Here are 10 essential tips that you won't find in the manual for using a stretch wrapping machine:
- Invest in a containment force measuring tool when purchasing your wrapping machine. This tool helps measure the holding strength of the film on the load, ensuring that it stays secure during transportation.
- If you don't have a containment force measuring tool, it's best to wrap the load as tightly as possible without twisting, crushing or breaking the film. This will give you a rough estimate of the necessary containment force.
- When choosing a containment force measuring tool, it's important to know that there are many different tools and methods available, and each of them provides measurements that may not be directly comparable to others. Be sure to choose a tool that you're familiar with.
4. There can also be variations in the readings taken by different individuals using the same tool. It's better to have more containment force than you need rather than not enough, so round up your measurements.
5. Don't try to save money by choosing a cheaper stretch film. It's important to invest in a high-quality film, as product damage is a much bigger cost driver than the cost of the film itself. A good film will wrap better, run more efficiently and provide the right containment force at the lowest cost.
- Generally speaking, the thinner the film, the lower the wrapping force that can be applied to it without excessive film breaks. When choosing a film gauge and pre-stretch level, it's important to be mindful of this point of diminishing returns and err on the high side.
- Operators often overcome film breaks by reducing the wrapping force, which can result in lost containment force. To avoid this, they need to compensate by adding more wraps of film, but they often neglect to do this, increasing the risk of something happening to the load during transportation.
- When it comes to wrapping loads, it is common practice to apply more containment force, or more film, at the top and bottom of the loads and less in the middle. However, if the loads are not damaged or encountering any shipping problems, the middle amount of containment force should be enough for the entire load. This presents an opportunity to reduce the film used at the top and bottom, thus reducing costs.
9. When starting a new load wrapping project, it is advisable to begin with a good grade 70 or 80 gauge stretch film that has been pre-stretched at 200%. This combination provides a balanced wrap quality, reduces film breaks, and is an acceptable cost for a wide range of load types.
10, To properly adjust the stretch wrapper for a new load, it is recommended to start by adjusting the turntable or wrap arm speed. This should be set to a speed that the load can handle, as restacking fallen loads can be a hassle. After adjusting the speed, set the top and bottom wrap counts and the film overwrap at the top of the load. Begin with 2 for both the top and bottom counts and a 6-inch overlap of film bands for the film delivery system speed.
Finally, adjust the wrap force. Apply enough force to ensure a tight wrap without breaking the film or causing any twisting or crushing of the load. Use a containment force tool to measure the containment force at the load’s top, middle, and bottom. Ensure that it meets or exceeds the load’s containment force requirement and repeat the process until the right containment force is achieved.
Optimizing the wrap pattern, film type and gauge, pre-stretch level, film delivery system speed, and wrap force setting is a challenging task that requires hard work, patience, and time. It is a tedious process that cannot be completed in just 30 minutes. Therefore, it is important to allocate enough time and resources to ensure a successful wrapping process.
The maintenance checklist
As a maintenance manager, it is important to have a stretch wrapper that not only performs its intended function of wrapping loads, but also one that requires minimal maintenance and comes with maximum support in case of any issues. To ensure you make the right choice, it is essential to consider the following factors when purchasing a stretch wrapper:
Operating Instructions and Troubleshooting FAQs: The machine should come with clear and detailed operating instructions and a quick reference guide that provides answers to frequently asked questions to help solve problems quickly.
Start-Up Assistance: The manufacturer should provide a knowledgeable equipment specialist who can perform start-up assistance when the machine is installed.
Availability of Replacement Parts: The manufacturer should offer replacement parts for every machine it has ever made, and guarantee that if you need a replacement part and it’s ordered today, you’ll get it tomorrow.
Warranty: The warranty should be for a minimum of 5 years, cover unlimited cycles, and have no exclusions.
Preventive Maintenance: The machine should not require any scheduled preventive maintenance.
Retrofitting: A service technician should be able to easily retrofit the machine weeks, months, or years after it has been installed, for upgrades such as mast height extensions, base extensions, film delivery system, ramps, remote controls, and load top platen.
Live Support: The manufacturer should provide live support for parts, repairs or maintenance through their website, by phone or in-person, with a live service tech available 24/7, 356 days of the year.
Proximity of Service Technician: The manufacturer should have a service technician within a 3-hour drive of your facility.
On-Site Training: The manufacturer should offer on-site training for your technicians to ensure they are knowledgeable in the operation and maintenance of the machine.
In conclusion, when purchasing a stretch wrapper, it is important to look for a machine that requires minimal maintenance, comes with clear operating instructions, and has a strong support network that can assist in troubleshooting and repairing the machine. Consider these factors to ensure you choose a stretch wrapper that meets your specific needs and makes your life as a maintenance manager easier.
To determine the payback period
To determine the payback period of a stretch wrapper, it is important to calculate the total annual savings in labor and film costs. This will help you understand the amount of time it will take for the investment in the stretch wrapper to pay for itself. Here are the steps to calculate your payback period:
Determine the current labor and film costs: Start by calculating the current costs of manual labor for wrapping packages and the cost of the film used for wrapping.
Estimate the savings from the stretch wrapper: Next, estimate the savings that the stretch wrapper will bring in terms of reduced labor costs and lower film usage. This can be done by comparing the manual wrapping process to the automated wrapping process with the stretch wrapper.
Total annual savings: Calculate the total annual savings by adding the reduced labor costs and lower film usage costs.
Payback period: Divide the total cost of the stretch wrapper by the total annual savings to find the payback period. This will