Unwrapping the Process - Film force

Unwrapping the Process - Film force

Our resident Application Specialist Jed Goudie is back with more packaging insights. In the last article, Jed enlightened us on the best way to match wrapping with load profiles. Now he’s talking film tension.

It’s no secret that all of us here at Universal Packaging love a bit of tension. No, we’re not talking a nail-biting finish to the rugby (although that can be good too). Instead we mean the kind of tension that’ll ensure a load arrives in the same condition as it departs.

We can’t think of anything worse than damaged, spilt or shifted loads. It’s our idea of a horror movie, the kind of thing that wakes us up at night in a cold sweat. That’s because it doesn’t have to happen. There is no escaping the jolts, movements and vibrations that occur to a load during transit. The key to effectively combating these movements and avoiding damaged goods is containment force.

May the containment force be with you

Film force 1

May the containment force be with you

Containment force is that sweet spot that occurs when a package is wrapped using the correct film tension and the correct number of wraps for its size and weight. Correctly tensioned film creates a squeezing pressure on all the layers of the film and, in doing so, creates one single unit that can withstand the rigours of transit.

The cost of getting it wrong

When a customer’s load is damaged or destroyed, there are the obvious costs incurred like repair, replacement or returning the items. But there are also other costs that are not as obvious.

These hidden costs include the damage to your firm’s reputation and customer satisfaction levels. Also, you may be up for exorbitant urgent delivery costs as you desperately try to get a delayed order to the customer. And then there is the resources cost – the wasted fuel and the goods themselves that may end in landfill.

However a damaged load impacts your company, it’s sure to cause a ripple effect. To avoid the nightmare it’s time to take a good look at how you’re using the force.

Top tips for improving the force of the film

First and foremost, film force can be increased by slowing down the film feed from the carriage. By increasing the film tension dial you can slow the power of the pre-stretch motors ensuring the film is stretched correctly as it is applied to the pallet.

Taut wrap is the key to a stable load. Ensuring that the film is tensioned tightly during the entire wrapping process is the best way to get the film hugging the pallet firmly at every layer. Alternatively, you can increase the film force by increasing the speed of the turntable or rotary arm.

Balance of power: Soft or lightweight products

Lighter loads will need low levels of film force to prevent the product from being crushed. When packaging these light loads you will also find fewer layers are needed to contain the load.

Robust heavy products

Heavy loads like a pallet of concrete blocks can handle high levels of film force. Just be careful not to overdo it – over-stretched wrap is more likely to break.

Understanding film tension and containment force is one of the most effective ways to ensure consistently secure loads, and most importantly, consistently happy customers.

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