Blog : Our LEAN THINKING Series: Issue #4

How to Save on Stretch Wrap

How better stretch wrapping technology can significantly reduce waste and costs.

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LEAN THINKING is our series of thoughtful ideas on waste minimisation strategies.

We bring you smart product solutions to reduce all types of waste on your packaging line. These are the very same principles we use to design and build turn-key packaging lines for Australia’s biggest FMCG manufacturers.

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It’s important to wrap pallets effectively in order to contain your pallet loads to prevent product damage during transit. 

But how do you reduce the use of plastic packaging on each pallet and still keep your load secure?

With most stretch wrappers, the solution is to wind up the film pre-stretch value as high as possible, with the aim of reducing film use from the bottom to the top of each pallet.

By increasing pre-stretch to use less film per pallet, you’re achieving the objective of less plastic use, but this will likely have a negative impact on your products and load stability.

And if you have a non-rigid product, a high containment force can crush your product at the corners of the pallet load. 

Stretch wrapping is often not given the attention it needs to optimise each of these factors.

Each of your products needs a unique wrapping recipe to optimise film use, load stability and delivered product quality.

Any activity that does not add value from the customers’ perspective should be considered a wasted activity.

So, conventional stretch wrapping can generate the following 5 waste points:

  1. Excessive stretch film use creates a larger waste stream for your customer and costs you extra money
  2. Applying too many layers of stretch film wastes time, stretch film and money
  3. Wrapping too tightly can crush your valuable product, creating significant product waste
  4. Wrapping too loosely can allow your product to move excessively in transit, creating more supply chain waste
  5. Using the same pre-stretch percentage from bottom to top of the pallet load doesn’t allow the load to flex in transit, which can also damage your product.

The LEAN Solution

WHAT IF your stretch wrapper was able to vary the amount of pre-stretch and containment force at any vertical position on the pallet load, with a unique recipe for each of your products?

For example, at the base of the load, more force is generally required to prevent load slippage and increase containment on the pallet. Further up the pallet, containment force can generally be reduced. This allows the pallet load to move slightly, reducing stress on the entire load in transit.

It’s the same principle used in building construction. Higher flexibility in the middle and top part of a skyscraper can dissipate earthquake energy with less damage.

So, by varying the layers of film and the amount of pre-stretch up the pallet load, we maximise pallet containment and reduce film usage, eliminating each of our waste streams.

This advanced technology developed by Robopac results in 30% to 55% less film usage.

More importantly, this technology also significantly reduces damaged goods in transit, a crucial contributor to waste reduction.

Robopac's patented CUBE™ TECHNOLOGY is even able to reduce the containment force at the four corners of a pallet load, protecting fragile products or cases from being crushed.

Financial Impacts

With the ability to halve your annual stretch film expenditure, and more significantly, deliver undamaged pallet loads to your customers, the financial benefits of Robopac CUBE TECHNOLOGY are unmatched. 

In most cases, paybacks are well less than 24 months.

What’s more, Foodmach’s exclusive FLEX financing solution allows you to pay for the wrapper over time, as you bank the benefits.

In Summary

Stretch wrapping is the crucial first step in your supply chain, so it makes sense to invest in the best available technology. 

Foodmach has the expertise to integrate the full range of Robopac fully automatic stretch wrapping machines into your existing production lines, including new or existing conveyor modifications and line controls.   

Foodmach is simply the fastest way to get control of your packaging line

Just ask us

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