If you are wondering about stretch wrapping films and how they function and whether they are right for your packing and shipping needs, this article will give you all the information you need. Stretch films is commonly used by a wide range of industries.
- 1 What is Stretch Film?
- 2 Benefits of Stretch Film Wrapping
- 3 Types of Stretch Wrap Film Packaging
- 4 Cast VS Blown Wrap
- 5 Stretch Film Machinery
- 6 What Is Your Stretch Film Wrapping Needs?
- 7 Manual Wrapping
- 8 Trusted Suppliers
- 9 Get the Help You Need
A stretch film machine is used to quickly stretch wrap a wide range of products. Of course, the question is, is this right for your operation? Learn more about stretch wrap film, a stretch film machine, productivity and benefits of stretch film to make an informed decision about your packaging needs.
What is Stretch Film?
The first thing we will do is to deliver the definition of stretch film wrapping. Here are the basics, stretch wrap is a thin plastic film that is very stretchable. It is made from polyethylene a low-density, linear material. LLDPE is wrapped around products to keep them bound.
Stretch film is typically used to bind products to pallets and to ensure that they are secure on the pallet. It can help to reduce the risk of product damage and losses, protect labor from injuries and reduce product tampering. We discuss the benefits of stretch wrap film further down in this article.
Benefits of Stretch Film Wrapping
This is one of the best ways to keep products secured to your pallet. It is efficient means of wrapping pallets for transporting. It secures goods and can help reduce the risk of product tampering and unauthorized entry into your pallets.
It is easy for end users to remove yet tear resistant during transport. It is commonly used by a wide range of industries to reduce risk of injury to laborers, keep products from spilling off the pallet and help to contain them while they are being transported.
Most operations prefer stretch film wrapping to other methods like strapping, because it is a less labor-intensive process. Automated stretch film wrapping can increase productivity and reduce labor costs in the warehouse.
Types of Stretch Wrap Film Packaging
There are two main types of stretch wrap film. Cast stretch wrap and Blown stretch wrap. Cast stretch wrap is created using an extrusion process. The extrusion process uses melts down thermoplastic material that is then extruded onto a flat die. The flat die is a chill role that quickly chills the thermoplastic where it is cooled and solidified into a film. This process creates film that has a high level of clarity and that require minimal force to stretch. It also has high tear resistance and can offer excellent cling abilities.
Blown stretch wrap is the other type of stretch film. This method uses an annual slit die to create a thin tube. The film is blown up through the tube where it is blown up much like a balloon. There is an air-cooling ring on top that cools the thermoplastic to create a very robust film.
Cast VS Blown Wrap
Both products use the same thermoplastic but how the thermoplastic is treated during the processing can make a difference in the quality of the film. Here is a brief breakdown of the advantages of each and the disadvantages of each (pros and cons).
Cast film advantages include:
- Less expensive than blown film. There are less manufacturing costs for this product to be manufactured and the savings is passed on.
- Two-sided cling. Blown film has two-sided cling which can help improve security.
- It is quieter. When blown film is unwound it is quieter than blown stretch film is.
- The clarity of the cast film also makes it a favorite for manufacturers.
Advantages of Blown Stretch Film:
- High load stretch. This type of film delivers a powerful stretching ability.
- It is a premium quality film.
- It has a great deal of memory. Once it is stretched it can easily return to its shape.
- It has the power to help loads stay securely in place in some cases better than the cast film can.
- Blown film also has a very high tear resistance.
Disadvantage of Cast Stretch Film:
- It does not offer the holding power that stretch film wrapping can provide.
- It has less memory than blown film wrapping.
- Cast film wrapping has a lower tear resistance than blown stretch wrapping.
Disadvantages of Blown Film Wrapping:
- It has a higher cost than cast film wrap.
- It does not have the clarity that cast film wrapping has to offer.
- It is much noisier than cast film wraps when it is unwound.
Each option can be an excellent option. It comes down to several variables as to which will be right for your operation. For example, if you have very heavy loads, then blown stretch wrap will be the best option. If clarity and cost is important to you than cast film will be a better option.
How do you decide which is best for your enterprise? Connect with a packaging expert that can go over the options in detail and help you to make an informed decision.
Stretch Film Machinery
To use either type of stretch film wrapping you will need a stretching film machine. Choosing the right machine for your operation does take some consideration. Of course, before you make any decisions about which stretch film machine is right for your organization you will want to consider the following:
- Your budget
- Your floor spaces
- Define your stretch wrapping needs
Not all pallet wrapping machines are created equal, when you are considering which one is right for your budget, look for value. A lot of organizations make the mistake of putting budget needs first and find that the lowest cost is not the best value in every situation.
Buy the wrapping machine that fits your budget but do be sure that you are buying the machine that can meet your organizations needs and deliver reliable service. In other words, be flexible in your budget and shop by value not cost.
Of course, you can only purchase a stretch film machine that will fit in your available floor space. You can find machines that have small footprints to help conserve space.
What Is Your Stretch Film Wrapping Needs?
It is not enough to just define your film needs you must project how much that stretch film machine will have to work for your organization.
Some of the question that you will need to answer include:
- How many pallets loads per day is your organization managing right now? What are your load projections for the next year? How about the next five years?
- What features are you looking for in this machine?
- What are you wrapping? How do your pallets move through the warehouse?
- Is this stretch wrapping machine going to be a part of a complete automation process or will it be a standalone automation process?
Getting the most out of a stretch wrapping machine comes down to the ability to project where you will be in a few years. One of the critical mistake’s manufacturers make is underestimating their need for the near and far away future.
When you are investing in this type of equipment you are not investing just for today. It can be smarter to invest in a machine that has a higher capacity than you need right now. It is easier to buy a machine that can grow with your organization than having to revisit purchasing a machine in 5 years.
Is this machine going to be a part of a larger automation process? That will change the type of machine you need. Considering all the above will help you to decide not only what type of stretch wrapping machine you need but also help you to decide on a stretch wrap film that will work best for your product needs.
If you are not ready to take the plunge and buy a stretch film machine, you can choose a manual method of applying the film. A manual method can typically be carried out by a single person. It is not as fast as having a stretch film machine, but it can be just as effective.
Manual wrapping of course does require some training, and handheld machines, but it is a much less expensive initial investment. Film wrapping by hand may be the option that is best for your small operation right now.
One of the best decisions you can make when it comes to stretch wrap film is to connect with a trusted supplier. The right supplier will have all the supplies you need to ensure that pallet wrapping is fast, efficient, and cost effective.
You can tap into the knowledge of a supplier to make decisions about your wrapping choices and feel confident about your decision. Getting the support, you need can help you to make easy decision.
Get the Help You Need
Making the right choice highly depends on connecting with someone that can help. Get the support that you need is the easiest way to ensure that you always have supplies on hand.