Many companies use stretch film to wrap their pallets. This is such an integral part of the shipping process that the logistics industry has spent billions studying and refining this packaging approach. Many small businesses must wrap their pallets as well, and these are the organizations most prone to inefficiencies. With that in mind, lets touch on five crucial points about using stretch film.

1. Core Brake vs. Power Pre-Stretch

Core brake and power pre-stretch are the two most prevalent pallet-wrapping technologies. A core brake machine is less expensive to own/lease and operate but isn’t designed for a heavy workload. Power pre-stretch, on the other hand, is more expensive to own/lease and operate, but if you have to wrap 100 or more pallets a day, the cost of power pre-stretch is actually lower over the long-term.

2. Purchase or Lease vs. Pay per Wrap

When it comes to business equipment, there’s often a great deal of emphasis on leasing over purchasing outright. When it comes to packaging with stretch film, there’s another option: pay per wrap. Pay per wrap is a lot like leasing and often involves service agreements, but you’re charged for each pallet you wrap rather than by the month or year. Even with a core brake machine, if you have to wrap just one pallet in a puncture resistant material, you’re going to pay a lot for that wrap, but pay per wrap ensures your cost is the same whether you wrap one, 15 or 100.

3. Optimal Gear Ratio

There are many factors that dictate optimal performance, such as material quality and max film width, but none or more important than gear ratio. Gear ratio determines stretch ratio, and using the highest stretch ratio without undermining film integrity ensures that your material costs are as low as possible.

4. Regular Audits Ensure Cost-Efficiency

Frequent audits of your machine are essential to ensuring durability over the long-term but also packaging efficiency in the short-term. Many small businesses lease with a built-in service agreement and thus make the mistake of ignoring audits outside of those checkups every six months. Those bi-annual checkups may be enough to ensure machine health, but a loosening belt or electronic irregularity can cause an inefficient use of film that adds up to a big cost between checkups.

5. The Underlying Cause of Crushed Boxes

When wrapping a pallet, crushing boxes are one of the most come problems. Those who are new to packaging with stretch film often seek to remedy the problem with stronger cartons. More often than not, however, that’s a waste of time and money. Any box should work, and the key to wrapping it without damage is finding a balance between machine settings and film type. The Malpack Corp website is a useful resource if you would like more information.

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