A pallet stretch wrapping machine is used to apply polyethylene film around a pallet of goods in order to help secure the load and provide support for the products so that they do not tip, spill or become damaged during transportation or storage. This containment is vital in warehouse and distribution environments for safety purposes and for the ease of movement of goods from one place to another.
Turntable Pallet Wrappers
A turntable wrapper is often a cost-effective solution to typical pallet wrapping applications. With this type of machine, the pallet is placed on a turntable, which revolves whilst a roll of stretch film is carried up and down a tower on a film carriage and applied to the load in a cross-spiral pattern.
This pattern maximises holding power while minimising film use. These pallet wrapping machines are extremely quick and may wrap an entire pallet in
Turntable machines are available in either a low profile or high profile configuration, with friction brake or power pre-stretch technology:
Low Profile: Has a turntable that is very low to the ground, usually only a few centimetres high. The load is rolled up a ramp to the turntable. Ideal in situations where pallets are primarily loaded by pallet jack. Low profile machines can also be set into a pit in the floor to provide floor level access to the turntable without the need for a ramp.
High Profile: Has a raised turntable, usually 25 centimetres or more off the floor. Designed for loads delivered by forklift. The added height, above the forklift wheels, helps protect the equipment from damage due to forklifts rolling over the turntable. The high profile machine can be interfaced with a pallet conveyor line to feed pallets directly on to the turntable
Friction Brake: The film is pulled through rollers by the weight of the pallet rotating on the turntable. The brake on the machine creates resistance and enables the film to stretch between the roll and the load. The brake can be mechanical, electronic, pneumatic or hydraulic. This technique is used for stable pallets. Machines with friction brake technology can also work with pre-stretched films that have higher load retention capacity.
Power Pre-stretch: The film passes through a series of powered rollers that pre-stretches the film before it is applied. As a result, less force is applied while wrapping a load, making this technology suitable for fragile items. The film tends to regain its original tension after wrapping and this gives a secure hold on the pallet.
Rotary Arm Pallet Wrappers
Rotary arm pallet wrappers are used in high-volume applications where pallets must be wrapped at a high rate.
Instead of a revolving turntable,these machines feature an arm that applies film by rotating around a stationary pallet on the floor. This type of machine is effective for loads that are either very heavy, light and unstable or irregularly shaped.
Manual Pallet Wrappers
Require an operator to be present and active during the entire wrapping process. The operator attaches the film to the pallet, activates the powered turntable and manually moves the counterbalanced film dispensing carriage up and down to cover the entire pallet load with stretch film. The film is then cut by hand.
Semi-Automatic Pallet Wrappers
Require the operator to attach the film to the pallet and press a button. The pallet is automatically wrapped to preset specifications. Most machines have adjustable settings for wrap up or wrap down, number of top and bottom wraps, reinforced area wrap, vertical carriage speed and turntable speed. The operator is able to perform other tasks while the pallet is wrapping and returns to cut the film once done.
Fully Automatic Pallet Wrappers
Designed to wrap pallets without an operator present. This is usually accomplished in two ways. The wrapping cycle can be activated with a pull cord or remote control from the forklift driver or pallet jack operator. Or, the machine can be fully integrated into a run of pallet conveyor to feed pallets, wrap them and discharge them automatically.
The machine is equipped with a film clamp and automatic cut-off mechanism. The clamp holds the film at the base of the pallet, releasing after the wrapping process begins. Then, when the wrapping process is complete, the clamp grabs the film and the film is cut.