How is a Stretch Wrapper Like a Violin?

Alright, stretch wrappers were born in the 1970s and violins in the 16th century, but let’s not split hairs. Both employ multiple precision parts, require regular maintenance, and can wreak havoc when out of tune. And if you’ve seen some of the latest electric violins, and fully automatic remote-controlled scale-integrated wrappers, you know both technologies continue evolving.

But to be honest that’s where the similarities end. While it’s true that “The Older the Violin the Sweeter the Music,” the older the stretch wrapper the more you are throwing money down the drain on film and productivity. There has never been a better time to prove the ROI for replacing an aging stretch wrapper with new technology. Why?

Key Advantages of a New Stretch Wrapper

There are many benefits a new pallet wrapper brings over its predecessor. Here are the top advantages you'll find with having the latest pallet wrapping equipment.

It’s More Efficient

Every pallet that you wrap creates wear on your machine’s rollers. Older machines have worn rollers causing film slippage and wasting film. Violins periodically require new strings, a relatively small but productive investment. New stretch wrap rollers are exceedingly expensive. Recoating old rollers costs up to 40% of the cost of a new stretch wrapper. Older machines tend to break film more often, causing operators to turn down film tension, using still more film!

To get real-time data on your stretch wrap utilization rates, ask your Rocket representative about Packlytics. Packlytics is a sensor device that will retrofit all of your wrappers, reporting real-time data on pallets wrapped, the number of pallet rotations, pre-stretch rate, exact film utilization by pallet, by shift, by plant, delivered anywhere you have an internet connection. It utilizes laser technology to make dumb machines smart, presenting you with data that often leads to cost saving insights. With help from the equipment experts at Rocket Industrial, the enterprise that utilizes Packlytics can identify the most productive type of equipment, equipment settings, film specifications, pallet loading pattern, wrapping cycles and pattern, and then develop standards for implementation across the network. Who doesn’t want to Package with Less Cost?

Related: Remote Monitoring Becoming Essential for Many Operations

It’s Faster

Make the boss and the guys on the dock happy. New machines have better engineering and faster wrap times, which means more throughput. A new A-arm stretch wrapper eliminates the need for the operator to continually hop on and off the forklift to set and cut film. Just hit the remote and the machine does the rest. Integrated scales also eliminate the extra step of weighting the pallet.

The Ultimate Guide to Packaging Automation

It's Safer

Loading film used to be a hassle, sometimes pinching fingers fumbling with the old W-pattern. Newer S-pattern wrappers are faster and safer to load. The S-pattern assures that film doesn’t slip through without proper pre-stretch.

It’s Taller

Today’s machines have tower extensions accommodating taller loads, which saves on freight. And improved wrap patterns and film tension make for more secure loads. Rocket Industrial can help you test taller loads for stability in our packaging test lab, using our Pallet Pit Stop process. Our package engineers will put your products, in your pallet configuration, through a set of rigorous tests to assure that greater pallet height doesn’t equate to less stability. Oftentimes we can dial in the film specifications and wrap pattern to improve stability and save cost at the same time. We have all noticed the proliferation of roundabouts in traffic intersections over the last few years. While roundabouts can improve traffic flow, they have a way of dumping loads that are not adequately secured, loads that rode just fine in straight line traffic.

Related: How to Prevent Load Failure Damage

It's More Affordable

From time to time we have customers ask “can you find me a used wrapper? I’m on a budget.” Generally, bringing in a used stretch wrap machine is false economy. The cost of automation has come down substantially over the last few years, and when film usage and productivity are considered, replacing your old stretch wrapper can bring substantial total cost savings. Ask your Rocket Industrial representative to help you pull together an ROI that shows the quick payback in film and labor savings that result from new stretch wrapping equipment. In fact, there are similar supply savings and labor efficiencies in most categories of packaging equipment, and we are here to help you quantify and document for management why an upgrade actually saves the company money. Rocket Industrial is willing to guarantee it.

Related: Repair or Replace? How to Assess Your Packaging Equipment [with Assessment Calculator]

It’s More Economical

Much like buying a used car because it has an appealing price tag, when you add up the poor gas mileage, poor safety features and constant repairs and maintenance, the higher priced new vehicle that gets 35 highway miles per gallon can often be the smarter decision. Film is not cheap, and newer stretch wrappers can cut film usage by more than 50%.

Better Performance. Guaranteed.

If you're currently working with old packaging equipment, we can help you justify an upgrade. What do you have to lose having Rocket Industrial help you put an ROI together based on actual film usage of your old vs. new equipment? Most manufacturers see a payback in less than one year, and once that new wrapper is up and running, it makes some sweet music! Contact our equipment experts to get started.

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