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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Want to add a stretch wrapper to your manufacturing process, but still looking to save money? Many business owners are turning to pre-owned equipment in the face of economic downturn, looking to cut costs and increase profits.
Once a machine has been taken out of its packaging, that machine can no longer be labeled as “new.” However, if that machine hasn’t gotten much use, other businesses can benefit from purchasing that piece of equipment for a reduced cost. If the used stretch wrapper is well-maintained, it can generate plenty of value. Thus, it’s better to go with a used stretch wrapper that is practically brand new, than one that has been used many times in production.
Purchasing a gently used stretch wrapper can save you can well over half the price of new models. Another benefit from purchasing a “used” stretch wrapper is that often times it’s available immediately, while companies that purchase new stretch wrappers may take months to arrive.
Before purchasing a used stretch wrapper, consider these helpful tips:
- Understand the context of your wrapping environment and decide if a used machine is right for your manufacturing process.
- Request references and contact information. This is a standard rule-of-thumb for any used machinery purchase. If the seller doesn’t supply the information, move on.
- Inspect the used machine first-hand while it is still installed and running product at its original place of business. This allows the vendor to see everything the machine does, what parts it has, and its overall condition.
- Ask if mechanics and electricians test-run the machinery before shipment. If they do, secure a guarantee that the machine is in good working order before it’s shipped.
- Seek information regarding the company’s stability, financial strength and its commitment to the industry in order to determine whether they can be trusted.
- Review the return policy. Look for a solid warranty program that ensures you will receive timely assistance if a machine should have mechanical or electrical issues once in full production.
In the long-run, buying used equipment can be a viable option that may not only save money, but also decrease down time. At Best Packaging, we are a seller of new and used equipment. We’re a company you can rely on to ensure you’re getting the best deal without risking the quality of your packaging. Give us a call at (888) 930 BEST for more information.
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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.
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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.
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
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.
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.
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.
In order for loads to be wrapped correctly for shipping, you must apply the right amount of containment force. Containment force is the number of film revolutions multiplied by the wrap force. There is a right amount of containment force for each load that ensures that the load is stable and held firmly enough. There are a few things you could do to detect the optimal amount of containment force using the least amount of film. For example, you can experiment with different types of stretch film, alter the machine gauges and prestretch levels, or manipulate the wrap force settings. However, the best way to find the ideal containment force is to test the top, middle, and bottom of the load with a containment force tool.
At Best Packaging, we have the testing technology required to measure and determine the proper containment standard in order to make sure your film can maintain a particular load holding force over time.Using our portable film force system, we can help you identify the minimum containment force required to decrease film costs.
You shouldn’t be alarmed if your containment force isn’t distributed evenly throughout your load. In fact, the lowest containment force value recorded should become your target for shipping a stable load. For instance, if you’re measuring various pounds of containment force at the top, middle, and bottom, but you’re shipping without any issues, it’s best to set your containment force at the at the lowest-mid containment standard. Doing so ensures you must have at least the minimum amount of containment force everywhere on the load in order for it to be safe to ship. By understanding the different distribution channels, Best Packaging is able to give recommendations on the appropriate settings when sending out different loads.
Once you’ve learned how to measure and have achieved the right containment force, you’ll be able to enjoy consistently safe loads, and more importantly, consistently happy customers. To learn more about containment force or how we can help you measure it, call us at (888) 930 BEST
One of the main uses of stretch wrap is to consolidate many smaller individual packages into one larger unit. Reshaping the load into one solid unit makes it easier to transport. By only having to transport one unit, this saves distributors time and damage when loading.
Quality and Appearance are also important. We want our customers deliver to be able to ship their product(s) in good condition- which is why we stretch wrap. Stretch wrapping allows us to unitize our loads and protect the product from damage which contributes to lower admin costs and happier customers.
As a result, stretch wrapping is now the preferred method for unitized shipping of goods. Most companies that utilize production warehouses are most likely familiar with stretch wrapping. However, in order to make the right decisions about stretch wrap machines, it’s important to be properly informed. There are three methods of stretch wrap application: manual, semi-automatic machine, and high speed automatic machine.
- A manual wrap requires workers to wrap a load by hand. This involves attaching the film to the pallet and then using a roll of stretch wrap on a bar to wrap the film. Workers start at the base and then walk around the load to make certain that the entire pallet is wrapped thoroughly. The amount of manual labor involved with stretch wrapping a pallet by hand is high and often takes a lot of energy. Therefore, this method is ideal for small operations where only one or two pallets a day require wrapping.
- Semi-automatic stretch wrappers have the machine perform the actual stretch wrapping. On semi-automatic stretch wrappers, the pallet is placed on a turntable rotating the pallet as the film moves up and down. Semi-Automatic Stretch Wrap Machines are more ideal for larger shipping and manufacturing industries that wrap about 100 pallets per day and are designed for use with a forklift or a pallet jack. There are also features that could be added to the semi-automatic machines that can increase automation.
- High speed automated stretch wrappers usually incorporate conveyors to automatically cycle loads through the machine for increased output and efficiency. These stretch wrappers can keep up with the most demanding production rates. Automatic stretch wrappers apply and cut the film, so the only thing you need to do is change the film roll. Since the load remains stationary, they are ideal for wrapping very light, very heavy, tall or unstable loads.
Best Packaging offers a variety of stretch wrappers at affordable prices. For machine wrapping solutions, call us at (888) 930 BEST
Here at Best Packaging, we see this all the time. If a stretch wrapper is not actually “stretching” the film to its full potential, you are throwing money out the window. In addition, increasing the stretch of the film will increase the containment force. A load wrapped with a machine which is not stretching the film properly is much more prone to shipping damage. Many companies don’t take these factors into account. They think that as long as their machines are working, they are working properly.
We recently got a call from a customer who has large distribution centers in many states and is wrapping 2500 pallets per day. Their corporate office had noticed a trend that a distribution center in one state was spending much more in film costs per year than their other locations, even though they all used the same machines and the same film. These machines are meant to stretch the film at 250%. When the Best Packaging team arrived we quickly found that some of their machines were working properly, stretching the film to 250%, while others were stretching the film significantly less due to mechanical failures in the film carriage. Using state of the art testing technology we were able to determine that these faulty machines were costing this customer about $600 per day in added film cost. We quickly worked to resolve the issues with the film carriage and this location is now exceeding their film cost benchmark.
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!