BPBC ‘Knocks It Out Of The Park’ In Last Hoorah Before College


Many Americans have similar tee-ball memories from their youth, like picking dandelions in the outfield and going out for ice cream served in little baseball hats. We think back to those days with nostalgia but, by the time many athletes reach high school, it’s not so much ‘America’s pastime’ as it is an opportunity to get noticed by recruiters. For many, if we once again had the chance to step out on the field just to have fun with our friends, we would in a heartbeat.

Incoming Collegiate Freshmen Ryan Kudia and Johny Turgeon, friends who met on the diamond 10+ years ago, realized they had just the chance. This year, they formed their own independent All-Star Team to field one final summer blowout. With support from Best Packaging, Best Packaging Baseball Club and their team, The Machines, were born.

The 18u A-team quickly demonstrated ‘Why we’re the best,’ as we say at Best Packaging, at the Dog Days of Summer Invitational hosted by the Lombard Lightning. In game one, Drew Blouin started strong on the mound and, by the time closing pitcher, Jeremy Fox, took the field, they had a healthy cushion of runs. The Machines’ bullpen was stacked, but these lifelong friends were never selfish about sharing time on the hill. “We may not have had a chance to practice together before the tournament, but we all knew each other so well that we’re already aware of each other’s strengths and weaknesses,” says Ryan Kudia.

When their winning streak continued from the first through the third and final day of the tournament, the words “Who ARE these Best Packaging Machines!?” could be heard in exasperated tones from the opposing bench. As most of their competition represented a specific town like the Chicago Stars or the Schaumburg Flyers, The Machines were quite the unknown newcomers. Like Robinhood and the Golden Arrow, these mystery mavericks swept the competition, earning the title of first place champions. A perfect ending for these sandlot sluggers in their final act as a team.

Ryan, Johnny, and the rest of The Machines will soon be settling into their dorms and taking the first step towards promising careers, but some things are not learned in labs and lecture halls. By effectuating the Best Packaging Baseball Club in every aspect from conception to finally stepping onto the field, these young men have proven they have the interpersonal and organizational skills necessary to achieve real-world success. We could not be more proud of The Machines and we are eager to see what these talented gentlemen do next! Some of these players even earned athletic scholarships, so keep an eye out for the following names in the future of college ball.

 

Player:                                           Graduated From:                                         Attending:

  • Johnny Turgeon               Lyons Township High School             Illinois State University
  • Damien Sanchez             Lyons Township High School              Valencia College
  • Austin Castle                    Lyons Township High School              University of Cincinnati
  • Ryan Kudia                       Lyons Township High School              University of Alabama
  • Cole Gordon                     Lyons Township High School              Southern Methodist University
  • Wylder Guido                  Nazareth Academy                                University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire (Athletic Scholarship, Baseball, Corner Infield)
  • Ethan Taylor                     Riverside-Brookfield High School     University of Mizzou
  • Jeremy Fox                       Riverside-Brookfield High School     Maryville University (Athletic Scholarship, Baseball, Pitcher)
  • Fabyan Ceballos              J. Sterling Morton High School           Undecided
  • Drew Blouin                      Lyons Township High School             University of Oregon
  • Joe Milano                        Nazareth Academy                               Morton College

How much do you know about stretch wrapping?


How To Keep OEM Lead Times From Impacting Your Production


Q-1000 Installation

In Best Packaging’s home state of Illinois, we have recently returned to full capacity following the coronavirus pandemic.  Situational obstacles in production are rebounding, yet lead times on new packaging equipment remain upwards of 16 weeks, causing manufacturers from all sectors to trip at the finish line in terms of recovering from production loss. While nothing beats that “new car smell,” i.e. the smartest automatic packaging equipment straight from its production floor to yours, Best Packaging offers a number of transitional solutions to assist in the present supply chain bottleneck and future scarcities.

Over the past year, our certified refurbished equipment proved to be a clutch play for many operations managers who were in dire straits as they awaited the arrival of their OEM orders. Our machines are available for rent or purchase, so regardless of whether it is needed as a patch or a permanent fixture, Best Packaging has a solution. Our like-new packaging equipment must pass a five-point inspection to ensure optimal function before leaving our facility.

Best Packaging’s responsive, continuous support provides an added layer of security against mechanical malfunction. We offer comprehensive ongoing assistance for all machines we sell. For local customers, that means a service visit within 48 hours of your request. We are also happy to assist customers over the phone to troubleshoot technical difficulties with their machine.

Not in a bind yet? Let’s keep it that way! In addition to whole-machine solutions, Best Packaging also has options to maximize the lifespan of your existing equipment and prevent OEM delays from affecting you. The best way you can ensure your packaging equipment does not cause unwanted downtime is through a preventative maintenance program. With our help, new parts can be ordered before the old ones have reached the end of their lifecycle, reducing or eliminating the wait for OEM parts. Our technicians diligently take notes with each service and monitor components that are showing signs of wear and tear. No replacement parts are ordered without customer approval, so you’re never on the hook for something you don’t need.

As a machinery dealer/distributor, we look to the same OEMs to supply the factory-original parts used in our repairs and refurbishments. We have been in constant communication with our OEMs to monitor the status of lead times and what mitigations are being enacted to remedy the increasing turnaround time. Our goal is to be as transparent as possible regarding any potential delays due to the availability of parts. Undoubtedly, we are all sick of hearing “we’re all in this together,” as no two situations are truly alike, but we are optimistic that this period of tribulation is nearing an end. If OEM delays are threatening your production line in ways that could not be improved by the aforementioned stopgaps, please do not hesitate to contact Best Packaging. As a medium-sized service provider we take a personalized, custom approach to your line. And, as an independent distributor, there are no hidden agendas, insuring the absolute best solution for you.

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

The Secret to a Lower Carbon Footprint Is Right Under Your Nose


  • The Secret to a Lower Carbon Footprint Is Right Under Your Nose
  • The Secret to a Lower Carbon Footprint Is Right Under Your Nose
  • The Secret to a Lower Carbon Footprint Is Right Under Your Nose
  • The Secret to a Lower Carbon Footprint Is Right Under Your Nose

Many businesses see smarter material sourcing, greener equipment, and operational changes as their gateway to a lower carbon footprint. All these play a valuable role, but what if the key to lowering your environmental impact is simply by keeping existing machinery on the production floor for as long as possible?

In a world of increasingly aggressive green initiatives, Best Packaging stays ahead of the curve because, “green” is built right into our business model. In 2020 alone, Best Packaging redirected 79,725 lbs (over 39 tons!) of steel away from scrappers, and back into the warehouses that keep America going. We are not, however, indiscriminate about which machines get salvaged. Best Packaging is diligent in our evaluations and repairs to ensure all equipment we sell, regardless of previous use, operates at peak performance when it arrives at the customer.

Quality refurbishment, worthy of the manufacturer’s endorsement, starts with an evaluation. Whether the machine in question is coming from a trusted customer (We offer a buyback program for our customers’ old machines.) or an auctioneer across the country, we perform our due diligence to find machines that really can be returned to their former glory. Sadly, not all machines are worthy of the T.L.C. we offer. Some would require too many parts, scarce parts, or simply too much time to repair. Before Best Packaging chooses to purchase machinery, it receives a top to bottom inspection.

The Best Packaging Acquisitions Team has a robust pre-evaluation that we put machinery through prior to purchase. It receives a compatibility screening, via the model and serial number, to ensure that parts will be available, not only for the refurbishment process, but for the future end user as well! Then, if possible, a seasoned technician will perform an evaluation onsite, at the previous owner’s location. Our onsite evaluation consists of two parts, 1) a comprehensive visual inspection process; then 2) a thorough performance test. Barring any glaring issues such as requiring too many parts to get back to optimal operation status, or requiring too much time to refurbish, the machinery receives the “green light.”

Once a piece of equipment arrives at our facility, one of our service technicians conducts a thorough condition audit. The Service Technician goes over the machine with a fine-toothed comb to assess all the high-use wear components as well as any componentry key to the machine’s essential functions. Stretch wrappers, for example, have rubber-coated gripping components, like the tread on your tires. Much like your tires, these will need replacing after continued use. That’s why we perform a complete rebuild of the pre-stretch carriage for every stretch wrapper refurbished. In keeping with our car metaphor, dents and dings may not be critical to “the drive” but our technicians do their best to buff them out whenever possible.

From that audit, a complete parts list is inventoried and ordered. Often, the most time-consuming part of the refurbishment process is finding the parts and waiting for them to arrive. While that is in process, years of dust, grease and mysterious goo(?) gets scrubbed away, even peeling back layers of paint when necessary. It’s truly amazing how a thorough cleaning can transform even the most gently used packaging equipment, but our process doesn’t end there.

Once parts arrive, the true fun happens. Our Service Technician(s) then execute all repairs and replacements, bringing the machine back to like-new functional condition. Once the machine’s function is restored, we address any final cosmetic issues. While amateurs carelessly slather house paint without even a primer underneath (yes, we’ve seen it), we work diligently to match the manufacturer’s original paint colors, reinforcing the like-new look.

Before we call each machinery makeover complete, we test it to confirm optimal function. A quality assurance video is emailed to the customer. Upon their approval, the unit gets packaged and palletized for shipment.

Due to the quality of our work, we have many return customers. Some customers even purchase used equipment they encounter with the intention of contracting our team for refurbishment. View our current fleet of certified refurbished equipment, or Contact Us to learn more.

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

What is pre-stretch and why do you need it?


Words like “containment force” and “pre-stretch” get tossed around often in the field of packaging and logistics, but what does “pre-stretch” really mean and how can increasing your pre-stretch knowledge save you money?

When a stretch wrapper is used to apply stretch film to a pallet, the film is elongated using a pre-stretch carriage on a wrapper. The film gets pulled between the rollers and is stretched prior to being applied to the load. This is called pre-stretch.

Why is this important?

Film that is stretched properly will hold the load more securely, be more cost effective, and lead to a more productive plant. This is because properly maintained pre-stretch tends to minimize film breaks when wrapping skids. As you can see, there are a variety of reasons why you would want to replace your pre-stretch rollers.

What are some signs that your rollers need to be replaced (in order of amount of occurrences):

  • The rollers contain debris, cuts, and rough edges.
  • The rollers are bald. Similar to a car tire, after much use the tread or grooves tend to smooth out.
  • The roller shafts are worn where they spin in their top and bottom bearings.

What are the common causes for having to replace your rollers?

When the film gets stuck around the rollers, many machine operators tend to cut the film on the pre-stretch rollers using a pallet knife. What the machine operators don’t realize is, as they are cutting film from the rollers, often times they end up cutting the roller as well. If your pre-stretch rollers have cuts or gaps on the surface, it will puncture holes into the film as the film is pulled tightly across the rollers. Once film encounters a snag, the tear tends to run like a stocking until it ultimately breaks.

If rollers are worn down to a smooth surface, they should be replaced. The rubber on the rollers should be soft and should have ridges. Like tires or shoe treads, some rollers have a specific pattern that is proprietary to the manufacturer. The purpose of the ridges is to grip the film to stretch it. If the pre-stretch rollers are worn or smoothed out, the rollers in the pre-stretch carriage cannot grip the film properly. Instead of being stretched, the film slides across the rollers causing friction and heat.  When film slides across pre-stretch rollers, the risk of film breaks is dramatically increased. Film that slides (rather than stretches) across the rollers causes inconsistent pre-stretch, therefore the ultimate amount of stretch applied to the load is less than the ideal 70%. When the amount of stretch applied to a load is not consistent, additional stretch film may be used, or damages occur during shipping. Either way, it’s not good for your bottom line.

Why is this a problem?

When pre-stretch rollers are cut, damaged or worn, operators will notice the film breaks more frequently.   When this happens the most common response from machine operators is to reduce the force-to-load by dialing it back on the control panel or in the touchscreen. However, reducing the force-to-load doesn’t actually solve the problem since the origin of the issue is the rollers. Reducing the force-to-load eventually presents a bigger problem, because often the loads don’t have enough holding force to say together.

Bottom Line: If you experience issues with your stretch wrapper or your loads, check your pre-stretch rollers, and if you suspect your rollers are due for a swap, it’s best not to delay.  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.

Best Packaging Observes Manufacturing day


Today, Best Packaging observes Manufacturing Day! MFG Day, as it’s known, is an industry wide campaign to highlight career paths in manufacturing. We feel it is important to educate the public on the role manufacturers play in our everyday lives. Consider the chair you may be sitting in, or the cup you may be drinking from… Did you know?

There are 4 general types of manufacturing processes…

Casting and Molding:

Generally speaking, this is the process of forming raw materials (typically liquids or powders) into a desired shape. In this process, the shape is determined by a mold, or an outer layer that the material is pushed against. Materials, often metals and plastics, are formed through the process of injection molding, blow molding, compression molding, or rotational molding.

Machining:

Often times manufacturing involves the use of heavy duty machinery. If the fabrication of a finished good involves, cutting, drilling, grinding or otherwise removing parts from the whole using industrial equipment, this is considered machining.

Joining:

Casting new shapes and using machines to take parts from a whole can only get you so far. Eventually the pieces need to be put together, and that’s where joining comes in. Some joining processes, like welding, require heat. Other common forms of joining include fastening (nails, screws, staples) or adhesive bonding.

Sheering and Forming:

Sheering, also known as die-cutting, is a two dimensional, reductive process with a specific shape in mind. Consider this like a highly sophisticated cookie cutter. Forming is the process of obtaining the required shape and size of a material by subjecting the raw material to stress, such as temperature changes, mechanical or electromagnetic force.

Using the processes outlined above, manufacturers typically have one of three end goals:

MTO (Made to Stock) 

This is, essentially, any product you can go to a store and buy. Items are manufactured to maintain a certain level of inventory, without a specific end-user in mind. 

MTA (Make to Assemble) 

Manufacturers keep components on hand, but manufacturing of the finished good does not start until an order is placed. These items are made to fulfill a specific order, but since they use components from their stock, there is little to no room for customization.

MTO (Made to Order) 

MTO manufacturers create items to customer specifications after they are ordered. For MTO products, many manufacturers may not be triggered to order certain components until after an order is placed.  

Common Careers in Manufacturing

Assembler/ Fabricator

Assemblers and fabricators put together pieces of products and/or assemble finished products. They use their hands, as well as tools and machines. Most assemblers and fabricators work in manufacturing plants. Most of these positions require a high school diploma, but many employees can get on-the-job training.

Machine Operator

Machinists and tool-and-die makers set up, maintain, and operate computer and mechanically-operated machines used to create parts for the manufacturing process. These positions require training, either in apprenticeship programs, vocational schools, or community or technical colleges. These employees also receive lots of on-the-job training.

Mechanical or Robotics Engineer

Mechanical engineers research, design, develop, or test various systems, including automation, intelligent systems, smart devices, or industrial systems control. Mechanical engineers design other machines inside buildings, such as elevators and escalators. Typically, a bachelor’s degree in robotics or mechanical engineering is needed.

Production Manager

Production managers oversee the day-to-day operations at manufacturing plants. They ensure that production stays on schedule, they hire and manage workers, and they fix any production problems. Many production managers will have a bachelor’s degree, typically in business or industrial engineering.

Quality Control Inspector

Quality control inspectors monitor quality standards for nearly all manufactured products, including foods, textiles, clothing, glassware, motor vehicles, electronic components, computers, and structural steel. Specific job duties vary across the wide range of industries in which these inspectors work. Typically a high school diploma or equivalent is required. Some rolls require Quality Control Certification as well.

Did you know there were approximately 592,000 manufacturing jobs in our home state of Illinois last year? Learn more about the local impact of this industry by visiting the National Association of Manufacturer’s webpage. https://www.nam.org/state-manufacturing-data/2020-illinois-manufacturing-facts/

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

Stretching Machinery’s Useful Life


The Best Packaging team recently completed a full refurbishment, taking a severely damaged stretch wrapper and restoring it to like-new condition.

This Q300 Turntable Stretch Wrapper arrived at Best Packaging in considerably rough condition. In its previous operation, it had suffered a forklift collision that left the turntable base compromised. Due to a lack of care and preventative maintenance, it developed considerable rust in the structure and key-wear components. The pre-stretch rollers, which are instrumental in creating appropriate stretch elasticity and containment force, were inoperative.

Upon refurbishment, all of Best Packaging’s resale equipment receives a 5-point inspection.  This guarantees that our “gold star” machinery has undergone:

  • Safety inspection and testing
  • Electrical component assessments
  • Mechanical assessments
  • Pneumatics testing
  • Esthetic enhancements (fresh paint, rulers, and labels)

After much hard work and attention to detail, the Q300 is now fully restored and ready to wrap pallets in its new production facility home.

The refurbished machinery market is both economically and environmentally friendly. It allows used equipment to elongate its useful life.  Sellers are provided with positive cash flow and purchasers receive cost savings.

You can help Best Packaging recycle idle machinery by contacting us when you’re looking to update or liquidate your inventory.

If you are interested in selling, please contact our sales team at sales@bestpackaging.com.

If you are looking to purchase certified refurbished equipment, please visit our refurbished inventory page.

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

Bringing Conveyors Back To Life


Conveyors play an important part in the packaging line. Conveyor units are very vital in a business so as to effectively increase its manufacturing in a well-organized manner, as it’s considered to even be the lifeline of the plant.

Correct maintenance is also very significant to ensure the system is always in tip-top performance.  Part of its maintenance plan will incorporate frequent supervision of the device’s motors, inspection, correct training of maintenance staff and availability of major parts.

Best Packaging recently restored a 20-year old conveyor line to like-new condition by adding all new rollers, belts, pulleys, and hardware.  Had this conveyor shut down, the plant would’ve bottlenecked as this is the only conveyor out of production and into the stretch wrapper.  There is a tremendous loss of production and a great need for temporary workers to handle pallet movements and stretch wrapping anytime this goes down. Like packaging equipment, these items should be periodically maintained to extend the life of your conveyor before an overhaul is needed and downtime is required.

If you haven’t evaluated or maintained your conveyor line in a while, make an appointment for our trained technicians at 888-930-BEST to do a multi-point inspection and report.

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

Ditch the “I’ll Get Around To It” About Preventative Maintenance


  • Ditch the “I’ll Get Around To It” About Preventative Maintenance
  • Ditch the “I’ll Get Around To It” About Preventative Maintenance
  • Ditch the “I’ll Get Around To It” About Preventative Maintenance

This week, one of our long term customers experienced a $2500 service repair that could’ve been avoided all by a simple PM program. However, after many recommendations, it was something that he said, “his maintenance guys would get around to.”

Our customer wraps many oversized, heavy loads per day that has their machines working extra hard. When we received the call, they explained that the film carriage was not working. Upon inspection, we realized that the chain and bearings locked up, which destroyed the carriage in the process.  Had we serviced these machines every six months, these items would’ve been greased every 6 months to keep things running smoothly.

The customer has decided to forego the $2.5K repair and buy a new machine that will cost approx. $10K. Of course, we hope he decides to change his mind about a preventative maintenance program for his other machines.  Whether you are a machine or a human, we all need maintenance from time to time, because without it, you’re looking at a short shelf life.

Ready to start a program for your machines? Give us a call at 888-930-BEST for a quote. You’ll be happy you did.

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

Before You Pitch Your Stretch Wrapper, Consider These 5 Factors.


Monday morning. You go to flip the power switch to your stretch wrapper only to find it is DOA. Two service repairs for this machine in 6 months and it’s creeping up to the 10-year mark.

Is it time to pitch it and get a new one? Let us walk you through how to make this determination.

There are five key factors that should be considered about your fickle machine:

  • Age
  • Environment
  • Application
  • Usage
  • Maintenance History

Understand that the information on these factors is best interpreted as a whole, as opposed to each specific element on its own.

Age: How old a stretch wrapper is, needs to be considered. As a general statement, as a piece of equipment ages, the cost of ownership will increase. Warranties typically expire within the first three years of ownership and after the first five years of use, it is not uncommon to start seeing major component failure/replacement. Additionally, the ongoing changes in technology can have an impact on the useful life of your equipment. Lastly, as a stretch wrapper ages, parts availability may become scarcer which will increase repair costs and increase downtime.

Environment: Based on what type of environment a stretch wrapper is required to work in does have a significant effect on its longevity. Work areas with caustic or extreme environments will need to be cycled out more frequently and will be more expensive to repair. It goes without saying but there is a big difference between a ten-year-old stretch wrapper that is working in a freezer vs. a stretch wrapper that is used in a distribution building. Film stretches much differently in a cold environment, changing how well a pallet is wrapped and how much film is used. Knowing what the life expectancy is of equipment in your specific environment is necessary when asking the repair vs. replace question.

Application: Arguably this category could fall under work environment, but the fundamental difference is the environment is “where” the stretch wrapper is being used whereas application is more the “how” it’s being used. For example, utilizing a pallet truck to load and unload tractor-trailers filled with maximum capacity pallets would have more wear and tear occur than using a pallet truck to transport light loads from one side of a facility to another over smooth concrete floors

Usage: Total hours of use on a stretch wrapper is like an odometer on a passenger car. The question that may come up with a car with high miles would be “should I replace my transmission on my 200,000-mile car or is it time to buy a new one”. The same thing could be said about stretch wrapper rotations. The problem is you must consider more than just the high miles, and this is where the application factor comes into play. As mentioned earlier, the whole of the factors is greater than the individual parts.

Maintenance History: The last factor that also needs to be considered is total maintenance history. It is critical to be aware of the maintenance history when asking the repair vs. replace question and has to do with more than just maintenance cost. You need to be aware of what type of maintenance has been done. Has the stretch wrapper been on an ongoing scheduled maintenance plan? Has this wrapper had a history of damage from forklifts? What major components have been repaired? Is there a history of intermittent issues? What have been the most common repairs? All these factors will help determine if it’s time to continue repairing or if it’s time for a replacement.

Making the decision to repair or replace is an important part of ensuring your end of line packaging equipment is operating at optimum cost and performance. Understanding all the elements that both make and drive overall cost of ownership will ensure that when the time comes you are making the best decision. The key to doing this effectively is not to look at each factor individually but how all of them come together in your specific operation. Understanding what exactly those factors are and the relationship between each will ensure you are making the best decision when the time comes to make the decision on whether to repair or replace.

Let Best Packaging help you by evaluating your stretch wrapper(s), or any other aging packaging equipment you have on your line. Contact us at 888-930-BEST for more details.

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

Pre-Stretch 101


We recently did a PM on a Customer with 9 stretch wrappers. After performing an assessment on all the machines, we realized some of the pre-stretch rollers needed to be replaced. You may be wondering what pre-stretch rollers are. Pre-stretch rollers are located in the carriage of a stretch wrapper. The main job of pre-stretch rollers is to “stretch the film.” Film is elongated using a pre-stretch carriage on a wrapper. The film gets pulled between the rollers and is stretched prior to being applied to the load.

Why is this important?

Film that is stretched properly will hold the load more securely, be more cost effective,  and lead to a more productive plant because properly maintained pre-stretch tends to minimize film breaks when wrapping skids. As you can see, there are a variety of reasons why you would want to replace your pre-stretch rollers.

What are some signs that your rollers need to be replaced (in order of amount of occurrences):

  • The rollers contain debris, cuts, and rough edges.
  • The rollers are smooth. Similar to a car tire, after much use the tread or grooves tend to smooth out
  • The roller shafts are worn where they spin in their top and bottom bearings.

What are the common causes for having to replace your rollers?

When the film gets stuck around the rollers (see our article on how a PM can help with this problem), machine operators tend to cut the film on the pre-stretch rollers using a razor blade. What the machine operators don’t realize is as they are cutting film from the rollers, often times they end up cutting the roller as well. If your pre-stretch rollers have cuts or gaps  on the surface, it will puncture holes into the film as the film is pulled tightly across the rollers. Once film is punctured, it tends to zipper causing a film break.

You should  replace your rollers if they are worn smooth.  The rubber on the rollers should be soft but still, have ridges. The ridges are a special pattern that can be proprietary to the machine manufacturer.  The purpose of the ridges are to grab the film to stretch it. If the pre-stretch rollers are worn or smoothed out, the rollers machine can’t grip the film properly. Instead of being stretched, the film slides across the rollers causing friction and heat.  When film slides across pre-stretch rollers, the risk of film breaks is dramatically increased. Film that slips off the rollers doesn’t achieve 70% of ultimate stretch thus producing an un-secure load. In addition, if your film is not stretching enough you can expect to use more film per pallet which is not cost effective.

Why is this a problem?

When pre-stretch rollers are cut, damaged or worn operators will notice the film breaks more frequently.   When this happens the most common response from machine operators is to reduce the force-to-load by dialing it back on the control panel or in the touchscreen. However, reducing the force to load doesn’t actually solve the problem since the origin of the issue is the rollers. Reducing the force-to-load eventually presents a bigger problem, because often times, the loads don’t have enough holding force to say together. After a thorough assessment, our Best Packaging technicians were able to replace the rollers and bring all the wrappers back to good working condition. Since the customer chose to repair vs. buy new equipment, they ended up spending less money than they would have on just one machine.

Bottom Line:

If you experience issues with your stretch wrapper or your loads, check your pre-stretch rollers, and if you suspect your rollers are due for a swap, it’s best not to delay.  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.

Are you experiencing problems with Static?


Have you ever experienced high amounts of static being dispersed on to your film?

We had a customer come to us asking if we could do anything about that static build-up on the pallets. Static is often generated as a result of surface separation between two rollers slipping over stretch film. To combat this issue, Best Packaging uses elastic dissipating cords to remove static.

The elastic cord removes static from the stretch wrapper by neutralizing the surface as it is unwound and applied to the bundle. The cord is thread through a mounted magnet hole, kept straight for tension, and tied a simple knot. As long as the cord is within ¾ of an inch of the film, it will lower the static charge.

If you ever run into any issues with your stretch wrap applications, don’t hesitate to contact us.

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

2018 Holiday Jollies From Best Packaging


As we “wrap” up 2018, we have much to be thankful here at Best Packaging. We decided to make our end of the year blog post a little fun and silly.

Our team scoured the web for the funniest clips of holiday videos. So without further ado, here are our top 3 finds!

  1. Kids reacting to expensive Christmas gifts
  2. Hilarious Holiday Fails
  3. Funniest Snowball Fights

We hope you enjoyed these videos as much as we did and gave a chuckle amidst the hectic holiday season.

Everyone here at Best Packaging is truly thankful for our clients, who, without you, would make us non-existent.  From all of us here, we wish you the most joyous and safe holiday season and a very happy New Year!

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

Let Best Packaging Service Your Machines In-House


We know how important it is for your equipment to function at its best without  any unwanted surprises that add to your costs, delay your schedule, and potentially harm your reputation. Therefore, our priority is to get you up and running and provide the highest-level of quality to support your machine in whatever method possible. If you prefer, you may send in your equipment to Best Packaging and have it repaired by our in-house team.

We have over 20 years of experience, designing, installing, and repairing some of the most complex packaging lines. Our extensive analysis of packaging machinery is unparalleled, hence the strong possibility there’s no one like us in your area.  By sending in your equipment, our specialized maintenance and repair personnel can thoroughly asses your machine.

For inquiries, click here

Below are some examples of in-house repairs we do:

Strapping Machines

Tape Dispensers

Hand Held Strap Guns

Staplers

 

 

 

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Helpful Preventative Maintenance Tips


When your end of line goes down, often times the unplanned downtime can cause a delay in production which leads to lost opportunities.

Fortunately for you, maintaining your equipment doesn’t always require a technician. Inspecting your equipment is like getting regular checkups at the doctor. They keep you healthy and give you (and the experts) a chance to catch anything serious before it becomes a major problem. That can save you thousands for your end of line.

Here are some tasks you can accomplish to make sure your equipment doesn’t fail on you.

  • When the machines are not in-use, remove any dust, dirt, or debris  that might cause jams and issues in the future.
  • When the machines are running, listen for any unusual noises. If you hear the sound of metal grinding, your bearings could use some lubricating. Be sure to perform this monthly in order to make operations more efficient and more reliable
  • Make sure you’re not forcing products into machines and aren’t packaging products that your equipment can’t handle.  Sometimes Operators don’t want to have to purchase a separate machine for larger, heavier loads so they might be pressured to use a machine that doesn’t support those specifications. Doing so will eventually cost you more.

It’s easy to take PM plans for granted- until a problem arises.  Hence, we can’t stress enough the importance of having your machines inspected in order to keep your line running smoothly.

Should your machines require a professional’s expertise, give us a call at 888-930-BEST. Either way, delaying preventive maintenance or obvious problems, or sounds will inevitably lead you to more expensive and time-consuming repairs down the road.

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5 Red Flags That Mean You Need A PM


Preventative Maintenance is the single most important thing you can do to ensure a long lifespan for your packaging equipment. Through regularly scheduled preventative maintenance (or PM) visits, an expert technician can flag any wear & tear components that will need replacing before they cause permanent damage to the machine. It’s absolutely vital to your machine’s health… But don’t take our word for it, check your warranty. Most OEMs will not honor the warranty unless you have an established record of service.

It’s always a good idea to start a PM program, but if you’re experiencing any of the following warning signs, you don’t have time to waste!

Warning Signs:

  1. Getting Out Of Hand
    Increased operator intervention likely indicates that your machine is not at its optimal settings for your application. When your equipment was installed, the correct pre-stretch level, heat tunnel temperature, or what-have-you was set. Deviating from those settings could cause undue stress on your machine which ultimately shortens its lifespan. Rather than letting your operators make adjustments that could lead to greater issues, contact a professional to assess your line and improve the reliability and efficiency of your machines.
  2. Roll Call
    An increase in stretch film, tape, or shrink wrap usage might indicate an issue with your machine. For example, if your stretch wrapper has a deteriorating film carriage you can see an increase of up to 300% in film cost and usage! If you notice your inventory is depleting faster than usual, your operators could be experiencing increased jams or might be running the package through the machine more than once to ensure a proper seal. This is not recommended, and it may be time for an evaluation.
  3. Make some noise
    Anyone who has had to describe the concerning sounds coming from their car to a mechanic knows that sound can not only indicate a problem, it can give you clues as to what it may be. This should go without saying, but if you detect a grinding or screeching sound when your machine is in use, then a professional visit is recommended.
  4. See the light
    If there are any warning lights, flashing, or visibly broken pieces, it’s best to let a packaging equipment specialist take a look ‘under the hood.’ When a novice attempts to troubleshoot the machine, there is always a possibility that they worsen the issue! An expert technician knows all the ins and outs of your equipment and can usually tell in short time whether your settings merely need adjusting or if certain components need to be repaired.
  5. Down & Out
    Well maintained packaging equipment rarely needs servicing. If your machine frequently requires troubleshooting or repairs to get back up and running, it may be helpful for an expert technician to give it a once over.
    During a PM, technicians can identify components that are broken, worn, or may require a deep cleaning to function ideally. A Best Packaging tech will inspect your packaging equipment to identify the cause of any errors or warning on your HMI. If necessary, they will make adjustments to your machine’s settings so as to ensure ideal settings such as the correct pre-stretch level, or heat tunnel temperature. With our assistance, your packaging equipment should run almost or completely autonomously without constant adjustment from the operator. If you’ve seen any of these red flags (or worse —more than one!) on your end of line, why are you still reading this!? Pick up the phone to get your packaging line back on track ASAP.

If you’re still unsure whether your machines are due for maintenance, give Best Packaging Inc. a call at (888) 930-BEST to speak with an experienced technician and discuss what’s best for you and your plant’s needs.

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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.

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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.

   

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How To Perform Your Own Stretch Test


Looking for a fast and easy way to check your stretch levels on a pallet?

All you need is a business card and tape measure…

  • Once a pallet has been wrapped, separate a layer of the stretch film from the load.
  • Take a business card and hold it against the stretch film on the pallet.
  • Grab the top edge of the film and place your hands apart, based on the length of the business card so that your hands are on both ends of the card.
  • Pull the stretch film slowly. Measure the length of the stretched film using a tape measure before it rips apart.
  • Once you have the distance between the film break, use the information below to determine the  stretch level*. 

5″ = 280% stretch
6″= 250% stretch
7″= 220% stretch
8″= 190% stretch
9″= 160% stretch
10″= 130% stretch
11″= 100% stretch

Why is this important?

  • Figuring out how much stretch your films has can mean the difference between spending double for the same amount of film or saving money by consuming less film per pallet. According to your calculations, if you are stretching less than 200%, you should should have us check your machine and film.
  • If you don’t know how much your machines are stretching the film or how much you are paying per load, give us a call. We can perform a machine audit and provide a report on your machine performance, film cost, and recommend solutions to bring your costs down.  A small investment in testing could save you a lot! (888) 930-BEST

*Disclaimer: All calculations are an estimate and do not guarantee 100% accuracy. It is the responsibility of the customer to establish practical testing based on their applications. Best Packaging Inc. is not responsible for the consequences of any decisions or actions taken in reliance upon or as a result of the information provided by these calculations.

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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.

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