Category : Reducing Cost

A Little Preventative Maintenance Goes A Long Way


Imagine you are on a leaky boat.  You might search for the massive hole that’s bringing the boat down even though there are smaller holes constantly popping up. By taking care of the larger hole, you’re really only addressing issues in a singular fashion rather than looking at it holistically. The best way to prevent a water leakage is to consider the holistic success and operation. An operator is always going to struggle as problems arise if they only focus on that particular problem. However if you inspect the boat and make sure there aren’t any holes, you’re going to have a better chance at staying afloat.

Stretch wrappers, Case Erectors, Shrink Wrappers, Case Sealers, Strappers, Tapers- you name it, these are all very complex pieces of packaging equipment expected to optimize your production line for efficient packaging processes. If maintained properly, these machines can last years without any problems or breakdowns.

Periodic maintenance is important.

Most companies search for major causes that could be responsible for the problems, yet overlook the minor causes that contribute to the big problem. To ensure that your business model can be upheld in the long run, it’s important to follow up and check on the reliability of your machines. Inspecting your machines can reduce the likelihood of any disastrous maintenance issues that might arise unexpectedly.  After all, it’s much easier, less stressful, and less costly to prevent problems than it is to interrupt workflow to repair them.  A lack of preventive maintenance is a major cause of downtime, so this is a good opportunity to catch potential problems before they develop into larger issues and make sure your machine is running smoothly.

While your packaging equipment doesn’t require constant care, just a little bit of attention from time to time can go a long way toward avoiding downtime and more costly repairs down the road. So rather than spending money on unexpected repairs, you might want to invest in periodic preventative maintenance program.

At Best Packaging, we service end of line packaging equipment. We perform repairs and PM’s on a variety of different packaging equipment. We provide highly trained, well-qualified employees who are not only concerned with maintaining your machines, but we also seek to maximize the performance. Best Packaging prides ourselves in delivering top notch care to keep you running seamlessly for years to come. Give us a call at (888) 930 BEST to schedule a PM or click here.

Service Success Story: Turntable Repair


Best Packaging is not only dedicated to helping customers stay running, but we also strive to help customers become more efficient by improving their operations.

One of the most common calls Best Packaging receives it that a machine has been damaged due to being struck by a fork lift. In these photos below, you can see that this machine had extensive damage under the turntable. The damage was due to a forklift-operator striking the turntable with their forks as they were attempting to load the pallet on to the turntable. This machine required a new turntable, center shaft, bearings, chain, proximity sensor, mounting brackets and sprockets. The end result is good as new, but the cost of such a repair is not cheap.

Anytime we install a machine, we urge the customer to invest in proper guarding and forklift bumpers to prevent this kind of damage to a machine. The initial investment of installing proper guarding can prevent thousands of dollars in damage due to machines being stuck by forklifts or other machinery. Call us today at (888) 930-BEST  to discuss how we can properly safeguard your equipment in order to prevent costly repairs and downtime.

   

Why Should You Consider A Refurbished Stretch Wrapper?


Want to add a stretch wrapper to your manufacturing process, but still looking to save money?  Many business owners are turning to pre-owned equipment in the face of economic downturn, looking to cut costs and increase profits.

Once a machine has been taken out of its packaging, that machine can no longer be labeled as “new.” However, if that machine hasn’t gotten much use, other businesses can benefit from purchasing that piece of equipment for a reduced cost. If the used stretch wrapper is well-maintained, it can generate plenty of value. Thus, it’s better to go with a used stretch wrapper that is practically brand new, than one that has been used many times in production.

Purchasing a gently used stretch wrapper can save you can well over half the price of new models.  Another benefit from purchasing a “used” stretch wrapper is that often times it’s available immediately, while companies that purchase new stretch wrappers may take months to arrive.

Before purchasing a used stretch wrapper, consider these helpful tips:

  • Understand the context of your wrapping environment and decide if a used machine is right for your manufacturing process.
  • Request references and contact information. This is a standard rule-of-thumb for any used machinery purchase. If the seller doesn’t supply the information, move on.
  • Inspect the used machine first-hand while it is still installed and running product at its original place of business. This allows the vendor to see everything the machine does, what parts it has, and its overall condition.
  •  Ask if mechanics and electricians test-run the machinery before shipment. If they do, secure a guarantee that the machine is in good working order before it’s shipped.
  • Seek information regarding the company’s stability, financial strength and its commitment to the industry in order to determine whether they can be trusted.
  • Review the return policy. Look for a solid warranty program that ensures you will receive timely assistance if a machine should have mechanical or electrical issues once in full production.

In the long-run, buying used equipment can be a viable option that may not only save money, but also decrease down time. At Best Packaging, we are a seller of new and used equipment. We’re a company you can rely on to ensure you’re getting the best deal without risking the quality of your packaging. Give us a call at (888) 930 BEST for more information.

What To Consider When Choosing A Service Provider


The success of your operation often relies on the quality of your service technicians to keep your business operating when production volumes are high. It’s important to consider the following points when choosing a service provider that will keep your machines running.

Experience

A qualified technician will be able to repair a variety of makes and models of various machines. Best Packaging, for example, employs only the most experienced and qualified technicians. Our techs have 30+ years of combined experience in the field troubleshooting and repairing end of line packaging equipment.

Value

It’s much more cost effective to maintain than it is to repair. Postponing the maintenance of your equipment could result in a sudden breakdown, forcing you to pay for a more expensive repair. Furthermore, when machines are down this interrupts your ability to do business. A good service technician knows that regular maintenance can make a line last for years. Best Packaging understands the value in preserving your machines. We can create a proper maintenance schedule based on the condition of your equipment to keep you operating optimally. We’ll set up a schedule that best fits around your production and advise when your next PM service comes due. Be weary of companies that don’t offer this service.

Quality Service

A good technician takes the time to do things right and has the customer’s best interest in mind. At Best Packaging, customer satisfaction is our driving force.  It is our goal is to provide you with the highest quality service that is going to make your machines more productive and efficient. We are also a leader in innovative designs and we can tailor solutions to meet your specific needs. We’re not attached to one brand, so we won’t force products on you that don’t fit your needs. In fact, our knowledge of numerous brands helps us come up with solutions not conceived by many manufacturers. Choosing the right service provider can help prevent costly repairs and can increase your equipment’s life expectancy.

At Best Packaging, we do more than just repairs. We offer programming and electrical services, as well as retrofits and upgrades to enhance your packaging line while decreasing costs. We service all types of equipment, including stretch wrappers, shrink wrap machines, case tape machines, banding machines, strapping machines, case erectors, and conveyors. If you’re in need of end of line packaging service, call (888) 930 BEST to speak with a tech today.

Essential Stretch Wrap Terminology


With so many manufacturers misusing stretch wrap vocabulary, it can often be difficult to understand the true meaning of these terms. To help consumers understand the real meaning, we listed a few of the  most commonly misused terms in the packaging industry.  In doing so, we hope to educate consumers so as to not be fooled by deceptive terminology when evaluating stretch wrap options.

Pre-stretch is the process of elongated film to a percentage of its original length. The advantage of operating with pre-stretch is that it provides great load stability and allows you consume less film per pallet. Below are two different methods to obtain pre-stretch.

  • Pre-stretched stretch film is film that is stretched during the manufacturing process prior to being wound up in rolls for stretch film application. The majority of pre-stretched stretch film is applied using hand wrap dispensers.
  • Another means of obtaining pre-stretch film is by elongated it using the motorized pre-stretch capabilities of a wrapper. The film passes through two film carriage rollers running at different speeds that stretch the film prior to being applied to the load.

A common misconception within the packaging industry is that stretching the film activates its elastic memory, triggering the film to return to its original state. Another mistake is assuming the two methods of obtaining pre-stretch produce the same outcome- although that’s not necessarily the case.

Suppose you have a roll of pre-stretched stretch film at $5 per roll that gives you 15ft of surface area to work with and 15ft of regular stretch film at $8 per roll. Naturally, the $5 already pre-stretched film would appeal to most plant managers. However, when operating under the correct settings, there could be more to gain from producing pre-stretched film using a stretch wrapper.

If your stretch wrapper is operating at 250% stretch, the regular stretch film at $8 per roll could potentially give you 25ft, as opposed to the pre-stretched film coming in at 15ft. Despite the regular stretch film coming in at a higher cost, it’s winds up more valuable because you’re getting more use of that film while consuming less. By choosing to stretch your film using a powered stretch wrapper, you save money on film and overall lower operating costs.

Force-to-Load is a measure of how tight the film is being pulled as it exits the carriage and is applied to the load. Force to load plays a key factor in maintaining a percentage of prestretch. Although force-to-load does not hold your pallet,  the amount applied does contribute to all around containment force.

Containment force is the amount of load retention created due to the film’s stiff properties. Containment force is the property that holds your pallet together during transit. Typically, for every 100lbs of product, you want to have at least 1 lb of containment force. Containment force and pre-stretch ought to be assessed on a regular basis to ensure the stretch wrap is being applied accurately. To evaluate the performance of your stretch film and application process, there are several testing methods that can be employed. These methods include using a film force pull plate, pull bar, double finger, or even replicating the delivery of a pallet via freight truck with a vibrations or tilt test.

Understanding this terminology can make a difference in terms of stretch film cost savings, ensuring that your load is held tightly enough, and avoiding film breaks that could potentially damage your product. Instead of buying more or new film, you may be able to simply adjust your stretch levels. Knowledge of these terms and how to correctly use them enables consumers to make more informed decisions when comparing options for your packaging line. For more information, contact us at 888 930 BEST.

Is Your Case Packer Running At Its Optimal Performance Level?


It’s evident that cases with vertically aligned sides are easier to wrap. Achieving a square case increases the strength of the load, which results in less damage to your product. Non-square cases are more likely to jam during end of line packaging which can lead to problems when preparing your pallet for and during shipment. However, creating a perfectly square case by hand is not as easy as it looks. When erecting cases by hand, it’s difficult to control the consistency of the assembly process. In most instances,  automatic erecting and sealing machines  turned out to be an effective solution in both the cost and quality of case handling. At Best Packaging, we offer case erectors and a line of random and uniform case sealers at reasonable prices to help increase efficiency.

When failure strikes, will you be ready?

There are so many elements in storing, packing, and delivery that make square cases a crucial component of your operation, it’s wise to be prepared for unexpected downtime. Proper planning and preventative maintenance can result in case erectors/sealers that are true assets, instead of production jams. Best Packaging Inc. provides professional equipment support and preventative maintenance on all end-of-line packaging machines to make sure your case erectors and sealers are delivering the optimal productivity gains. We provide highly trained, well-qualified employees who are not only concerned with maintaining your machines, but we also seek to maximize the performance. For more information or questions on our case erectors and sealers, give us a call at (888) 930 BEST. To schedule a PM, click here. 

The Drawbacks of Hand Wrapping


Ever since the creation of stretch wrapping, various types of applications have been developed for unitizing pallet loads. One of these methods includes hand wrapping which involves a person walking around the pallet, securing the load with a hand-held stretch film roller. Although some people might find this method useful today, it’s not always the most productive.

Depending on the size and structure of the pallet that you are wrapping, there is a large amount of bending and twisting involved in making sure that the entire pallet is wrapped thoroughly. Even with orderly and square pallets, hand wrapping requires that an employee walk around in circles which causes dizziness and may lead to a higher risk of harm for employees. Thus, hand wrapping could generate inefficiencies in the supply chain process as work injuries cause downtime, high insurance costs, and workers compensation. Sometimes you may even need to hire a replacement worker which could result in more time and money.

Stretch wrapper machines have powered film delivery systems that typically stretch the film at a high level than hand wrapping. In most cases, this creates a cost savings of anywhere from 25% – 40% because less film is needed to contain the pallet (B2BInd). Alternatively, most workers operating hand-held stretch films rarely stretch film more than 50 percent during the hand wrap process. A nationwide evaluation of hand wrapping in real-life situations found that the average person stretches hand wrap less than 15%, thereby hindering the stretch film’s ability to effectively hold a shifting load (B2BInd). When pallets aren’t wrapped tightly enough, they are likely to fall apart causing damage to other products as well. With hand wrapping, an operator has the potential to wrap several loads, but the performance of a machine is much more reliable.

If you’re experiencing any of these drawbacks, it might be time to upgrade a stretch wrapping machine. For more information, visit our website or give us a call at (888) 930 BEST

The Importance of a Good Factory Acceptance Test (FAT)


As with any machine, there is a tendency for stretch wrap results and accuracy to drift over time. In order to be confident that your stretch wrappers are operating properly, there is an ongoing need to service and fine-tune equipment for reliable, accurate, and repeatable applications.

Just a little bit of attention can go a long way. For instance, many in this industry agree that implementing regular maintenance is less stressful and expensive in preventing problems than interrupting a job to repair them.  Thus, it is highly recommended that manufacturers execute a Factory Acceptance Test (FAT). A FAT is a series of tests and inspections that identify any problems or issues with the machine and ensures that equipment meets the standard requirements for production, configuration, and sustainability.

In order to get the most out of these inspections, companies need to complete a performance test with packaging materials used in the production line to assess the function and integrity of the machine. The machine will not perform efficiently if the criteria aren’t specified; therefore, you must use the appropriate gauge and film for your stretch wrapper. If you’re unsure of the appropriate stretch wrapper settings for your application, let us help measure how much gauge and containment force your load needs. We’ll make certain to educate your employees operating the production line.

A few checks on a weekly basis can keep your machines running smoothly and help you catch potential problems before they happen. For more information on how to get the most out of your FAT, contact us at (888) 930 BEST. 

 

 

Signs Your Business Could Benefit From A Stretch Wrapper


It may seem like a good decision to hold off on making a large investment, however future downtime could end up costing you more than you think.  If you are experiencing any of this in your wrapping process, it may be a wise decision to make a stretch wrap machine purchase.

  • You’re wrapping more than 20 pallets a day. It would probably be in your best interest to get a stretch wrap machine because of the manual labor that is involved with hand wrapping. A large amount of bending and twisting is required in making sure that the entire pallet is wrapped thoroughly. The amount of physical work involved takes a lot of energy that employees will need throughout the day. A stretch wrap machine would not only speed up the process, but also free up the employee to accomplish other tasks while the pallet is being wrapped.
  • You’re experiencing load damage because of improper wrapping. In order for stretch film to work properly, it has to be stretched 70-80% of its ultimate stretch. Ultimate stretch is what helps to hold pallet loads in place. When wrapping pallets by hand, it is difficult to consistently reach the amount of required stretch which could potentially lead to products falling over and cost more money.
  • Stretch film costs are becoming too high. It is quite uncommon for workers to reach maximum stretch potential. which results in a lot of money being wasted on excess stretch film. However, with a stretch wrap machine, you’re able to boost the stretch rate and eliminate unnecessary extra revolutions of film being applied which could reduce costs.
  • You’re having issues with employee safety. An automatic stretch wrapper would keep a forklift operator on the forklift which is could be an important safety advantage. Not to mention, a poorly wrapped pallet can fall over, resulting in damaged goods or injury to a handler. A stretch wrap machine could ensure worker safety by properly wrapping loads in a timely manner.
  • You encounter inconsistent output. An operator who wraps pallets with hand wrap stretch film is not able to wrap every load exactly the same way, time and time again. Whereas, a stretch wrap machine consistently wraps pallets in the same way each and every time producing a clean professional finished product. Thus, if you’re looking for your pallet loads to project a professional image, it’s best to consider a stretch wrap machine

Eliminating any one of these justifies purchasing a stretch wrap machine. Let Best Packaging speak with you about a possible purchase and help you decide the right stretch wrap machine for your application by calling us at (888) 930 BEST.

If It’s Not Broken, Keep It That Way


The term ‘If it’s not broken, don’t fix it’ still applies to many industries. However, with preventative maintenance that phrase becomes “If it’s not broken, keep it that way.”

With packaging equipment, there are many common problems that can arise. Therefore, it’s important to establish a proper preventative maintenance program. The purpose of a preventative maintenance program is to provide long term maintenance and quality care in order to avoid any unplanned problems that might arise.

Simple preventive maintenance not only extends the life of your packaging equipment, it keeps money in your pocket for the days ahead. Companies that don’t participate in a preventative maintenance program are essentially waiting for a problem to happen, and this is often a very costly move. A case study performed by The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies shows that PM generates a solid rate of return in terms of risk mitigation and asset protection (Koo 4). In other words, an investment in PM not only pays for itself, but it also produces a huge return on the investment. With PM, efforts are focused on preventing equipment failure rather than responding to emergencies, which has proven to be much cheaper and faster than big repairs.

Without a proper protocol to keep your packaging equipment in good condition , it can be very challenging to run a stable, consistent business. An unexpected failure can result in idle employees, halting the production line, missed deadlines, and long-term damage to their brand. With PM, however, companies are able to recognize problems earlier thereby eliminating the chance of machine breakdowns.

Best Packaging understands the financial impact of a packaging line not running properly or not running at all. Our trained service technicians can assist with your ongoing maintenance requirements to keep your packaging equipment healthy and running at maximum efficiency. We also offer thorough training to make sure your operators are confident running the equipment.

Don’t wait until the entire machine goes down and money is lost while it is out of commission. Prevent major catastrophes by stopping the problem before it starts. Call Best Packaging at (888) 930 BEST or click here to schedule a PM today.

May The Containment Force Be With You


In order for loads to be wrapped correctly for shipping, you must apply the right amount of containment force. Containment force is the number of film revolutions multiplied by the wrap force. There is a right amount of containment force for each load that ensures that the load is stable and held firmly enough. There are a few things you could do to detect the optimal amount of containment force using the least amount of film. For example, you can experiment with different types of stretch film, alter the machine gauges and prestretch levels, or manipulate the wrap force settings.  However, the best way to find the ideal containment force is to test the top, middle, and bottom of the load with a containment force tool.

At Best Packaging, we have the testing technology required to measure and determine the proper containment standard in order to make sure your film can maintain a particular load holding force over time.Using our portable film force system, we can help you identify the minimum containment force required to decrease film costs.

You shouldn’t be alarmed if your containment force isn’t distributed evenly throughout your load. In fact, the lowest containment force value recorded should become your target for shipping a stable load. For instance, if you’re measuring various pounds of containment force at the top, middle, and bottom, but you’re shipping without any issues, it’s best to set your containment force at the at the lowest-mid containment standard. Doing so ensures you must have at least the minimum amount of containment force everywhere on the load in order for it to be safe to ship. By understanding the different distribution channels, Best Packaging is able to give recommendations on the appropriate settings when sending out different loads.

Once you’ve learned how to measure and have achieved the right containment force, you’ll be able to enjoy consistently safe loads, and more importantly, consistently happy customers. To learn more about containment force or how we can help you measure it, call us at (888) 930 BEST

Stretch Film 101


Many consumers don’t realize that stretch film plays an important role in delivering and transporting many of the products they use. Stretch Film is the highly elastic plastic material used to wrap products and secure them onto pallets. It is most commonly used to unitize products for efficient storage, but also serves as protection for transportation.

Stretch film is made from LLDPE (Linear-Low-Density Polyethylene). LLDPE is the ideal material for wrapping and securing loads because of its flexibility. The film’s ability to stretch around corners of products, boxes, and pallets offers increased puncture and tear resistance as well as greater efficiency when applied appropriately. High puncture and tear resistance guarantees that the load will remain stable and secure during transportation. Increased puncture resistance as well as a reduction of cost can be detected when the film reaches its maximum stretch potential.

At Best Packaging, we use state of the art testing technology to evaluate stretch film performance. If you’re currently wrapping products with stretch film and want to ensure you’re getting the maximum stretch potential, give us a call at (888) 930 BEST. By helping you understand your wrapping operations better, we can recommend solutions to reduce costs and improve your wrapping performance.

How To Reduce The Cost Of Work Injuries


As an employer, it’s your responsibility for taking care of the health and safety of your employees.  A serious work injury can change someone’s life and the lives around them forever.  A work-related injury can also negatively affect the company by increasing costs to your business. Therefore, it’s important to take necessary measures to maintain a healthy and safety work environment.

If workers are injured on the job, it costs the company in increased insurance rates, workers’ compensation premiums, lost work hours, and possible litigation. If an employee sues because of a work-related injury, a company could run into some serious financial trouble; whereas keeping employees healthy helps companies keep the cost of insurance premiums down. Work injuries can also decrease worker productivity if other workers get distracted or the injured worker needs to time off to heal.  Thus, reducing the amount of injuries allows employees to keep the focus on the quality of what they do.

In the packaging industry, one of the most common injuries comes with operating a forklift. Employees often have to maneuver in and out of forklifts which can lead to pain in their backs, knees, etc.  However, there is an alternative that can help reduce the risk of those injuries.  Obtaining stretch wrappers with an automatic cut and clamp saves the operator the hassle of getting in and out of the forklift as often, which can minimize the chance of injury or falls. Therefore, having the stretch wrapper that automatically attaches and cuts film during the wrap cycle can potentially reduce the risk of injuries and save the company thousands.

Another common injury involves hand wrapping a pallet. Depending on the size and structure of the pallet that you are wrapping, there is a large amount of bending and twisting involved in making sure that the entire pallet is wrapped thoroughly. Even with orderly and square pallets, hand wrapping requires that an employee walk around in circles which can cause dizziness. The amount of physical work involved with stretch wrapping a pallet by hand often takes a lot of energy that employees will need throughout the day. Upgrading to a stretch wrapping machine can greatly reduce the amount of labor required to wrap a pallet which will ultimately retain the health, energy, and safety of your employees.

Reduce the cost of work-related injuries by calling Best Packaging for a consultation to introduce a stretch wrapper into your manufacturing process today. (888) 930 BEST

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