How to Optimize Your Pallet Wrapping Machine

Introducing a pallet wrapping machine to your production and shipping processes comes with promises of saving you time, labor, and material costs, and boosting productivity. So getting the most out of your system should be a priority. You want to focus on these key areas: optimizing film usage and reducing waste and ensuring you achieve the best load stability.

Here are some questions you should ask if you are an operator or manager of packaging operations to optimize your pallet wrapping machine.

Q: Have the Rollers Been Cleaned?

You will be able to assess the state of the rollers pretty quickly by looking at the film carriage of the pallet wrapping machine. If residue or labels have built up around the rollers, it will affect the film’s application. A cleaning chemical and rag can be used to clean the area and restore productivity. Also, look out for score marks, which can typically be observed in the rubber on the rollers. These occur when snapped film winds around the rollers and is cut off with a knife by an operator. The problem is that these cuts can lead to more frequent film snapping.

Q: Has the stretch Percentage Been Checked?

Pallet wrapping machines are produced with a preset stretch ratio. However, when the film is applied to a pallet, it does sometimes come out differently. To achieve the results you want, you can check the percentage of stretch and adjust accordingly. First, mark a distance you choose on the roll of film, and then go ahead and wrap the pallet. Check the wrapped article for the marks and measure what the distance between the two points is now. You can use this data to calculate the amount of stretch.

Q: Is the Film Is Threaded Correctly?

On the pallet wrapping machine, you will find a diagram that clearly indicates the correct way to thread the film through the rollers. What some operators do is bypass the rollers, which is done when a low-quality film is being used. Inferior film may snap when threaded correctly. They compensate by bypassing the rollers to reduce the stretch.

Q: Have the Film Carriages And Turntable Speed Been Checked For Overlap Size?

You want to aim for between 30 and 50 percent overlap on each turn of the film. You do this by wrapping a pallet and observing how much the film overlaps with each rotation.  More than the 30 to 50 percent overlap will lead to waste; any less will affect the pallet stability.

Q: Is the Film Type Correct?

If you have a power pre-stretch machine, you should be using standard unstretched film. Check that it is of a suitable stretch capacity for your specific device.  If you have a core brake machine, you should be using pre-stretched film.

Q: Have You Checked The Containment Force On The Pallet?

Checking the containment force will enable you to determine the strength of the wrapped pallet. You can get a sense of this by pulling on the film at the top of the pallet to determine if it feels strong. Alternatively, conduct a pull test kit to measure the containment force of the film.

Q: Have You Weighed The Pallet Wrap?

To check the weight of film used per pallet, cut the film of a wrapped pallet and weigh it.

You want it ideally to weigh more than 200g as this is when you will start to achieve savings. However, other factors come into play, such as the size of the pallet and the weight of products being wrapped.

Q: Have You Asked The Operators?

Have you checked in with the people that use the pallet wrapping machine every day? They are familiar with the machine and will therefore be the best people to ask if they feel it is working optimally.

Q: Have You Optimized Your Floor Design?

Examining the functionality of the floor design of your warehouse is a worthwhile exercise. Having a cluttered space and poorly stored tools will cause delays and inefficiencies that will reduce productivity, even if you have a top of the line pallet wrapping machine. Anything that inhibits free movement in the wrapping bays can also lead to accidents.

Q: Do You Have The Right Tools?

Having the right tools will make all the difference. If you are hand wrapping, for example, you need to ensure you have access to strong pallets, quality pallet wraps, and dispensers. Don’t be tempted to choose a cheaper film. It may be cheap but you will incur avoidable expenses when goods are damaged.

Q: How Are You Stacking?

It is a worthwhile exercise to look at the different stacking design combinations you have available when you package and stack boxes. This is one way to improve the way you pack pallets.

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We hope you found this blog post How to Optimize Your Pallet Wrapping Machine useful. Be sure to check out our post Some Tips For Choosing the Best LCL Consolidators For Cost Savings for more great tips!

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