Stretch wrappers are machines that are used to wrap plastic film around a loaded pallet. The film provides extra support while the products are being transported so that they do not tip, spill, become separated or otherwise damaged. Additionally, wrapped loads can easily be separated and identified, increasing their chances of arriving at the proper destination.
Stretch wrappers are available in a number of sizes and levels of automation. The simplest devices are handheld stretch wrappers, which the operator simply attaches to the pallet load. Once attached, the operator walks around the pallet, unspooling the film around the load.
Automated Stretch Wrappers
Automated pallet stretch wrapping machines are divided into two main categories: rotary tables and rotary towers. Rotary tables have a rotating platform onto which the pallet load is placed. As the table rotates, plastic film is drawn from a stationary spool. In rotary towers, by contrast, the arm rotates around the load, dispensing the film around the load. These devices may or may not have a platform on which the pallet may be placed, but it does not spin.
Rotary Stretch Wrappers
Rotary table stretch wrappers are available as manual, semi-automatic, or automatic stretch wrappers. Manual devices are operator controlled. The operator attaches the plastic film to the load, and controls the winding of the film around the pallet. A semi-automatic stretch wrap machine requires an operator to attach the film to the pallet load, but the device takes care of the wrapping. Automatic devices require no operator control. Everything from attachment of the film to the load, to the wrapping is automated. However, an operator may be required to transfer loads on and off of the table, as well as to replenish the film.
Stretch Wrapping Machine Profiles
Rotary tables are of high profile or low profile design. Low profile refers to the distance between the floor level and the surface of the table the load is placed on. Low profile units sit closer to the ground. With a high profile stretch wrapper, the rotary table is located on an above ground platform. High profile refers to the distance between the floor level and the surface of the table on which the load will be placed. These stretch wrappers are usually accessed by a ramp. Some rotary stretch wrappers are available with more than one table for the wrapping of loads.