The perfection of the right process to secure pallets for shipping took a great leap forward when ropes, metal bans, and tape were replaced by heavy duty plastic wrap. The use of wrap eliminated the need for tools to apply bans and tape and consisted of simply walking around the pallet unraveling plastic material. As perfect as it seemed, it had the same flaws as tape and bans. That was until the introduction of the stretch wrap machine, which has perfected and improved the process.
What is a Stretch Wrap Machine?
It may be assumed that a stretch wrap machine performs exactly the same function of walking around a pallet and unraveling plastic wrap. Basically, there is little similarity between manually rolling the plastic and a highly efficient stretch wrap machine. The main difference is the high efficiency and sealing that is performed by a stretch wrap machine.
In simple terms, a stretch wrap machine is designed to apply stretch wrap that encases the pallet in a sturdy film. The key to the process is how tightly the material is wrapped to the product without crushing it. As the wrap is dispensed, it conforms to the shapes of the items on the pallet and places a coating over them to keep them from shifting or moving. This ensures that nothing can fall off the pallet as well as making it impossible for the load to shift.
Types of Stretch Wrap Machines
The popularity of stretch wrapping has led to the development of a wide variety of plastic wrapping methods. Each type tightly wraps products and keeps them sealed during shipping. The various methods boil down to three main types, which are horizontal, rotary, and turntable.
Rotary stretch wrapping involves the use of a mechanical arm that extends over the pallet and moves around the pallet while dispensing wrap at each revolution. The process tightly seals the items on the pallet, forming a strong seal.
The process of turntable stretch wrapping resembles the rotary method. The difference between them is how the wrap is applied. A turntable application of stretch wrap places the pallet on a round platform that rotates the pallet as the wrap is applied. Though it is a different method, it has the same results of forming a tight seal.
Horizontal stretch wrapping is completely different from the rotary and turntable methods. The application of the wrapping material is a process of enveloping the pallet in a film of thick sturdy plastic. The material is held in a ring above the pallet. As the ring moves downward, the wrap is evenly applied to the products to be shipped.
Stretch wrapping has become the ideal method for shipping products. It protects them from harm and damage and ensures what is packed is delivered.