How to choose your pallet wrapping machinery

The right pallet wrapping machine can streamline your operations and improve security and safety for your products and people.

But how do you find the best pallet wrapping machine for your products and pallet loads?

The right pallet wrap machine for your operations will largely depend on: your products (the size, shape, weight, stability and variability of goods being palletised), your volumes (the number of pallets you need to wrap per hour/day), and your facilities (the space to load a machine).

How do I know which pallet wrapper I need?

As well as considering the above factors, it can also be valuable to have an understanding of the different types of pallet wrapping equipment overall – including fully automatic, semi-automatic and automatic wrapping machines. For example, a turntable wrapping machine rotates a pallet for film to be dispensed from a fixed position – suiting smaller spaces – while rotary arm machines do not require a pallet to be moved while wrap is dispensed – best for unstable loads.

Pallet wrapping machines vs Stretch wrapping machines

These are the same thing, often just going by different names. These machines work by stretching and wrapping film around products loaded onto a pallet, in order to secure the goods ready for distribution and transportation.

What to consider when choosing a pallet wrapping machine for your business

These are the factors we always consider when recommending pallet wrappers for our customers:

Your volumes being wrapped

First, consider throughput. How many pallets will you be wrapping, per day or per hour? This will determine the speeds of loading and dispensing required of your pallet wrapper. Different machines can deliver different speed settings and cope with different capacities.

For example, for fewer than 20 pallets per hour (considered low volume usage) a semi-automatic machine is best – requiring operator input to load pallets and attach stretch film. By contrast, a fully automatic machine suits high volume usage of anywhere from 30 to 130 pallets per hour – requiring limited operator input thanks to links to a conveyor system. There are also hand wrapping options for more limited wrapping requirements.

Your products being palletised

Secondly, what are the products being palletised? Consider the size, shape, weight, variability and stability of your products once loaded onto pallets. This will determine the type of machine suitable for products to be loaded onto for wrapping, and the containment forces required to maintain load stability during distribution and transit.

For example, a standard shaped load of products with even weight distribution – such as pack of tiles – will require different containment forces to an uneven shaped load of products with variable weight distribution during transit – such as tins of paint. Similarly, a lightweight, standard sized and stable product can be easily loaded onto a turntable, while an unstable or heavy product would be better wrapped using a rotating arm or orbital wrapper.

The stretch wrap film required

The products being palletised and containment forces required will determine the stretch film required. Ensuring load stability requires the right tensions and holding forces to be delivered by stretch wrap. The stretch wrap will also determine the type of machine used – maximum stretch capacity requires a machine with stretch capacity. It is important to factor in, too, that the right machine will save on film costs overall, often justifying higher up-front spend on sophisticated machinery, to lower stretch wrap costs over time.

Matching the stretch capacity of your film with the right machinery is essential to finding the right pallet wrapping machine.

Your facilities being used

What space do you have available for palletising and wrapping products? Wll the machine need to integrate with other lines of machinery, such as conveyors or robots dispending products? And do you plan to grow your operations or change your staffing levels? This will determine the size of machine you can use, as well as the movement allowable, or required, around it.

For example, a compact turntable machine will suit smaller spaces while larger warehouses with high footfall will suit a fully automatic conveyor system to ensure worker safety.

The level of automation required

The likelihood of growing your operations will influence the level of automation that will suit your packaging operations now and in the future. If you plan to grow, investing in fully automatic wrapping machines now will support you in the long-term, while a simpler, semi-automatic stretch wrapping machine will be able to keep up with steady, low volume output.

The ongoing service desired

Finally, consider the ongoing support you may need from your packaging and film supplier. Are you a small team that wants to ‘set and forget’ and have peace of mind from regular, outsourced maintenance delivered by experts? Or are you planning to grow and adapt your operations, requiring ongoing advice and updated machinery to suit your changing needs? Your ongoing service requirements, through maintenance, safety checks and proper operative training, will ensure safe, efficient packaging operations.

Other considerations might include whether adding weighing scales to your pallet wrapper is of value. And of course, your budget will always be a factor – is this a one-off spend or are you considering annual budgets for your packaging?

MorsaPack’s view on finding the best pallet wrapping machine:

Robert McEwan, managing director of MorsaPack, said: “When advising clients, we always start with ‘what do we need to do to make sure the pallet loads are secure?’ We consider what stretch, tension, film and wrap pattern is required to deliver the right load stability and product security.

“With that information, we can find the pallet wrapper that will deliver for the lowest cost per pallet wrapped.

“We also consider your customers and end-users, and their requirements, where appropriate.

“It’s important to bear in mind, too, that over the lifetime of a machine, the biggest spend will be on the pallet wrapping film. Focussing on optimising the stretch film, and letting the machine cost work itself out, is the best way to optimise your pallet wrapping and manage your costs, in our experience.”

Our pallet wrapping machine options

M Range – Our standard pallet wrapping machines are compact, cost-effective and user-friendly, making them ideal for low volume usage or regular shaped and sized loads. Learn more here LINK.

S Range – Our premium pallet wrapping machines are flexible and intuitive, suiting medium to high volume usage, high speed wrapping, or unstable, awkward or inconsistent pallet loads. Learn more here LINK.

At MorsaPack, we work with our customers to understand the types and volumes of products being wrapped, the size and shapes of pallet loads, and the associated costs of stretch film required to secure goods in place. With this knowledge, we can advise on the best pallet wrapping machine.

Looking for a pallet wrapping machine? Get in touch with MorsaPack

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