High performance stretch films continue to take a larger share of the stretch film market and are usually sold on the basis of reducing customer costs. In many cases this is true, however buyer beware when making the switch to these films.
Most of the information we gather comes from the service side of our business where our technicians have a chance to see the use of these films and the opportunity to speak with machine operators about any problems they may be encountering.
A lot of customers who have switched to these films are actually spending more, rather than less. How can this be? Operators in most cases have control over the wrap patterns and the number of wraps that are applied to the skids that are being wrapped. Our field experience shows that in many cases the number of wraps is now higher than it was before high performance films were used. If the new film you are using is 44 gauge as an example and you are pre-stretching it by 260% the yield for every foot of film off the roll will provide 3.6 feet on the load. This pre-stretch will reduce the film thickness which increases the potential for tearing on the load if edges of the load are not smooth and symmetrical. Tearing is accentuated when film overlaps the skid (pallet) particularly when the skid has sharp corners or splinters.
In summary make sure that if you are contemplating the switch to high performance films that you don’t have to increase the number of wraps, as well as increasing the overlap. By doing this your costs may actually go up. Another major consideration in more wraps is that your equipment will work harder. When the number of wraps has to be increased your equipment will have to work harder (higher maintenance costs) and this also should be factored into your decision.
If you would like to speak with us about how to improve the quality of your wrapped loads and how to reduce film and maintenance costs call us toll free at (800) 665-4040 or local (905) 507-4040 for a no charge on site engineering review.