One of the most common questions we get asked about our Siat Stretch Wrapping machine is how does it work, and why do we need to wrap loads in the first place?

 

Why is Stretch Wrap Useful?

Stretch wrap has many different uses but one of its most useful is to act as a way to increase load unitisation. If you work in manufacturing you will know that it makes much more sense to pack a lot of small loads into one big load rather than trying to ship them individually. Not only will this help to lower the risk of damage, but it will also make the whole shipment a lot easier to transport. This lower risk of damage is one of the things most manufacturers chase, as the closer, their product is to ‘as-manufactured’ state when it arrives at their customer, the better their customer relationship will be. What stretch wrapping does, therefore, is to allow for load unitisation and delivery to be done in the most cost-effective way possible for both the manufacturer and the customer.

To break this down, even more, the point of stretch wrapping is to prevent the load from moving about during the transport process, as movement during shipping is one of the main reasons why goods get damaged these days. Yes, there are a lot of other ways you can help prevent damage during the shipping process, but stretch wrapping has been proven to be one of the most efficient ways to do this. This prevention of damage not only means lower admin costs and fewer returns but also happier customers and therefore happier employees!

We have been dealing with case sealers and packaging machines, such as the Siat S8, since 1981 and so we are aware that many companies who deal with warehousing, producing or re-selling goods use stretch wrapping machines nowadays, and so there is some familiarity with the process already out there. However, it is always useful to have a refresher on how a stretch wrapper works.

 

First Step – Pallet Loading

The first step, before you even think about stretch wrapping, is to get your goods loaded onto a pallet. Once your desired load has been assembled on the pallet then you can make sure that both the pallet and the load are stretch-wrapped together.

When you are dealing with pallet loading, one of the most important things to remember is that load placement is critical. The pallet itself should always be in a good condition, and the goods should be placed on the pallet in a way that ensures that they don’t overhang the sides of the pallet and they are no less than 4 inches away from the edge.

It is really important not to skip any steps in the pallet loading process when you are thinking about stretch wrapping the pallet. This is because if you do you run the risk of punctures occurring when a forklift truck or other device tries to move the pallet, or even the load shifting when the pallet is transported.

 

How to Apply Stretch Wrap

There are three main types of stretch wrapping machines and these are manual, semi-automatic and high speed automatic.

A manual wrapper, such as the Siat F1L-16-M wrapper, relies on one of your employees actually wrapping the load manually. They will do this by securing the film to the pallet base and then carrying on by wrapping the rest of the film around the load. This can be quite a manual task, and it is also prone to high material cost as there is no pre-stretch available as such. It can also make it difficult to control the wrap for specific containment force.

On the other hand, semi-automatic stretch wrappers, such as the Siat SW2, work by the load being placed on the wrapper and the machine then wraps the load. This is enabled due to the machine having a chain driven turntable with a home position, which moves the wrap up and down the pallet.

Then you have the high speed automated wrapper where the machine actually performs the whole task of wrapping the load. This machine is manufactured in the form of a conveyor which feed the load into the machine automatically, apply and cut the film, and then discharge the pallet when it is completed.

 

What is the most important thing about Stretch Wrappers?

However, it doesn’t matter what type of stretch wrapping machine you go for in the end, the most important thing to remember is containment force is critical. Containment force is the force that holds the load together and it is usually calculated by multiplying the number of film layers by the wrap force. Getting this right can mean the difference between your product arriving at the customer’s intact and in good shape, or them arriving there damaged and broken.

There are lots of things to consider when it comes to purchasing a siat packaging machine, but our friendly and experienced team can help you to come to the right decision. Just give us a call on 01924 483000 or send an email to enquiries@siat-uk.com for a free, no-obligation quote.