March 17, 2022
Question from Gary: If cycle time is not an issue, do you get better overall value (containment & cost) by using thicker film with fewer revolutions or thinner film with more revolutions on average?
That is a very good question and one that has been asked several times, so definitely something on people’s minds.
For conventional films, the more wraps you apply, specifically, the more wraps that overlap, the better the load containment. This is due in part to the cling of the film “sticking” the layers together which multiplies the effects of film memory. What I mean by that is the film will naturally want to retract, at least a percentage of the length it has been stretched, like a rubber band. This provides more unitizing force to the load, and thus, better containment. You will see some improvement using a thicker film; however, you don’t have the same “multiplied” effects from film memory. So, the answer would be more wraps with a thinner gauge if you are using conventional films. Either way, the cost of wrapping a pallet will be increased through film usage and increased machine time (although in your case machine time is not an issue).
There is another option to consider for optimal load containment without putting a ton of film on (increasing the cost of wrapping a pallet and loss production throughput) and that is the Rapid Bander system. We use a full web, which is about ½ the thickness of commonly used conventional films, along with a second web containing reinforcement bands. It can easily be retrofitted to virtually any stretch wrap machine. The reinforcement bands are incorporated into the full web through the pre-stretch section of the machine. The result is a stretch film that resists (or eliminates) web breaks and requires several times more force than conventional stretch film to stretch it any further, once applied to the pallet. In other words; less film, less cost per pallet, significantly better load containment, with fewer wraps than your current stretch wrap configuration. I know it sounds hard to believe, but it is based on science and has been proven both in our test lab and in the field. It’s difficult for some to wrap their heads around the fact that sometimes less is better when it comes to load containment. (Sorry for the pun, I couldn’t resist…)
Thanks for asking!