Category : Stretch Wrap

How much do you know about stretch wrapping?


Get The Most Out Of Your Film With These Stretch Film Best Practices


Did you know 1 oz of extra stretch film per pallet at a facility wrapping 1,500 loads per evening is worth $31,200.00 per year?

Would your operators know if they were using an extra 1 oz of film on a pallet?

An extra 8 oz at the same facility would be $250,000.00 per year!

The costs can add up fast – and that’s just film costs! What about pallet load damage and productivity losses due to film that is not used properly?

Companies are best served when they developed a stretch film procurement solution to understand the properties of the film they use, their distribution channel, and the forces necessary to deliver their loads successfully.

Best Packaging has created stretch film procurement ‘best practices’ to meet these goals and provide a consistent result that can be created, tested, repeated and maintained.

  1. Best Packaging Inc. can be hired as a consultant to EVALUATE the film. We will perform several tests to determine results such as the ultimate stretch, film puncture resistance and the amount of ‘cling’ in the stretch film.
  2. We will assess the best way to apply the film based on the different types of products that are wrapped and establish the type of containment necessary.
  3. Once we UNDERSTAND how to achieve the best results, we will go back to the plant and CREATE the ideal wrapped load by selecting a few films that meet the criteria most important to your operations.
  4. After the load is recreated, we will perform a TEST for effectiveness. Doing so will allow our techs to set a standard based on how the load wraps on the production floor to ensure the proper containment and the proper amount of film.

Gone are the days where we standardize the film. Instead, standardizing the result will ensure the product arrives to the end user without damage in the most productive and cost-effective method possible.

  1. The last step in this best practices project would be to train maintenance and operators how to visually MONITOR the standard. Best Packaging can be hired to maintain and upgrade this standard. There should also be supervisor in charge of each shift assigned to monitor the standard at selected intervals.

Because stretch film is usually marketed using only a few specifications, it is easy for procurement departments to believe they are getting a good value at a lower cost. However, Best Packaging has the tools and expertise to ensure your company is getting the most value and production from your stretch film purchases while guaranteeing that your products arrive damage-free. If you’ are currently wrapping products with stretch film and want to ensure you are getting the maximum yield, give us a call at (888) 930 BEST.

What’s your take? We welcome guest bloggers! E-mail socialmedia@bestpackaging.com if you’d ever like to collaborate.

 

 

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’s your take? We welcome guest bloggers! E-mail socialmedia@bestpackaging.com if you’d ever like to collaborate.

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.

What’s your take? We welcome guest bloggers! E-mail socialmedia@bestpackaging.com if you’d ever like to collaborate.

What Element in Stretch Film Makes It The Ideal Material For Wrapping?


Stretch Film is the highly elastic plastic material used to wrap products and secure them onto pallets. It is made from LLDPE and 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. In order for stretch film to have these capabilities, makers of stretch film must add certain elements. Tackifier is an element used in the manufacturing process to add stickiness of the surface of the stretch film. Stickiness is an important trait in stretch film as it needs to be able to cling tightly to the other layers and maintain its adhesiveness as conditions change.

Stickiness is a great feature to have with stretch film, however most stretch wrappers that pre-stretch film, thin it out. As a result, there is less tackifier holding the film together. When there is not enough tackifier or the film is loaded wrong, the film unwinds from the pallet creating film tails. Film tails tend to drag on the ground, get caught in equipment, and more importantly, they unravel on loads and cause load holding failures. To avoid generating film tails, Best Packaging offers machines that can turn off the pre-stretch (which thins the film) right before the film is cut. In doing so, you are guaranteeing the film is thickest which allows the tackifier to maintain its stickiness. For more information on these stretch wrappers or to learn more about stretch film, give us a call at (888) 930 BEST.

What’s your take? We welcome guest bloggers! E-mail socialmedia@bestpackaging.com if you’d ever like to collaborate.

Stand-Alone Automatic Stretch Wrapper: What Is It And What’s The Difference?


With an automatic pallet wrapper, most people imagine an integrated system with pallets moving throughout the production line, however,  there are also many uses for stand alone automatic wrappers. Stand-alone automatic wrappers wrap pallets without the need for much operator involvement. Typically, the load is placed on the turntable, and then a switch is activated. The film is attached, the load is wrapped, and the film is cut completely automatically. Stand-alone automatics are common in areas of the factory congested with workers, equipment, or where fork truck access is limited. That’s where pallet jacks can become helpful. For the most part they can maneuver in and out of those areas better than a forklift.

A common misconception is that automatic stretch wrappers are only appropriate for high output. Sure automatic stretch wrappers are bigger and faster, but that’s not a defining characteristic. Not every company needs lightning speed or integrated systems capabilities. There are certain instances where companies want to focus on reducing waste in their stretch wrap operations. In that situation such as this, a standalone automatic may be a perfect fit.

In any instance where you want to do more with less, stand-alone automatic stretch wrappers can add efficiencies in your stretch wrapping lines. Give us a call at (888) 930 BEST  if you aren’t sure of which type of stretch wrapping wrapper is best for you operations.

What’s your take? We welcome guest bloggers! E-mail socialmedia@bestpackaging.com if you’d ever like to collaborate.

My Thoughts On The PACK EXPO 2016


Although the packaging industry is working hard to maximize technology use, I believe there is still more that can be done. After attending the PACK EXPO, here’s are my thoughts…

I noticed the majority of stretch wrap machines were all very similar- following standard practices with a few minor modifications here and there. Many of the demonstrations utilized square uniform loads that are easy to wrap. However, not much was conveyed regarding what could be done for random pallet’s that have sharp points everywhere as these pallets make film selection a critical step in this packaging process.

This got me thinking… what developments should we be looking out for in the near future for odd-shaped loads? What is it going to take for things to change within the industry? What kind of creative thinking needs to happen to break the mold? What needs to happen in the packaging industry to unleash innovation that the industry hasn’t seen in years?

Over the years, I’ve noticed the packaging companies that succeed are the ones constantly testing and monitoring their wrap parameters. When dealing with stretch film, if you’re not occasionally monitoring what you’re doing, damage goes up. But how does one do that? How do we monitor and determine wrap parameters beyond a square load? When it comes to wrapping loads, why work in a flat world if the packaging isn’t?

In an era where computerization and data collection have become the ‘must-have’ elements, the installation of 3D modeling for the purposes of data collection has the potential to revolutionize the quality at which tasks are performed. With live data being fed from their equipment into a computerized system, workers are more capable of selecting the proper film type, gauge, and number of wraps a particular load requires. Rather than having to manually adjust the machine according to the size and product, incorporating 3D pallet sensor technology would enable you to record the shape, weight, and type of product to get a better understanding of what stretch wrap settings to employ. Incorporating a 3D Pallet scanner would provide an immediate overview of all production parameters and data that needs to be done based on the load. Thus, I see the future of stretch wrapping being very data-driven. I envision exploiting sensor technology to obtain data points that enable workers to make better informed decisions for their stretch wrap settings.

As an ASTM member, I plan on utilizing these insights to develop unique solutions in the market. With one patent approved for a pallet parking system and one patent pending for the SPYDR multi-wrapper system, Best Packaging aims to continue to innovate and offer the Best solutions to our customers. For more information, give us a call at (888) 930 BEST.

-Steve Kudia

What’s your take? We welcome guest bloggers! E-mail socialmedia@bestpackaging.com if you’d ever like to collaborate.

ASTM Packaging Committee To Revise ASTM International Standard


Steve Kudia, Owner of Best Packaging,  serves on the ASTM committee that writes the standards guide for selection and use of Stretch Wrap Films titled D4649This committee recommends guidelines and test methods for the selection, specification, and use of stretch wrap films for unitizing, reinforcing, and palletizing (ASTM, 2009)This includes storage and/or transport in warehouses, truck trailers or rail boxcars, and other transfer terminals. The purpose of this committee is to evaluate how stretch film is applied to a unit load, its application in transport packaging, ways to test and improve packaging efficiency while saving time and money. As an ASTM member, Steve Kudia is part of a prestigious worldwide network of technical experts. His aim is to make sure processes stays efficient by monitoring trends and educating  customers on how they can improve their supply chain performance. 
 
The committee is currently working to revise the ASTM International standard, ASTM D4649, for the 2017 publication. For more information on ASTM testing standards, give us a call at (888) 930 BEST

Increase Your Stretch Wrap Success


When it comes to shipping, the main goal is to get products to your customer in good condition. One of the most practical means of achieving this is with stretch wrapping. Unfortunately, estimates show that nearly billions dollars of goods are lost each year due to poor stretch wrapping practices and constant jarring and vibrating of shipments in transportation.

There are many characteristics that influence the effectiveness of stretch wrapping such as the containment force, prestretch levels, film gauge, film width, the number of revolutions, etc. The best way to reduce much of the unnecessary damage is by managing these variables and making the adjustments necessary on the machine to ensure that your settings are aligned. However, here are a few simple things you can do to improve your chances of success:

  • Make sure your load has the proper containment force. Loads that don’t have enough containment force won’t be able to endure sharp turns and bumps during transit. To ensure you have the right containment force, double check the amount you’re currently using. Measure your loads with a tool designed to record holding force. If you need help finding the optimal amount of containment force, don’t hesitate to call Best Packaging Inc.
  • Secure your load on to the pallet, to avoid it slipping off. Stretch wrap is also designed to bind together the pallet and the load. The bumps and jostles of shipping can cause loads to come loose and without a tight seal around the load, it could get rattled or vibrated quite easily. Thus, a good stretch wrap ensures that wrap is tightly wound around the load and pallet. This creates a secure pallet and also facilitates the process of being quickly moved and stored. Loads should also be locked to the load with a film cable. Look for stretch wrappers that form a tight film cable. The film cable could mean the difference between having a secure load, or jeopardizing the film’s durability.
  • Double check for  film tails. If a tail end of stretch wrap drags or dangles from the pallet, it could catch and tumble the entire load. It can cause serious risk to those who work around it. Invest in a stretch wrapper that features a film blower specifically designed to contain all loose ends and eliminate film tails. Guarantee there are no long film tails, as this could eventually unravel during  the multiple times it’s handled during transport.

By paying attention to these details, you’ll be giving your loads the best chance to survive transportation damage. To learn more about reducing damage, give us a call at (888) 930 BEST.

What’s your take? We welcome guest bloggers! E-mail socialmedia@bestpackaging.com if you’d ever like to collaborate.

Shrink vs. Stretch Wrap


The terms shrink wrap and stretch wrap are often used interchangeably, but the reality is, they are two different products. While they are both used for packaging purposes and are both clear plastic films, they serve different purposes during application. Understanding these differences can save you the frustration of ordering the wrong film.

Stretch wrap is an elastic film commonly used to wrap and secure loads on pallets for shipping purposes. As the products are wrapped in the film, tension is applied as it is wrapping several times around the load. The properties of the wrap cause it to cling to itself creating a tightly wrapped, secure packaging. Stretch wrap can come in a variety of specialty films such as: UV stretch film, colored stretch film, prestretched stretch film, etc., making it more adaptable than other films.

Unlike stretch wrap, shrink wrap is a clear plastic film that is not stretchy. Shrink wrap covers loosely around a product and shrinks tightly when heat is applied. It is typically used to professionally package retail items giving them a tamper proof and protective barrier. Shrink wrap is mostly used to wrap individual items such as CDs or meats, but can still be used to package multiple items together. Shrink Wrap has the option of being ventilated, which creates an advantage in reducing any damage that can occur from moisture.

Whether your application calls for stretch film, shrink film, or both, let Best Packaging help you find the right materials and equipment for you. Give us a call at (888) 930 BEST to set up a consultation.

What’s your take? We welcome guest bloggers! E-mail socialmedia@bestpackaging.com if you’d ever like to collaborate.

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.

What’s your take? We welcome guest bloggers! E-mail socialmedia@bestpackaging.com if you’d ever like to collaborate.

Understanding The Purpose And Methods Of Stretch Wrapping


One of the main uses of stretch wrap is to consolidate many smaller individual packages into one larger unit. Reshaping the load into one solid unit makes it easier to transport. By only having to transport one unit, this saves distributors time and damage when loading.

Quality and Appearance are also important. We want our customers deliver to be able to ship their product(s) in good condition- which is why we stretch wrap. Stretch wrapping allows us to unitize our loads and protect the product from damage which contributes to lower admin costs and happier customers.

As a result, stretch wrapping is now the preferred method for unitized shipping of goods. Most companies that utilize production warehouses are most likely familiar with stretch wrapping. However, in order to make the right decisions about stretch wrap machines, it’s important to be properly informed. There are three methods of stretch wrap application: manual, semi-automatic machine, and high speed automatic machine.

  • A manual wrap requires workers to wrap a load by hand. This involves attaching the film to the pallet and then using a roll of stretch wrap on a bar to wrap the film. Workers start at the base and then walk around the load to make certain that the entire pallet is wrapped thoroughly. The amount of manual labor involved with stretch wrapping a pallet by hand is high and often takes a lot of energy. Therefore, this method is ideal for small operations where only one or two pallets a day require wrapping.
  • Semi-automatic stretch wrappers have the machine perform the actual stretch wrapping. On semi-automatic stretch wrappers, the pallet is placed on a turntable rotating the pallet as the film moves up and down. Semi-Automatic Stretch Wrap Machines are more ideal for larger shipping and manufacturing industries that wrap about 100 pallets per day and are designed for use with a forklift or a pallet jack. There are also features that could be added to the semi-automatic machines that can increase automation.
  • High speed automated stretch wrappers usually incorporate conveyors to automatically cycle loads through the machine for increased output and efficiency. These stretch wrappers can keep up with the most demanding production rates. Automatic stretch wrappers apply and cut the film, so the only thing you need to do is change the film roll.  Since the load remains stationary, they are ideal for wrapping very light, very heavy, tall or unstable loads.

Best Packaging offers a variety of stretch wrappers at affordable prices. For machine wrapping solutions, call us at (888) 930 BEST

What’s your take? We welcome guest bloggers! E-mail socialmedia@bestpackaging.com if you’d ever like to collaborate.

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