Traditional Hand Pallet Wrap vs. Pre-stretched Hand Pallet Wrap

Manual hand stretch wrapping of pallets for securing shipments is simply a painful exercise. And it is exercise!

There are still many applications for hand stretch wrap where it is not efficient to bring the pallet to an automatic or semi-automatic stretch wrap machine. You must take the film to the pallet and wrap at the pallet location. These situations abound for in-plant transfer of pallets, grocery distribution load building, egg production and food manufacturing.

If you fall into this segment of hand pallet wrapping, you should be using pre-stretched hand wrap. It works and there are very few applications where it will not outperform traditional cast or blown hand pallet wrap.  Irrespective of all the technicalities in the film manufacturing, the end result is a film that is “tensilized” – very little elongation. The rolls are very light in weight. Film gauges fall in the .0003 to.0004 range. Film thickness does not seem to matter. Load retention is the key and there is comfortable load retention due to the stiff film properties.

Wrap a pallet and you fill find that it takes significantly less effort to wrap a pallet. Fatigue is significantly diminished. Yet, loads are contained appropriately. You do not need to “pull and stretch” – just “tug” the film as you approach corners. You literally walk around the pallet – with film forward or aft of your body position. It seems easier to walk with the film forward of your body. The film is “speedy”; you wrap quickly. There is no waste. Most of the films have a rolled or “cabled” edge that prevents fim breaks. This attribute increases productivity since there is virtually no edge nicking or damage that causes frustrating “restarts” with tradional hand pallet wrap. You can drop this film on the floor without roll damage. Rolls are utilized to their full extent – to the core. Since the film is already “pre-streched” to its ultimate yield, you use signficantly less film per load. Inherently, there is environmentally friendly “source reduction” in the amount of ounces used per load. Source reduction and cost savings coincide. On average, you will experience 20% savings. Yes, the price per pound is generally higher due to the thinner guage. All extruders of these types of film (as any thin gauge film) have a higher cost per pound due to the “pounds per hour” manufacturing equation associated with film extrusion.

Where to start? Try Paragon’s Torque III product or Sigma’s Ecowrap. They are both “hybrid” prestretch films that are in the “.0004″ range that allow a comfort zone when transitioning from regular hand wrap for the everday user. As these films are growing in use, the price per case and per roll is declining. With a film demonstration and simple training, the normal comment by those individuals assigned to pallet wrapping is simply – ” how long has this been out” and “why haven’t we been using this all along!” As the saying goes – applied to handwrapping of pallets – “this isn’t your father’s Oldsmobile”. Don’ t just exercise when wrapping a pallet. You can exercise efficiently and productively with pre-streth hand wrap.

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