You spend millions of dollars in your warehouse to get your product to the customer as fast as possible. So why let sluggish wrapping procedures or potential shipping damage slow you down? Automatic stretch wrapping is generally an overlooked process in the warehouse supply chain, but it can be one of the easiest and least expensive solutions to increasing revenue.
Hand-wrapping or even getting off your fork truck to wrap pallets are unnecessary, outdated practices. In today’s world, stretch wrapping companies offer ever-improving solutions to wrap pallets as quickly and efficiently as possible. New machines can automatically wrap up to 180 loads per hour, improving throughput and quality for a relatively low cost.
The problems with hand-wrapping and manual stretch wrapping machines
When you hand wrap or operate a manual stretch wrapping machine, many non-value-added touches must be made to complete the process. The load must be picked up, dropped off on the machine, manually wrapped (usually by the same fork truck driver), and then picked back up and taken somewhere else in the facility. This wastes precious time and labor that can be used elsewhere.
Manually wrapping pallets can also cause many unforeseen quality issues for your load. Improper and inconsistent containment force accounts for most of this. When a pallet is manually wrapped, there is no way to tell how much film tension you are delivering to the load. This can lead to both over-wrapped and under-wrapped loads, causing it to be either crushed by the film or come apart during shipment. Both of which are equally problematic, resulting in lost goods and extra labor.
The benefits of automatic stretch wrappers
With an automatic stretch wrapper, the entire process is autonomous and the load is touched only once at the end of the wrapping cycle. The load is conveyed into the wrap zone, wrapped, and then conveyed out to be picked up. With an automatic solution, there is no need for the fork truck driver to ever leave his truck, minimizing non-value-added touches. This increase in throughput correlates to time and dollars saved – with minimal changes to your process.
Not only is automatic stretch wrapping more efficient, it can provide a more consistent and better-quality wrap. According to the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), nearly $1 billion a year in gross sales is lost due to shipping damage in the food, beverage, and consumer products markets. This cost accounts for only part of the loss; additional labor and goods, freight costs, and damaged shipping material compound the value lost due to poor wrapping.
Automatic stretch wrapping can help prevent this damage by ensuring proper load containment. Without proper containment to the pallet, a tall or top-heavy load could easily topple in route to the customer, causing total product loss. Stretch wrapping technology companies offer a variety of patented processes to improve load containment. For example, Lantech® offers options such as Metered Film Delivery®, Pallet Grip® and Load Seeking Clamp 4.0® to provide the highest level of containment when automatically wrapping a load. These innovations help ensure your product is properly wrapped and won’t be damaged during shipment.
By increasing throughput and minimizing product loss, automatic stretch wrapping can be an easy solution to increasing revenue. Engineered to wrap almost any load imaginable, automatic stretch wrapping technology is always evolving to provide the most effective and efficient solution possible.
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