20 Years ago there was blown film – end of story. It did what is was designed to do – protect product from the elements and bind it to a pallet. It had some shortcomings. It was noisy when pulled off the roll. It created static electricity. It only stretched up to 50%.
Formulation changes allowed blown film to become more user friendly, with greater stretchability, clarity, puncture proofing, etc.
Some creative types used thicker cores to add weight = less film. The 500mm standard width decreased to 450mm and 400mm. Then the bright idea of pre-stretching it and re-winding back on the roll, with the jargon ‘we have done most of the stretching for you. It is now lighter weight and softer to the touch” = zero or little stretch left. Many simply put fewer metres on a roll. All designed to create a point of difference or to manipulate the price.
Blown film is created by melting polymer beads into a circle. The circle is raised, cooled, and then cut to width. This process requires a very tall structure to hold the ‘balloon’.
In an effort to save space, the cast film process was born, where the melted polymer is forced out through a slit. One big advantage of this process is that it can be any thickness you desire. You can also combine several layers together. These layers can have different properties such as stickiness, elasticity, puncture proofing, cross layering, etc.
In recent times, the amount of stretch has increased due to the addition of elasticizers / plasticizers. It also leads to more spin offs, such as pre-stretch film options that boast up to 300% stretch – mainly used with semi and fully auto stretch wrap machines. Naturally, the more you can stretch the film, the less you use, so it has become the least expensive method of protecting and unitizing a load – often incorporating a sheet film top cover to protect against rain and dust.
The other side of the equation is that your 17um (universal micron) film has just gone down to under 6um per pass. Do you leave it with 6um or do you wrap it once or twice more? How do you test usage vs effectiveness?
Variations abound about which film is best for your particular needs. The latest idea is to convince you that the thickness of the film is no longer an issue as the strength of the film has increased to compensate, so many films on the market are thin – marketed as equal to or better than standard film.
King Group did a number of tests on some of these pre-stretched and thin films, and the results were interesting. Sure they covered the loads adequately, therefore performing one role, but when it came to unitization – that of combining the load to the pallet, they all came up wanting.
Now on most occasions, you will not be concerned about unitization, because your pallet load will be forked onto the truck and forked off. What happens when the forklift has to stop suddenly, or the truck is involved in an emergency stop or has an accident? That is when the load can shift. Unitization matters.
That thickness of film between the bottom of the load and the pallet is all that stops your load from sliding off. No matter what film you use, if you only wrap that point more than twice, you will have increased your loads survival chances no end.
Naturally, the thicker and stronger the film, the better unitization and protection from other loads will result
Secondly, if you start the wrapping process as close to or even under the pallet, your unitization rating factor goes higher. Many auto stretch wrappers start the film wrapping halfway up the pallet, this leaves about 75mm of film covering the pallet – not the best in an accident.
An interesting development along the way, was when planet warriors asked the question, “What happens to all the stretch wrap film that is discarded”. Answer. It went to land fill. There was no processing system for soft films. Recently that has all changed. Even Kit Kat is using recycled soft films to create new wrappers, so the stigma of using stretch wrap to protect goods is no longer an issue. We do need to get better at capturing and recycling soft plastics, but the great thing is that we can now close the loop, and we have no need to feel guilty about polluting the planet.
The question to ask is, “am I looking to protect and unitize my precious cargo, even if it costs me $1 more, or am I only looking at the least possible cost”? Remember that the cost of delivering / returning / replacing damaged goods is far greater than spending the right amount of money to protect them in the first place. It is in fact, very cheap insurance.
Your clients will respect you and do business with you again, if you deliver their goods in pristine condition.
Always go with hand and machine stretch films from a trusted supplier, such as the range from Pack King. We NEVER skimp on quality, and ALWAYS give value for money.
The Rapid Wrapper Powered Stretch Wrap Turntable from Pack King was designed for smaller businesses, in order to remove the strain on the operator from walking backwards around a pallet whilst pulling and stretching the film. The Rapid Wrapper does all the hard work. Pallet corners are also able to be wrapped underneath in order to maximize load unitization.
Having said that, one international company recently purchased 11 units as interim wrappers, to get the loads into racking storage safely.
Another bought one to combine and protect long and awkward loads – as there is no post to impede the width of the load or an outsized pallet.
Ron Mileham. PACK KING. www.packking.com.au.
A recent study by Pack King, found that for many businesses, a masted Stretch Wrap Machine, masked hidden costs, that could be robbing you of hundreds, even thousands of dollars each year.
For those businesses who absolutely must have a masted wrapper due to load height and volumes, then so be it, but for low volume and reasonable load height users and those contemplating a new stretch wrapper, think on this.
A masted stretch wrapper takes up 3.6 Mtrs square of warehouse real estate, costing anywhere between $600.00 to $850.00 per year. It also takes up the same space as a double bay of racking, where 6 pallets could have been stored (more if your warehouse is higher), so the opportunity cost of losing 6 pallet spaces plus a few hundred dollars per year, mounts up, but if the business can use the Pack King Rapid Wrapper that takes up only 1.5 Mtrs square when in use, then you have gained six pallet storage spaces.
The Rapid Wrapper can be moved using a hand pallet truck, so it can be taken close to the work station in order to minimize forklift travel distance, remembering that the less distance the forklift travels, the safer and more productive it is. It may also be cheaper and safer to provide a walkie stacker in the packing area, in order to raise, lower and move pallets to a zone where the forklift can operate, thus separating workers from forklifts.
Optionally the Rapid Wrapper with a pallet on top, can serve as your direct loading and stretch wrapping work station in one. You can even rotate the turntable for easier and faster stacking. This eliminates the need to move pallets twice.
Given the fact that most operators put two or three pallets down first in order to prevent bending, the Rapid Wrapper at a height of 286mm performs the same function.
The other benefit is that when stretch wrapping, the operator can start the film at a height to incorporate the bottom of the pallet. The load can be further bound to the pallet by passing the film under the corners of the pallet during rotation, whereas a masted stretch wrapper starts the first film run at least half way up the pallet, so that any sudden stop by the carrier could push the load off the pallet.
At around half the price of a decent masted wrapper, the Rapid Wrapper offers low cost, versatility, space saving and full utilization of your existing expensive warehouse space. When your floor space is required for other activities, the Rapid Wrapper has a notched base that allows it to be safely stowed on pallet racking, plus fully removable plugs so there are no trailing cables. The 24v foot control allows the 1500mm diameter chequer plate turntable to rotate any load up to 2 tonnes at a comfortable 8 rpm (doing all the hard work), whilst the operator stands with the film dispenser, tensioning and overlapping the film as required. A top cover can be wrapped into the load for complete weather and dust protection if required.
Everyone is familiar with hand stretch wrap film. Millions of tonnes of it are used around the world. Since it was invented it has become the first product businesses turn to ensure their goods are protected during transit.
We used to use shrink film until it go too expensive, plus it was deemed a fire hazard. Some industries can only use shrink film, but the majority rely on the ubiquitous hand or machine roll of stretch film.
Small businesses commonly buy film in small amounts. They then put their fingers in the cores and walk backwards around the load until it is covered with stretch film.
Next level is to invest in a hand stretch film dispenser. This allows you to stretch the film whilst comfortably holding and tensioning the roll.
Still you have to pull and walk backwards, which is where the aches and pains and tripping over problems begin.
To overcome this, Pack King have introduced the Rapid Wrapper. You can move it with a hand pallet truck. Load it with a straddle truck or forklift, and after the mains extension lead and the low voltage foot control have been plugged in, you are ready to gyrate. Not you – the load!
Hook the tail of the film to the load or pallet, then let the powered turntable do all the work – at a steady 8 rpm – whilst you hold the film dispenser, tightening and overlapping exactly how you want it.
Stop at the top and drape a top cover over the load, then wrap the cover into the load if you want complete weather protection. Black film and top covers are available if you need security.
Film varies in thickness (Universal Microns – um). It can be tempting to go for the thinnest film as you get more on a roll for the same price, and thin is fine, if the load is light. Just consider that you may need two wraps in order to secure the load, whereas a thicker gauge film may only require wrap.
The Rapid Wrapper has a few extra features that are very useful. The turntable is 286mm above floor level. A standard pallet would have the corners sticking out, which is perfect for winding the stretch film under the corners as it rotates. There is nothing better to unitize a load, then to secure it firmly to the pallet. Likewise, a proficient operator can take the film up and over the top corners in order to weather proof the load without using a top cover.
The Rapid Wrapper has no film carriage post, so oversized loads are easily catered for. Stand as far away as you like. Use heavy film to cater for loads with sharp corners. Use for pipes and posts, gates, crates, etc.
The rapid Wrapper is able to be stored on standard pallet racking due to the notches formed into the base frame. These prevent the wrapper from slipping from the beams. Being able to stow the Rapid Wrapper, means that you can use your precious floor space for something else, when not wrapping a load.
The foot control plug and lead is removable, so there are no trailing cables when stowing the Rapid Wrapper.
At a price that is cheaper than a musculoskeletal claim, and an increase in speed, along with consistency is film use, the Rapid Wrapper is a great investment.
Pack King offers the full range of quality hand and machine stretch films – with maximum stretch and puncture resistance, along with next level up semi auto stretch wrap machines and all packaging products and tools.
If You’re Packing Fragile Items, Here Are the Best Packing Materials to Secure Your Fragile Belongings.
The Benefits of Packing Tape And Dispensers – What to Consider When Choosing the Right Packing Equipment.
Packaging tapes and dispensers are available in any shape or size and are guaranteed to make packing so much easier! Whether it be for business means, travel or moving purposes it is essential to have the right packaging tools. So that packing your items can be safe secure and simple.
It is important to ensure that when you are packing your items that you synchronise the tape style and category with the tape dispenser. This is to guarantee a safe and efficient working level at all times.
There are a variety of tape dispenser styles and shapes that can cater for both manual and automatic packaging instances as well as speciality tapes suited to your packing needs.
Manual packing is usually opted for with smaller boxes and items. Whereas choosing an automatic packing tape dispenser is highly recommended for larger items, boxes and packages.
Choosing the right tape plays a very important part in the operation of your packaging process. It is important to select the right shape and style tape. It will ensure the total safety and security of your objects and packages.
There are several factors that should be considered while choosing your packaging tape dispenser and these include:-
- Grade – Many vendors offer packaging tapes and dispenser in several grades to accommodate varying adhesive thickness of film in different levels. These grades offer a wide range of tensile strength and holding power.
- When you are buying packaging tapes, you should take into account the content weight, shipping and production environment and the size of the carton.
- Substrate: Take into account the type of packaging that you want to seal. Cartons are available in different types from thick to recycled, printed or double walled. Each variant has its distinct advantages impacting the distribution network and also faults with regard to the tape performance.
- Environment – Factors like temperature, humidity and other environmental conditions can impact quality of the seal. Therefore your tape selection should factor in all these conditions.
- Method of application – The packaging tapes can be applied manually or through an automated process. The manual process brings features like strong film backing and easy unwinding preventing breaking and stretching. Automated process on the other hand, focuses on reduced breakage of tapes and easy unwinding.
- Quality of tapes – When you are buying a packaging tape dispenser, you should also consider the quality of tapes that you would be using. With a top quality packaging tape, it is easier with unwinding and delivers durability as well strength. Which is essential to withstand all the stress across the distribution network.
Now we can take a closer look at some more benefits of selecting the right packing tape and dispenser.
Gummed paper tapes
Kraft paper packaging tapes are versatile and very strong
Heavy boxes and larger packages can be sealed with gummed paper tapes using a single strip to endure lengthy and rough shipping challenges.
Paper tapes are water activated and can seal your packages very effectively presenting a neat and professional appearance.
Paper tapes also bring the additional benefit of custom packaging tape carrying your brand images or other information printed on the tapes in one or more colours. This way, the paper tapes can also double up as your brand ambassadors allowing you to source generic cartons instead of pre-printed cartons with your logo.
Strong and durable
Paper tapes are also significantly durable and strong and merge with the surface of the carton very well when it is applied correctly. Once sealed, it offers a tamper-evident and strong seal even in cold, hot, damp, dusty or other inclement conditions. These tapes are also highly resistant to tears and punctures.
There are many things to consider when selecting the right packing tape and dispenser. This is to ensure that your packing experience is made simple and easy and that your objects and parcels are always safe and secure. That is why it is important to consult with packing professionals on packing materials that are best for you and your required job!