Many pallets and odd-shaped items are wrapped and bundled with pre-stretched film wrap to secure loads against vigorous movement and for weather protection during transport.
Film wrap is essential for the safety of goods as they are loaded and unloaded and there are many common mistakes when applying it.
There are many common myths about film wrap and here we are going to bust seven of them.
Myth One – Thick film is better than thin film
Advancements in resin technology have made thinner film wraps stronger with blown octene based pre-stretch wrap. These high-performance stretch wraps have puncture resistance and elastic memory which use up to 50% less material. This allows it to be stretched much further than conventional thicker wraps which are fast becoming a thing of the past.
Myth two – It is better to save costs with cheaper wraps
Saving costs helps the company dollar and passing on these costs to our customers helps us remain competitive. Cheaper pallet wraps often don’t save in the long run as they have a poorer performance with less flexibility and stretching distance. They can slip and loosen with extensive movement, compromising the integrity of your goods and costing your company more in the long run.
The best way to test whether your cheaper roll of plastic wrap is more cost-effective is to compare how many wraps of a pallet are achievable compared to a more expensive roll. You may find you get double the wrapping rate with the better-quality pallet wrap. Some of the thinner wraps are designed to have the same if not better holding force as their thicker contemporaries.
Myth three – Stretch film is more fragile and prone to puncture and tearing
Pre-stretch wrap is designed to strain even further with more wrapping distance achieved than non-pre-stretch wraps. Once it is stretched around a pallet or bundle its characteristic is to contract firmly around the load, applying a firm hold.
With the proper pallet wrap machine or hand-held dispenser, pre-stretch film is more efficient than conventional film wraps.
Myth four – it is better to hand wrap than use a machine
While there are good hand wrapping tools available, machines are more efficient time-wise and save on workplace injuries such as back strain and repetitive strain. Add these two factors together and you have big cost savings. Pallet wrapping machines give a consistent performance compared to hand wrapping.
Myth five – Pallet wrapping machines are unaffordable
The initial outlay of a pallet wrapping machine is a large expense, but if you have a high output assembly line, they can make their cost back several times over within a short amount of time. Pallet wrapping machines deliver many cost-saving benefits:
- Delivering a consistent application of stretch film
- Delivering a stable and secure wrap to reduce risk and loss of goods
- Saves on excessive application of film wrap
- Frees up employees to do other work
- Machines can work around the clock without breaks
- Eliminates workplace injury and down-time from staff due to workplace injury and strain
Myth six – All stretch films are universal
Stretch films are intended for distinct uses. There are different types of stretch film.
- Cast stretch film is made by a cast extrusion method and its holding strength is weaker. So it’s more likely to tear and have less memory than blown film. When it comes off the roll, it is much quieter than blown film which is. It also costs less than blown film.
- Blown pre-stretch wrap is manufactured with the blown extrusion method which makes it the strong wrap of the two. Its advantage is that it has a higher performance rate with stretch and holding power, tear-resistance and elastic memory. It costs more than cast wrap due to the manufacturing process.
- Hand stretch is made specifically to be used with handheld dispensers. While you can use blown pre-stretch by hand, it would typically come in a smaller roll for easy handling. This product is more suitable for smaller operations and should be replaced with a pallet wrapping machine as your production line develops higher outputs.
- Colour stretch films are for specific packaging requirements such as colour coding shipments or dating and stock taking.
- Ultraviolet film contains UV protection qualities for wrapped loads that are stored outside in the weather. Typically, the building industry would use this film type.
Myth seven – All film wrap is bad for the environment
It’s true that plastic wrap causes enormous problems for the environment, but we can reduce waste and our carbon emissions by choosing a better more efficient pallet wrap. Pre-stretched blown octene based wraps increase the wrapping distance by up to 50%, meaning you get much more out of a roll and use less to achieve the same job. You save on carbon by halving the shipping weight of your orders for new rolls. Best of all pallet wrap can be industrially recycled.