It’s 8 a.m. Monday morning. There you are, standing at your shipping station trying to keep your eyes focused after a whole weekend of watching March Madness on TV. You let out a big sigh as the long line of forklifts begin their daily drive towards your station carrying full pallets of shampoo and conditioner bound for Kalamazoo. You muffle your excitement as you prepare to hand wrap 20 pallets to load on truck 1. Then, you grab that roll of stretch wrap and head towards that piled-high pallet.
A Time-Saving Solution
Round and round you go as the room begins to feel like that tilt-a-whirl you were on as a kid when the traveling carnival came through town. On your fourth time around, you feel that slight twinge in your back that sends a shivering pain up your spine. You muscle through the pain and eagerly grab that shipping label and slap it on the side of that pallet. The shipping label bounces in and out of the stretch wrap like a trampoline. Hopefully this pallet doesn’t end up on the floor of truck 1’s trailer.
“Done”, you say to yourself until you peer around the side of the pallet to see 19 more left to wrap. Your eyes start to moisten slightly as you walk to pallet #2. Round and round you go again, and again, and again.
Hand wrapping pallets is such a common site I witness traveling from warehouse to warehouse. Productivity, product damage, and cost of film are all important factors that could easily be addressed by implementing a semi-automatic or fully automatic stretch wrapping machine into the shipping operation.
Protect and Secure Pallet Loads
Stretch wrap machines are built with a platform that can easily be loaded with a forklift or a pallet jack if you go for the optional ramp feature. The units are designed to have the stretch wrap film loaded on the stretch wrap carriage and will prestretch the film 200-260%. This alone will have a significant cost savings on film. In addition, possible product damage will decrease due to the tighter, more secure wrap that the machine provides.
Once the unit is loaded, the turntable will spin the pallet and a photo eye guides the prestretched film around the pallet to a certain height of the product on the pallet. The speed of the turntable is programmable, which allows you to custom fit the productivity to your operation.
Minimize Film Tails and Shipping Damage
Film tensioning also is programmable. Having the turntable spin will help eliminate downtime associated with employee injuries as a result of hand wrapping pallets. The units come as semi-automatic, which means once the machine has finished wrapping the pallet, the employee cuts the film and tucks it into the pallet. The fully automatic stretch wrap units are designed to automatically sever the film once it’s finished wrapping the pallet.
A Game Changer
You’re down to the last two pallets when your supervisor makes his way around the loosely wrapped pallets and tells you that he’s got some big news. He’s noticed over the last few weeks how arduous it’s been for you wrapping the pallets. He smiles and says the budget has been approved and they’ve ordered a stretch wrapping system. “Hooray”, you exclaim in a moment of joy. If only you had the same luck over the weekend as you watched your Final Four champion lose to the 15th seed. Oh well, 1 out of 2 isn’t bad.