Around this time of year and coming fresh off New Year’s resolutions, it seems that everyone wants to lose weight. Millions and probably billions of dollars are spent on scales, health club/gym memberships, and exercise equipment. Sadly, no matter how much you invest, simply spending the money does not guarantee a slimmer body. People often fail because they can’t visualize themselves becoming slimmer or they don’t set the proper goals to attain that visualization. But the big question, especially with all the money spent, is about value. Was the return worth the price? The same can be said for stretch wrapping a pallet. Spending a lot of money on a high-quality, stretch wrapping machine and stretch film that performs well does not always guarantee a consistently high quality, stretch-wrapped pallet. We need to visualize what a well-wrapped pallet might look like and do what it takes to consistently to meet that expectation. An engineer might say to develop the process and then work to perfect the process.
When we think of a well-wrapped pallet, what should come to mind?
- Physical appearance might not come to mind immediately, but it is extremely important. No long hanging tails of stretch film should be present. These are not only unattractive; but, they can also be a trip/fall hazard.
- A good marriage between the load and the pallet is critical. It makes absolutely no sense to unitize a cube that then slides off the wooden pallet. Once stretch wrapped, the pallet and the load should be one single unit.
- Containment might seem obvious at first; but, this is a multi-faceted issue. Too little containment and the load is not secure, causing damage during shipping or for it to completely break apart. Too tightly wrapped and the load may be deformed or damaged. The best way to achieve the correct containment is to test, re-evaluate, and then test again until the result meets expectations.
Now that we have our visualization or process, how can we make sure that our stretch wrapping continually matches our standard?
- Physical inspection and a quick quality check are always valuable. Just a quick walk around the pallet should tell you if the wrapping process is meeting the first two criteria above.
- Hopefully, when going through the process above, a load profile baseline was developed. This would include the metrics for ounces of stretch film used to wrap the load. Also containment at the top, middle, and bottom of the load. By comparing our current metrics with the previously obtained data, we can assure that we are on the process and in alignment with expectations.
- Noting where the adjusting knobs for containment, carriage elevation, and turntable speed are set is also important. Our goal is to duplicate our stretch film application every time so, we need to make sure nothing changes. If any changes are made or you do not pay attention, it could result in future damages.
Photo credit: Lantech blog
You may be thinking that this is a lot of work, just to wrap a silly pallet. Why should I go through all this? A well-wrapped pallet can offer your company the following advantages and much more.
- Reduction of in-transit damage and loss
- Reduced cost of stretch wrapping a pallet
- Damage to your brand due to poorly wrapped loads
- Reduced risk of slip/fall accidents due to film tails
- Reduced time when wrapping
Please contact FlexPAC today, if you would like to learn more about our stretch wrapping machines and stretch wrap quality management programs.