How to use your pallet wrapping machine more effectively


You’ve invested in a pallet wrapping machine to save on costs and resources. But are you using it effectively to enjoy these benefits? One of the major reasons that a pallet wrapper is causing issues or not meeting production expectations is to do with various concerns caused by the stretch film. 

Let’s take a closer look at how you can get the results you want by relooking your stretch wrap film. Ask yourself the following questions:

Am I using suitable stretch film for my pallet wrapping machine or needs?

It’s not uncommon for businesses to take shortcuts and not investigate the best type for their requirements. We’ve matched the different options of a stretch film based on needs and outcomes:

Cast stretch film

Features: Clear, glossy, high tear resistance. 

Benefits: Unwind quietly, offer consistent cling and film thickness. 

Blown stretch film

Features: Mildly transparent, puncture resistance.

Benefits:  Higher retention force on the load. 

Machine stretch film 

Features: High cling, good stretchability, tough with high puncture resistance. 

Benefits: High stretch capability means higher volumes of pallets can be wrapped. 

Perforated films

Features: Allows for airflow.

Benefits: Suitable for transporting loads where fast cooling or freezing is required;  protects against condensation and humidity.

Am I using the right quality of stretch wrap fill? 

Using a cheaper product for your pallet wrapping machine should be done with caution. You may save money on the material, but you’re setting yourself up for a film that is prone to tearing, is weak, and will need more product to complete the job overall. You’ll also find you’re left with more residue on your wrappers. A better quality product leads to better results and savings on losses caused by poor product protection.

Am I managing the correct amount of overlap the pallet wrapping machine is applying? 

Aim for between 25 and 50% overlap. Any less than this will lead to the wrap being unstable and weak. Go higher than 50%, and you’re simply wasting wrap. By keeping a close eye on measurements, you’ll quickly increase your stretch film’s efficiency and cut down on wastage. 

Are the tension levels calibrated?

Tension levels need to be checked to ensure you apply the wrap at the most efficient rate. If it’s too loose, the wrap won’t be applied tightly enough, and the load will not be stable. If the tension is too high, the stretch will be weak, leading to breakage and shifting. 

Am I scheduling regular maintenance?

The pallet wrapping machine is high-tech, and to keep it in good working order, multiple things need to be checked consistently. For example, you need to ensure that the stretch wrap is correctly threaded and the rollers are clean. Having systems in place to ensure that these checks and balances are in place, or there is a maintenance plan in place, will pay off in the long run. 

Pallet wrapping machine issue: Inconsistencies in a wrap

Let’s look more closely at one of the common problems when using the wrong kind of plastic wrap or heat. If you’re experiencing the following, check out the solution we offer below: 

Dog ears, which are triangular protrusions of the film on the corners of a package. Caused by: low shrinkage of the film. Solution: Check the shrink gun/tunnel is putting out sufficient heat to wrap the package correctly and check if the shrink wrap size is correct. 

Crow’s feet, which are wrinkles extending from the corners of packages. Caused by: Too much film on the corners of the product. Solution: Replace current shrink wrap with a smaller option. 

Fish eyes, which are round patterns in the plastic. Caused by: lack of heat. Solution: Check the heating element and then book maintenance. Also, try slowing down your conveyor speed to see if this solves the issue. 

Ballooning. Caused by: Film exposed to hot air after sealing. Solution: Switch to pre-perforated film.