Tag Archives: Reducing Damage

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.

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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.

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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. 

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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

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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.

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