What are Pallet Wrappers?
Pallet wrappers are machines used to wrap pallets with plastic film. These can be handheld wrappers, semi-automatic wrappers (which use a turntable), or fully automated rotary arm wrappers. There are also spiral wrappers and orbital wrappers, as well as numerous other variations. The fundamentals remain the same between all models of pallet wrapper; to wrap a pallet or package, securing the load and minimising damage in transportation.
The most popular way of securing a load to a pallet is with polythene stretch wrap film. The pallet is laden with the required cargo, and then the polythene film is tightly wrapped around the exterior, holding the load in place, firmly against the pallet. As well as securing the load, the wrapper helps to protect the load from any physical or weather damage that may occur during transportation. The risk of theft is also greatly reduced when the pallet is wrapped with polythene.
Both small and large scale companies invest in pallet wrappers to save time, and ultimately save money. Although the start-up costs can be high for the larger, automated machines, the time saved and convenience of using them makes them extremely valuable.
The stretch wrap used by pallet wrappers is extremely flexible. The elastic properties of the film contract against the pallet’s load, making them extremely secure. Shrink wrap is also used in the packaging of materials for transportation, but unlike stretch wrap that is elasticated, shrink wrap requires the application of heat to contract. Types of film include:
- Extended Stretch Film
- Machine Stretch Film
- Bundling Stretch Film
- Hand Stretch Film
Hand held pallet wrappers use hand stretch film, specific for the applicator. Automated and semi-automated pallet wrappers use machine stretch film.
Stretch Wrap Material
Stretch Wrap is usually formed from Polythene (specifically, LLDPE – linear-low density polyethylene). It is produced with ethylene and alpha-olefins, which makes it extremely resistant to over stretching and gives the film a high puncture resistance. In packaging, the LLDPE Stretch Film is usually stretched a maximum of 300%, but it can usually withstand a 500% stretch.
Two types of stretch wrap dominate the market; blown, and cast. The former (blown) is more expensive due to the manufacturing process, but it is also stronger. The latter (cast) is the cheaper alternative, although it isn’t as strong as blown stretch wrap. Despite this, it is more than adequate for most packaging solutions.
Polythene UK are specialists in pallet wrappers and polythene supply. For more information, you can visit their website: Polythene UK