Service Success Story: Lantech Stretch Wrapper Repair


Best Packaging had a customer call us out after having a bad experience with one of our competitors. The customer’s facility has four Lantech Q300 stretch wrappers. The customer sought our help to do maintenance on three of the machines and a repair on a fourth machine. That particular machine had not worked in years after multiple attempts by other technicians to repair it.  After some troubleshooting, the Best Packaging technicians discovered the fourth machine had been unwired and disassembled improperly. Best Packaging prepared a parts list and were back out the following week to finish the repair. Thanks to Best Packaging, the fourth machine is back up and running again for the first time in years.
Before reaching out to Best Packaging, this customer turned to other technicians who couldn’t successfully troubleshoot their equipment. To avoid having the same incident occur to your business, check out our most recent blog to learn how you can choose the optimal service provider to keep your line operating.

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.

Service Success Story: Conveyor Drive Shaft Repair


An automated stretch wrapper can often be the bottleneck in a plants production line, especially when it goes down. Such is the case with this month’s repair.

This particular plant has twenty different production lines running 24/7 all feeding into one stretch wrapper- making it imperative that the wrapper runs around the clock without issue. While on site for an unrelated repair, one of the Best Packaging technicians noticed something odd with the conveyor running through the stretch wrapper. After removing some rollers, we were able to get a better look and discovered the drive shaft was sitting crooked and the drive chain was eating into the gearbox. To address this issue, we had parts expedited and were back out for repair shortly after. After taking another look at the problem, we discovered the bearings which support the drive shaft had locked up and were worn almost all the way through the shaft. Had the issue not been spotted by our technician, this would have caused a major production delay for the plant.

Thanks to our technicians, the entire drive assembly was rebuilt and the conveyor is now running good as new. Proof once again that a qualified technician and preventative maintenance can save you from costly down time in the future.

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.

Service Success Story: Priority One Low Level Depalletizer


Whether you need a consultation on your machines, a preventative maintenance program or a reliable emergency service team, Best Packaging is here to help! Last month, we were called on by a customer who had purchased a used Priority One Depalletizer. Initially, the plant planned on utilizing their in-house technicians to assemble the machine; however when the machine arrived, the task proved to be beyond what they could handle. When the Best Packaging technicians arrived, they discovered the machine had been carelessly disassembled. All the wires had been cut from control panel and no parts were labeled proving this would be a challenging repair both mechanically and electrically.  The Best Packaging technicians managed to trace all of the wiring, rewire the control panel and bring the machine to life. Once our technicians managed to turn on the machine, it required extensive troubleshooting and debugging. After a bit of fine tuning, the Best Packaging technicians had the equipment is working good as new, and all problems were resolved. If you’re experiencing issues with your packaging equipment, give us a call at (888) 930 BEST.

Safety First!


As an end of line service provider, we are constantly being called upon to assess, troubleshoot, and optimize complex packaging lines.  You’d be surprised at how many plants we’ve walked in to that don’t enforce safety regulations. Here are four best practices to help improve warehouse safety

When a machine is down, hire an expert. Injuries are most common in plants that don’t keep up with maintenance on the equipment used to perform their jobs. If your automatic stretch wrapper isn’t working well, what originally began as an automated process is now a manual operation. All the bending, pulling, and twisting involved with manual wrapping could potentially expose these workers to injury.  Having unknowledgeable workers troubleshoot a machine will only cause more harm than good. By hiring an experienced professional to do the repair, they’ll be able to offer valuable preventative maintenance advice that will help you avoid more problems in the future.

Take measures to isolate operating machinery with proper guarding. Most of our customers operate very complex manufacturing lines. Although these machines have some of the most advanced capabilities, they can be dangerous if the proper safety systems aren’t in place. While machines can’t prevent employee negligence, actions can be taken to restrict access to hazardous areas. Most stretch wrappers now come with a safety guard gate option. This feature is designed to keep employees safe by providing a physical barrier that can prevent an employee from entering into a danger zone during the operating cycle.

Include cross training for all warehouse employees. The majority of the workman’s compensation incidents occur when an employee moves from one department to another. During times when one area of the plant is slow, managers will usually re-position their workers to lend a hand to a busy area. When employees are transferred but not properly training they are put at a higher risk of injury.

Make certain the aisles are kept clean and clear.  Free the area of objects or obstacles that might interfere with a forklift driver’s ability to have a clear path.  Clean up any litter that might have been left behind on the warehouse floors. It’s also important to allow enough space for multiple forklifts to pass through the aisles. After all, the last thing you want is to encounter pallets collapsing because a forklift couldn’t maneuver through a crowded lane. Once you have arranged a wide-enough space, mark the floor with arrows that designate lanes specifically for trucks and employees to pass through.

Take the time to identify where an operation exposes an employee to injury, and take action to implement a safe work environment before it’s too late.To enroll in a preventative maintenance program, or if you suspect one of your machines is not operating properly, give us a call to schedule an inspection at (888) 930 BEST or click here.

Best Packaging Machinery Philosophy


At Best Packaging we maintain and repair some of the most complex packaging lines. Since 1997, we have been consulting, designing, and implementing packaging solutions to offer the best for your operations.  In order to deliver our customers the greatest return on their investment, we represent a variety of different brands of end-of-line packaging equipment to ensure we’re matching the right solution for your customer needs.

There’s no ‘one size fits all’ solution.

Rather than discover that a particular solution doesn’t fit your application, our knowledge of numerous brands can help you come up with solutions not conceived by many manufacturers. In order to arrive at the appropriate solution, you need someone who isn’t attached to one brand and won’t force products on you that don’t fit your needs. When seeking assistance from a particular manufacturer, they typically recommend a solution suitable to their business model. You also run the risk of the manufacturer being unqualified to support your operations on a large scale because of the limited knowledge of machinery outside their own. For instance, a common situation we come across is that after a technician makes an initial repair, other machines in the same production line stop running correctly. The reason being is that most manufacturer technicians don’t have the know-how to recalibrate a whole production line. You need someone who’s going to understand the bigger picture.  At Best Packaging, we have the expertise to reprogram your entire production line to achieve maximum efficiency. You don’t have to worry if your brand is serviceable. We specialize in a wide range of packaging equipment and can direct you to the solution that will ensure your business improves in material handling, and supply chain performance.

Not all stretch wrappers are created equally.

We only align ourselves with quality brands to make sure we are delivering the best value.  It is our goal is to provide you with the high quality service that is going to eliminate failures to make your job not only more productive, but hopefully easier. Most end-of-line equipment brands offer different capabilities in terms of ease, automation, integration, and performance. With our extensive analysis of packaging machinery, we understand the strengths and weaknesses of various equipment. Representing a variety of different brands enables us to match the best systems based on your customer needs and the versatility of the job.  For more information on our machinery philosophy, visit bestpackaging.com or contact us at (888) 930 BEST.

Service Success Story: Conveyor Installation & Strapping Machine Repair


At Best Packaging Inc., we work hard to provide you customized solutions that best fit your needs. Last month, we got a call from a customer to reconfigure their plant’s main conveyor line in order to accommodate seven new plastic mold injection machines. With our techs on site, Best Packaging helped install over 100 feet of new conveyor equipment. The conveyor extension was complete with loading stations and pneumatic pop up sections. The Best Packaging technicians also replaced the out-dated stretch wrapper with a state-of-the-art fully automatic Lantech® stretch wrapper integrated into the conveyor. To top it off, we installed a new control panel, two Polychem® strapping machines, and a bar code scanner to notify the system on which pallets to wrap and which to strap. Our technicians are trained on all packaging brands and equipment. Whether you need a consultation on your machines, a Preventative Maintenance program or a reliable emergency service team, be sure to give us a call at (888) 930 BEST.

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.

Best Packaging Inc. Introduces Electrical Engineering Services


With over 20 years of business, Best Packaging is a leader in innovative designs and has capability to customize equipment based on the customer’s needs. We understand that with the correct PLC, HMI programming or  other engineering services, your control panels and integrated machines could be more efficient. For this reason, Best Packaging now offers engineering services for the integration and control of production machinery. We can program PLC-based controls and HMI control systems on complete production lines or individual machines to improve packaging, material handling, and supply chain performance. At Best Packaging, our creative engineers assess and modify the systems specifications necessary for your plant’s particular needs in order to achieve maximum production line efficiency. When your controls become obsolete, or a touch screen wears out, we have the ability to reprogram these touch screens, rebuild an old panel or an entirely new panel.

When a packaging line becomes faulty or fails, Best Packaging understands the urgency in fixing the problem immediately. That is why we are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for emergency service. We specialize in the repair and maintenance of end of line packaging equipment including: Stretch Wrappers, Shrink Wrappers, Case Tapers, Case Sealers, Conveyors, and Strappers. Our expert technicians will get your equipment back to running efficiently and effective to enhance your company’s production line. It’s what we do BEST!

In many industries, when you call a manufacturer’s service tech, they only know how to fix their machines. They may even recommend a solution that fits their business model, however it’s usualy not the BEST solution for your specific needs. At Best Packaging, we service all end of line packaging equipment brands. We work with our clients to deliver customized solutions by consulting and designing based on the customer’s business goals and unique needs. Our in-depth understanding of complex packaging lines combined with our ability to recognize efficiencies for customers not conceived by many manufacturers is what makes us unique. We won’t force products on you that don’t fit your needs.

At Best Packaging, we make it a priority to assist you with anything from installation to performance optimization to ensure each company is implementing the BEST solution. Whether you are looking to build a new control system, or update an existing system, Best Packaging’s programmers have the application knowledge required to implement the design. To learn more about how we can get your control panels to run more efficiently, give us a call 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. 

Service Success Story- Stretch Wrapper Repair


“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” Or in this case, 1600 lbs of steel. Our customer was the proud owner of a Synergy 4 high profile stretch wrapper by Highlight Industries. This state-of-the-art pallet wrap machine features a Fast Film Feed for quick film change, and electronically controlled pre-stretch for ultimate flexibility.

Unfortunately, even the smartest packaging equipment can encounter issues when environmental factors, and inconsistent maintenance, create a harmful compound. This highly efficient machine was debased when its turntable refused to turn. Material handlers had resorted to placing pallets onto the stationary turntable, then manually rotating the base as the pre-stretch carriage dispensed film. This movement caused a rather grating metal-on-metal grinding sound, but the operations team had no choice if they wanted to continue shipping their product.

Anxious to get back to the grind… that is to say, back to normal operations, the plant manager dialed Best Packaging’s toll-free number: (888) 930-BEST. Best Packaging was able to send a service technician to the Northern Illinois facility within a week. The professional repairman effortlessly diagnosed the issue once onsite. The central shaft that causes the turntable to rotate was mangled beyond repair, likely due to challenging warehouse conditions and/or lackluster maintenance. This had caused the center bearing to lock up and the shaft had seized onto the bearing. Since the existing system literally came to a grinding halt, the bearings were beyond economical repair (BER). The only option was to replace the high-profile turntable, shaft, and central bearing.

Since Best Packaging is a licensed dealer of Highlight equipment, the customer service team ensured the right parts were ordered at the best possible price. While the customer awaited the shipment of the new turntable, a service technician began the Herculean task of removing the old table. Since components had seized up underneath the old turntable, extraction was executed with precision in to minimize further damage. The above photo depicts Best Packaging’s technician severing the old shaft to free the turntable above it.

A new turntable, shaft, and center bearing from the original manufacturer were installed by Best Packaging’s factory certified team. The turntable now spins smoothly, with hardly a sound.

If you want to ensure your high caliber stretch wrap machine is a smooth operator, we recommend enrolling in a Preventative Maintenance Program from Best Packaging. The service technicians maintain a detailed log of machine condition, services performed, and potential issues to watch out for in the future. Best Packaging calls for appointment reminders and service is scheduled when the customer agrees to an appointment time. Best Packaging can be reached at (888) 930-BEST or by following the link below.

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

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.

Service Success Story- Strapping Machine


Faulty machinery is a real pain in the back! That was certainly the case for a Chicago-area canned food manufacturer whose inline pallet strapper broke down. Material handlers had resorted to manually palletizing and banding layers upon layers of heavy cans. As a result of the broken strapper, production at this facility was reduced by 50%.

That was when the discomforted cannery called the toll-free number for Best Packaging and scheduled a diagnostic appointment for the same day. When the technician arrived, he received background information from the support engineer and immediately began troubleshooting. He noticed the feed module’s motor was spinning, but the module was not feeding.

Usually, the most obvious answer is the correct one, but this was the exception that proves the rule. Typically, when technicians receive a feed error, it indicates a faulty feed module. The support engineer certainly suspected so and was surprised when Best Packaging discovered the real issue. What couldn’t be seen with the naked eye, was that the motor was not fast enough and could not pick up enough torque to feed properly. The feed module itself worked fine, but the board supplying current to the feed module was at fault. The feed module was not receiving enough current.

New parts for their board were required to remedy the inline strapper and alleviate the employees. With Best Packaging’s expertise, the right part was quickly identified, and they coordinated the order directly from the equipment manufacturer. The strapper was transported to Best Packaging’s workshop at the request of the customer to streamline their production area in the interim. The support engineer, line supervisor, and all the laborers at the cannery grew eager for the new parts to arrive as their team began to experience ergonomic constraints from manually pushing pallets.

Finally, new parts for the board arrived at Best Packaging’s workshop. Because the machine was already there, technicians could complete the installation of new parts quickly, without having to schedule a service visit.

With Best Packaging’s help, this purveyor of canned goods regained 100% productivity and put an end to their sciatic saga. Malfunctioning equipment is not always what it appears to be, so next time faulty packaging equipment has you puzzled (or even pained) call the packaging equipment specialists at Best Packaging.

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

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

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.

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.

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