Why automate your stretch wrapping process?

Well according to Mick Carless, Sales and Engineering Manager for the Antalis Packaging Machinery Division the answer is simple – cost and time savings.

Mick explains, “There are many benefits of automating the stretch wrapping process but one of the most relevant to any business must be the considerable cost savings that can be achieved in both labour and stretch film. For example, a client of Antalis recently saved over £40,000 per annum on their film cost by simply switching their stretch film to the correct specification to suit the machine being used. This represented a considerable saving to their business and released capital to purchase a brand-new semi-automated wrapping machine with a payback period of six months.”

Of course there are many other important advantages of automating the process which Mick urges business to seriously consider:

Health and Safety – Although this may seem like a ‘tick in the box’ exercise – automation eliminates the real need for employees to wrap by hand. Mick explains – “Employees tripping whilst walking or sometimes running around a pallet in an effort to meet deadlines is a very real issue in the industry. It can lead to individual’s injuring themselves and leave the company liable for a personal injury claim.”

Load Containment – it is very difficult for a pallet to be effectively wrapped by hand. This can result in inconsistent load containment leading to problems of damaged goods and returns from transit damage. Also, manual wrapping can mean too much film is used, proving costly; or in some instances not enough material is used, which again can result in poor pallet presentation and damage.

Packaging Waste – Research has shown that wrapping by hand can be wasteful – with operators causing damage to stretch film rolls and overusing film. Automated wrapping means film is dispensed evenly and consistently resulting in no wasted film.

Film Economy – Due to the unique way a machine pre-stretches the film being applied to the pallet, it not only makes the wrap very strong, but also maximises the yield from the film. For example Lantech machines are design to pre-stretch the film by up to 300% before applying it to the pallet thereby increasing one roll of film by 3 to 4 times its original length.

“All of the above added together does prove to be very beneficial for any business – the result of automation is consistently wrapped pallets, reduced film usage, less damages and returns, and labour efficiencies,” adds Mick.

Mick estimates however that one in five companies that distribute pallets are still wrapping by hand. For them, finding a partner that can advise, recommend and provide a real solution is key.

Seek the advice of an expert

Antalis Packaging’s Machinery Division is truly unique to the industry, made up of a team of 12+ experts. It consists of engineers, technical experts and after sales support staff.  Mick explains; “We are here to support customers to help them to make the right choice to suit their application – choosing the right partner and of course machine is imperative.  Not only can we advise on the right type of wrapping equipment, we can also go into a company and do a full audit of their requirements from the shop floor up.  We are able to supply fully tailor-made solutions and quotations – and even forecast the reduction in costs and estimate when any investment will have paid for itself.”

Antalis has supplied Lantech equipment since 1995, Lantech invented and patented the world’s first pallet wrapping machine in 1972 and have been the industry leader and innovator ever since

Review your consumables

Mick also emphasises, “It is not all about selling new equipment – just choosing the right stretch film to put on an existing machine can give significant cost savings too – better quality wrapping,

consistency, and better load containment – resulting in less wastage and customer rejection. A recent example is a client we encountered who was distributing soft boxes. The film used to wrap the pallets led to ‘corner crushing’ of the boxes. We were able to advise our client on the correct type of film to use which instantly resolved the issues they had been experiencing.”

In conclusion

If you are considering pallet wrapping automation, or just want advice on stretch wrap costs or alternative solutions – “seek professional advice – there are real benefits to be achieved,” concludes Mick.

–  So what are you waiting for? Contact our Packaging Machinery Team here