Stretch Film is an ideal material for securing and protecting goods during transport and storage. Thanks to its high stretch-ability (it can be stretched up to 5 times its original length), it can hold items tightly together to reduce shifting during transit. It can also be used to protect objects from environmental factors such as climate, water, and dust while in storage.
STRETCH FILM CATEGORIES
Stretch Film is divided into two main categories, hand and machine, and is available in different types depending on the need for use. Hand stretch film will often come in different thicknesses (gauges) and formulations, depending on the loads being wrapped, while Stretch Film for automatic or semi-automatic machines is larger in size and length, and they often come pre-stretched to allow maximum film usage.
WHAT TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING STRETCH FILM
It’s common for many Purchasing Managers to focus more on cost-per-roll when selecting stretch film than on quality. That mindset can lead to unforeseen waste and damage to loads. Not only do loads require proper wrapping for safe and effective transport, it’s required for delivery and invoicing. Recipients of defective loads have been known to refuse delivery if there is evidence of any potential damage during transport, even if pallets only shift slightly.
To wrap your load efficiently and cost effectively with stretch film, it is important to consider the below factors:
- What types of products are you securing?
The type of product to be secured will determine the type of Stretch that will be selected. Some products, need air circulation during transportation to prevent them from overheating. So, in some cases it is advisable to use a perforated Stretch Film, which will ensure delivery without damage to the goods.
- What are the characteristics of your loads (shape, weight, type, product dimensions)?
Stretch film should be chosen based on the specific requirements of each pallet load. These specifications are called pallet profiles and require a stretch film that provides proper containment according to positioning, weight, and type of packaged items. In addition to holding strength, there are other factors to consider when selecting the appropriate Stretch Film, such as the fact that different loads require different levels of stretch strength limits.
- Will you be wrapping your pallets by hand or with an automated stretch wrapper?
A film that is rolled by hand can be completely different from a film that is rolled by machine. When production needs require the use of a machine, due to fixed-point packaging or high production, it is common to achieve greater economic benefits and strapping stability. Hand-held films are usually used in small productions or when there are several packaging stations in one place, and it is not practical to move to the place where a machine will be located.
- Are your loads ultra-heavy (more than 1000 kilos)?
Stretch film is measured in mils or microns, and typically the higher the gauge, the thicker and more durable the film and the more reliable the load. Many stretch film users think they can save money by choosing a lower gauge (down-gauging), but they often need to increase the number of times they wrap the load (revolutions) with film.
Not only does this lead to increased cost-per-load, but it also increases the wear and tear on the machine itself and slows down production on the line. Thus, it is recommended choosing the right gauge stretch film that requires the smallest number of wraps. This decreases the effort required of the machine, minimizing unnecessary wear and tear on the machine and increasing production speeds.
- How many pallets do you often send?
In addition to choosing the right stretch film for the machine, stretch film users should take time to consider the volume and frequency of the items shipped. How many pallets do you send out every day, week or month? How much time and labor hours are involved for each pallet to leave the facility? How much film are you using per load? Once you can track that data, you’ll be able to choose the most efficient stretch film for your packaging application needs and budget.
- Over what distances do you usually move your loads?Will your products require slip sheets for pallet stability?
The longer the load must travel, the more stops and starts it will experience and is subject to increased movement and jostling of the packages. The last thing you want is an overturned pallet upon delivery due to faulty packaging.
- What types of environments will your loads be shipped and stored in?
Another important factor is the environment in which the product will be stored. It is essential to know the conditions (e.g. environment with increased humidity), as the right choice of Stretch Film will ensure the integrity of the goods.
SUSTAINABLE PALLETIZING SOLUTIONS
As companies scramble to meet the call of consumers to “go green,” one of the most common requests of the customers is the sustainable packaging materials. And many companies are looking for sustainable stretch film alternatives.
One of these solutions that we provide at HELLAGRO S.A. is the GRIP FIX™ adhesive system, which is available with at least 90 different types of adhesives to cover every possible need. The adhesive is biodegradable and water-soluble, therefore completely environmentally friendly.
Read more at https://www.hellagro.gr/en/product/grip-fix-palletizing-adhesives/
For the right choice of Stretch Film based on your needs, contact us at +30 210 9635564 to be guided by one of our experienced staff.