Reading between the lines
Whether we like it or not, pallet wrapping equipment does have an expiry date. Sometimes replacing them is the only way forward.
While you might feel some loyalty towards your old buddy, once they start to run slowly or inefficiently, causing bother and wasting time getting goods out the door, retirement can be the only option. Here are a few red flags to look for…
1. Parts: “I don’t see my old friends and family anymore.”
If it’s an international brand that is no longer represented in the local market, then there’s a good chance you won’t be able to get parts and service expertise easily for it. That means you’re potentially in for a long, expensive, and frustrating process if your pallet wrapper stops working. Upgrading to a newer machine makes sense at this stage, especially if you’re worried about shipping speed and effectiveness should a breakdown occur.
2. Speed: “I think we should take things slow.”
As shipping needs increase, old technology often simply can’t keep up with new throughput. If your wrapper is too slow, you risk creating everyday bottlenecks in the distribution centre. When seconds drag into minutes, hours can accumulate into days of lost productivity over the course of a year. This also can lead to team members trying to create ad-hoc solutions to increase efficiency, which can compromise quality of wrap and safety. Speaking of which…
3. Safety: “She’ll be right… right?”
An older machine that doesn’t account for the safety of its user is not worth having around. If it is not equipped with safety measures (such as shut off switches and barriers) or can’t have retrofitted protection measures, it is best to replace it. Any time or money spent on a machine in this state will not be worth the trouble it may cause if something goes wrong.
4. Electronics and maintenance: “The spark has gone”.
A machine that is constantly shorting out or stalling, requiring multiple visits from the repair man, is one that’s in need of replacement. While it may last a few years longer, the inevitable end is in sight and sometimes it’s best to cut the cord.
Warehouses and distribution centres are tough places for a machine to live, with plenty of activity and often a good deal of dust and debris in the air. Over time this can cause irreparable damage. If your machine is over 15 years old and it has an array of issues (such as a carriage door not correctly latching, pre-stretch settings not working, or perished roller componentry) then, like Leonardo DiCaprio, it’s probably time to move on to a newer model.
5. Tomfoolery: “I’ve been seeing someone else”.
Occasionally we hear of clowning around that causes us to shake our heads. A pallet wrapper has a job to do – and it deserves respect. Despite our joking around, these heavy-duty machines are not made to interact with human beings.
Night shift antics involving rides on the carriage can damage a pallet wrapper to where the mast and carriage no longer function as they should. So be sure to thoroughly educate your team as to the dangers (for them, and the equipment)!
It’s simple – an outdated pallet wrapper will cost you money in the long run, whether through delays or repairs.
To find out more about equipment that might suit your operation better, have a look at our latest Spinny catalogue here or, to book a site visit, email us here. We can review your current equipment, throughput, and other key factors before providing you with the best options for a better future.
Remember – if any of the above points seem applicable to the relationship your team has with the equipment then it’s not you, it’s your wrapper (unless you’ve been misusing it, in which case: it’s you).