Pallet Wrap Intelligently Applied

Is thinner pallet wrap film always cheaper?

How important is the thickness of a pallet wrap? Does it really matter?

It’s a question that is often put to Robert McEwan of MorsaWrap. In this blog, he explains why to the warehouse manager, responsible for the shipment of goods while maintaining productivity and profitability, it is crucial:

Traditionally, buyers of pallet wrap film have viewed thinner films as the cheaper option. That’s natural – for the same weight, you receive a longer meterage. However, that’s a quite simplistic approach and one that doesn’t take into account some of the key factors in the buying decision.

When customers discuss pallet wrap with us, we always look at it as a marriage between three things:

  • The method being used to wrap the pallet – either by hand or machine
  • The load being wrapped – what is the makeup of the load? What is the film supposed to be doing to the load?
  • The film being used

For example, if you’re wrapping a product that is inside a pallet box, the pallet box will provide the majority of the necessary stability and strength. The pallet wrap simply becomes a dust or a waterproofing protection for the box itself and contributes very little to the stability.

Over the past few years pallet wrap has generally been 17, 20 and 23 microns thick. As the industry and technologies evolve, we’ve seen a move to pre stretched films where the film is stretched before being put it on the roll with a metallocene additive to increase strength.

These have helped in developing thinner films – but does this actually reduce costs? And how does it measure up in holding the pallet stable? If it is cheaper, are the products more likely to get damaged in transit? If it is thinner, will the product snap in use?

New nanotechnology solutions being introduced onto the market are allowing us to produce thinner films that still meet the requirements of the customer based on four considerations:

Stability – which film technology and gauge gives you the required stability of your pallet?
Speed – Can you achieve a faster throughput to your wrapping operation?
Operation – can you balance the machine and film so that you get excellent production efficiency?
Cost – is your wrap cost commercially competitive?

In some instances a thicker film will achieve all four of these considerations. For example, a thicker film has a higher holding force and will increase stability and could allow a reduction in the number of wraps on your pallet. This in turn reduces the wrap weight and also the cost. And a thicker film will also snap less frequently so should improve operational efficiencies.

However, this is only valid if you know what your current film is achieving and you understand where you need to be. It’s important therefore that you work with a supplier who is able to marry all the three elements – equipment, your pallet and the film – to ensure that you get the optimum wrap at the optimum cost. With pallet wrap, there is no “one size fits all” and it’s important to choose the correct thickness of film for your application.

For more information on how we can help you on this please call us on +44 161 793 7793 or email me robert@jemacpackaging.co.uk

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