3 Ways Increasing Automation in Stretch Wrapping Cuts Costs

By Derek Jones Marketing Manager at Robopac USA

Whether we are in a booming economy or face uncertainty, thriving companies always look for ways to improve efficiencies and reduce costs. Increasing automation in your end of line packaging operation may be one of the first places to discover cost savings. For example, the average time to wrap a pallet load on a semi-automatic turntable stretch wrapper takes about three minutes. The operator gets off the fork truck or leaves their pallet jack to attach the stretch film to the pallet load. Then they start the machine by pushing a button, pulling a lanyard or use a remote control. Then they stand and watch the complete wrap cycle. Once complete, they cut the film and pick up the load.

Adding Features

Adding a feature that cuts and clamps the film at the end of the wrap cycle keeps your driver on the fork truck. Keeping your driver on a fork truck reduces labor per load by two minutes by allowing them to leave the load for another task while it is running because the machine is doing all the work. Costing about $4,000, this feature pays for itself in about one year for someone wrapping as few as 30 loads per day.

Monitoring and Controlling

Another automation improvement that equals cost savings is by being able to monitor and control your stretch wrapping machines performance. Most end of line packaging areas have multiple people who operate their stretch wrapping machines. Over the life of a stretch wrapping machine you could have at least one hundred different workers operating the same machine. Each operator most likely is dialing in or tweaking the machine on a somewhat regular basis.

Through remote assistance you can directly interact with your stretch wrapper to prevent issues before they arise and better understand your machines performance. How much film are you using per shift or per load? Your remote assistance tool can provide you this information and more on your remote device, anywhere, anytime. What are the issues that are or could potentially result in costly downtime and how can you prevent them in the future? Through a remote assistance tool, you can monitor data that shows potential issues. You can also understand what is impacting your film consumption and what measures you can take to reduce film costs.

Investing in Automation

And finally, what better way to reduce costs by investing in automation that reduces product damage. Everyone’s goal is for their products to arrive at their location undamaged and ready to sell. Nothing is more frustrating and costly than when a shipment arrives at its destination and the products have slid or shifted off the pallet. The result is primary packaging and in most cases product damage. Most of the time damaged products are unsellable or drastically reduced in price cutting margins and profitability. Not only does this cost money but it hurts brand perception and vital supply chain partnerships.

Invest in stretch wrapping technology that is proven to reduce product damage. The right stretch wrapping technology will deliver exactly the right amount of stretch film at exactly the right position on the load with exactly the right amount of containment force. A multi-level variable pre-stretch ensures the best film economy for every load. It also guarantees the highest containment and best film economy from any stretch film. Strategic film placement allows the film to be placed exactly where it has the most impact on load stability and containment.

Simply put, by investing in the right stretch wrapping automation, you are setting yourself up for success. Reduced film, labor and product damage means better bottom lines and improved relationships with your supply chain and customers.

About the Author:

Derek Jones is the marketing manager at Robopac USA.  He can be reached at djones@robopac.com.