Your hands are probably one the the most overworked parts of your body. They help you make food, wrap food, eat food, make phone calls, send text messages, draft emails, write notes, write letters, scribble grocery lists, pick things up, put things down, carry things, push things, pull things, point at things…. I think you’ve gotten the picture. Your hands do EVERYTHING – so why make them wrap pallets too?
Giving your hands a much needed break could be as simple as using stretch wrapping over hand wrapping. Besides the endless thanks your hands will be giving you, there are numerous other benefits to choosing stretch wrapping as well. Let’s explore them:
1.) Consistent and uniform application
An operator who wraps pallets with hand wrap stretch film is not able to wrap every load exactly the same way, time and time again. A load wrapped by one operator Monday morning will not be wrapped the same way as another operator on Friday afternoon.Pallet wrapping with a stretch wrap machine eliminates this issue.
2.) Professional Package
Wrapping a pallet using a stretch wrap machine produces a clean professional finished product. Pallet wrapping with hand wrap leaves a rather erratic and uneven look. The look of your pallet load on your customer’s floor must project the professional image you want for your company. Pallet wrapping with a stretch wrap machine eliminates this issue.
There is a right way and a wrong way to wrap a pallet with hand wrap. Applied incorrectly, hand wrap may crush the product or allow the product to shift during transport. Employee turnover or multiple operators mean that you must continually train employees on how to correctly wrap the loads to ensure customer satisfaction while ensuring they do not injure themselves. Pallet wrapping with a stretch wrap machine eliminates this issue
4.) Employee Safety
Hand wrapping pallets is an extremely difficult job if it is done correctly, and a common source of employee back injuries when performed incorrectly. The human form is not designed to walk hunched over manipulating an 8-10 lbs weight while also trying to pull enough tension into the film to hold the pallet load together. Then 20 seconds later you are holding the same roll of stretch film above your head to do the top of the pallet, again tugging on the film using only your back and arm muscles. Many accidents and work related injuries are caused by hand wrapping pallets. Review OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration) stretch wrapping guidelines before making your pallet wrapping decision. Pallet wrapping with a stretch wrap machine eliminates this issue.
5.) Load Integrity
No one likes hand wrapping. At some point the “good enough” syndrome takes over. Knowing what is required to keep your product unitized during shipping, and while it is on your customer’s floor, is essential in setting your stretch wrapping specifications for your operator’s to follow. When an employee is hand wrapping pallets the responsibility of meeting minimum tension requirements is left up to him. Fatigue, ignorance, training, or lack of motivation can affect the employee’s “good enough” point resulting in potential complaints or damage due to poorly wrapped product.Pallet wrapping with a stretch wrap machine eliminates this issue.
6.) Damage Control
As employees deal with the difficulty of hand wrapping the goal becomes just wrapping it enough to get it out the door. Wrapping the load to eliminate damage during transit and at your customer’s warehouse becomes secondary. Pallet wrapping with a stretch wrap machine eliminates this issue as it wraps the same way every time reducing the potential of a pallet being damaged during transit.
7.) Customer Satisfaction
Pallet wrapping your product is the LAST operation you perform and the FIRST operation your customer sees of your capabilities as a supplier. Your customer’s perception of your competence as a supplier starts the minute your pallet of product arrives at his dock. Inconsistently hand wrapped pallets can give the perception of a low-end manufacturer. Lowering your standards of production during this last operation can be costly. Pallet wrapping with a stretch wrap machine eliminates this issue.
8.) Film Savings
Although the key to stretch wrapping is to make sure that we get the product to the customer intact, we all want to do it for the least amount of cost. With the machine set to wrap the loads with the least amount of stretch film required to hold the load together, you eliminate unnecessary extra revolutions of film being applied by well meaning operators. At a point, more film does not hold the load better, it is just waste. Pallet wrapping with a stretch wrap machine eliminates this issue.
9.) Damaged Hand Wrap Rolls
An expensive hidden cost of hand wrapping is the cost of all the rolls of stretch film that are thrown away because they have been nicked or damaged when thrown to the ground or left lying around. This cost can sometimes be as much as 15-20% of your hand wrap costs. Pallet wrapping with a stretch wrap machine eliminates this issue.
10.) Quality Control
By definition, hand wrapping a pallet manually prevents you from obtaining any type of repeatability. Multiple operators, time of day, fatigue and many other variables prevents any type of QC standards. Pallet wrapping with a stretch wrap machine allows you to either eliminate, or preset these variables. This ensures repeatability, allowing loads to be wrapped to a set quality standard. Pallet wrapping with a stretch wrap machine eliminates this issue.