FAQ: Pallet wrapping machines

What are the different types of stretch wrapping machines?

There are three main styles of stretch wrapping machines:

  • High Profile: These machines work well with forklifts as the turntable is sitting higher above the ground than the low profile machine. It is easier for the forklift driver to place the load on the turntable.
  • Low Profile: The turntable is lower to the ground. A ramp is used to load the pallet with a pallet jack or electric walkie.
  • Rotary Arms: Very heavy loads can’t be placed on a turntable, so a rotary arm is required. These machines have an arm that rotates around the load instead of turning the load on a platform.

What is pre-stretch film and why is it so important?

Prestretch film has been through the process of pre-stretching before it is spun onto a roll. The film is much stronger than regular wrap. It has an elastic memory that shrinks around pallet loads to stop them shifting during transport. It also has an increased yield making stretch wrapping a very economical way to stabilise pallet loads.

Do I need a Mobile Pre-Stretch Wrapper?

Choosing a Mobile Pre-Stretch Wrapper depends on your load type, the amount of floor space and speed requirements. If your load is hefty, fragile or unstable, a Mobile Pre-Stretch Wrapper is a good choice. These machines are mobile and portable making them ideal if you need flexibility with your floor space layout. Rotary tower machines can wrap at high speed while the load stays stable and still.

What’s the difference between semi and fully automated stretch wrapping machines?

Semi-automatic stretch wrapping machines are used in low volume production lines covering around 30 pallets per hour. A forklift or pallet jack loads the pallet onto the wrapping machine’s platform and an operator attaches the film and presses the start button. At the end of the wrapping cycle, the operator detaches and secures the film tail to the load.

Automatic stretch wrapping machines do not require an operator, except to load the film. Once the pallet is on the platform, the machine starts the wrapping cycle automatically. A sensing photo-eye tells the film carriage how high to wrap. At the end of the wrap cycle, the film tail is automatically cut and sealed to the load. If the pallet is on a conveyor it is then conveyed off the wrapping platform and the machine is ready for the next pallet. Without a conveyor, the pallets are loaded and unloaded by lift truck or forklift. An automatic machine can wrap from 30 to 120 loads per hour.

How are stretch wraps applied?

Stretch wrap can be applied with a hand-held dispenser or by a stretch wrap machine. Wrapping machines have a turntable that spins the pallet while the roller dispenses the wrap onto the pallet. Machines have the ability to stretch the film to preset parameters to accomplish consistent tension and overlapping. Hand dispensers require an operator to bend and walk around the pallet while the film unravels from the dispenser.

What is an automatic stretch wrapping machine?

An automatic stretch wrap machine does not require an operator to start and finish the wrapping process. The machine wraps according to preset specifications, cuts the film at the end of the wrapping process and secures the end of the film to the load.

What is a semi-automatic stretch wrapper?

A semi-automatic stretch wrapper machine applies pallet wrap with the input of an operator. The operator attaches the film to the load and presses the start button to begin the wrapping process. On conclusion of the wrap, the operator stops the machine and cuts and secures the end of the film. A semi-automatic stretch wrapper is an upgrade from hand wrapping and provides a uniform layer and maximises the stretch capacity of the film.