment. Make sure you use the machine properly by handling it with care.
Before beginning the installation process, please read the machine manual and refer to the installation document or video for this particular machine. Contact your OEM and speak with a certified technician to better understand the installation process. It is extremely important that you follow all safety recommendations when installing your new stretch wrapper.
Install on Even Ground
Your pallet wrapper must reside on a solid, even surface. Make sure the floor is stable and flat before you begin the installation process. An uneven or soft floor increases the risk of tipping, and it could get in the way of operating the machine. Avoid a trip to the hospital and station it in a safe location.
One of the most important tips for installing a pallet wrapper is that you must move the device using the correct size forklift. The forklift must have a large enough capacity to carry the load and prevent tipping.
Furthermore, you should avoid sliding or pushing the machine, as doing so could harm the unit and lead to serious injuries. When you transport the machine, move it from the mast end first. This will make it as secure as possible.
Before your operators even go about installing the machine, they should be trained on how to operate it. Without a firm grasp on the ins and outs of the stretch wrapper, they may make a critical mistake. Everyone should go through the proper safety training. An understanding of best practices will not only make its installation simpler, but it will also allow for a smooth operation. Do not let your resources confuse your employees. Make sure everyone is on the same page.
Use Proper Lighting
Your machine may have operational difficulties if you put it under direct lighting. The machines rely on a photo eye to put it in motion. If it is under bright light, the machine could malfunction and hurt someone standing nearby. It is a small detail, one that is easy to overlook, but you might pay the price if you ignore the lighting requirements of your pallet wrapper.
Avoid Extension Cords
Extension cords bring several liabilities that you should want to stay as far away from as possible. The last thing you want is for your employees to trip over the cord or get electrocuted. As you prepare your pallet wrapper, make sure it is close enough to an outlet so that you do not need any extension cords.
Install Away From Sources of Smoke and Dust
Depending on your business, it may be impossible to entirely separate your pallet wrapper from sources of dust and smoke. But you should do your best to install the pallet wrapper in an area with clean, well-ventilated air. Airborne debris can compromise the machine’s functioning.
As you install your semi-automatic pallet wrapper machine, you must also include barriers to keep your employees at a safe distance when the machine operates. Invest in cages, guard rails, guides, or posts so that everyone knows the threat. During the training for the machine, make sure you explain the importance of the barriers.
After the Installation
Even before you install the machine, you should have a firm grasp of how to operate it safely. A poorly maintained pallet wrapper may cause a workplace accident, leading to a poor outcome both for your employees and your business. To avoid these terrible outcomes, make sure you and your crew are aware of the rules that govern the operation of the machine.
Do Not Overload the Platform
The machine should never be used to wrap loads that are too big or heavy for the turntable. If the load is oversized, the pallet’s sides may hit the base of the wrapper. If that were to happen, it could cause damage to the load and the machine’s mast. Nearby employees are also put at risk when this accident occurs. If the load is too heavy for the turntable’s weight capacity, it will cause internal mechanical issues that will damage the machine.
Keep a Safe Distance During Operation
Instruct all your employees to keep a safe distance when the machine is operating. You want the control panel away from the turntable, creating a safer environment for the operator. Everyone else must be behind the barricades when the machine is running.
Like many other machines, you should power off your pallet wrapper when it is not in use. By doing so, you are saving on electricity and eliminating the risk it will accidentally start when someone is nearby. From a safety and an economic standpoint, it is the right thing to do.
If you want your machine to complete high-quality work, you will need to set up routine maintenance checks to ensure it is functioning properly. This includes:
- Changing the oil in the gearbox after 5000 hours
- Lubricating and greasing the turntable chain and pre-stretch gears after 5000 cycles
- Replacing the turntable table bearing and carriage lifting bearings after 5000 hours or 50,000 cycles
At the very least, you should complete these tasks quarterly. How often you need to look at it depends on the machine’s condition and the condition of your facility.
Keep Things Clean
The machine and its surrounding area should be clean at all times. If possible, try to clean the unit daily. You must remove debris from the floor space and nearby turntable. By doing this, you will keep the unit running smoothly and minimize the risk of workers falling.
After reading these tips, you hopefully have a better idea of the hazards involved in installing, operating, and maintaining a pallet wrapper. These machines can do more for your business than you likely know, but they require careful skill and patience to install, operate, and maintain correctly. Follow these steps, as well as your company’s own strict safety guidelines, and you should have no trouble at all.
Once the machine is installed, make sure you go back to this article so that you can avoid mishandling it. You should never let a sound investment become a big headache. Be smart and safe as you go forward working with this spectacular machine.