1) What is a stretch wrapping machine?
A stretch wrapping machine is a piece of equipment that applies stretch film around a pallet load in order to secure the product onto the pallet for storage or transportation.
1. Available stretch wrapping equipment:
- Turntable style: the pallet is placed on a large turntable disk, when started, the machine will rotate the pallet at a certain speed, while the carriage onto which the stretch film is installed will raise and lower to wrap the pallet load.
- Rotary Arm: The pallet is placed under the machine, on this model the pallet is stationary on the floor while the carriage with the film rotates around the pallet load on the way up and down to properly secure the pallet load, this system is frequently used when floor washing with high pressure water is necessary, when the pallet load is too heavy for a turntable and also when the pallet load is too light or unstable to rotate.
- The Robot (Intelli-Wrap): With this technology the pallet is again stationary on the floor while the robot rotates around the load. Often used in distribution centers to limit the displacement of unstable pallet loads, the operator can move the robot easily. Also, this technology is used where the wrapping is done at different locations in the plant or for oversized pallet loads.
2. The turntable and rotary arm machines are designed to be semi-automatic or fully automatic with different levels of automation:
- Semi-automatic: the operator needs to attach the film to the pallet manually before the wrapping cycle and also needs to cut it at the end of the wrapping cycle.
- Automatic with no conveyor: The pallet is placed on the machine by the operator via forklift. Only by pulling on a lanyard will the machine wrap the load and at the end of the wrapping cycle the machine will cut the film and clamp it for the next cycle. The operator will simply take the load and go. No need to attach the film manually at the beginning of the cycle and no need to cut it at the end of the wrapping cycle.
- Automatic with conveyor: This technology is completely automatic, the load is on a conveyor that moves onto the wrapping machine and is automatically centered. The wrapping cycle starts automatically and at the end the film is cut automatically and the load moves onto the next conveyor, there is no need for an operator to start the wrapping cycle.