Choosing a pallet wrapping machine: what you should be looking for

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So, you need a pallet wrapping machine.

Before you choose, there’s a few things you should know, which will guide you to the right one.

If pallets are the unsung heroes of commercial shipping, pallet wrapping is their secret weapon. There is little need to analyse the importance of pallet wrapping, nor to extol its virtues. When it comes to choosing the right wrapping machine, however, things quickly start getting out of hand. Chances are, you have already done your research, you’ve seen numerous – or even innumerable – machines, you’ve read their specs and heard their praises sung. In order to make the best choice, you should be aware of some basic facts.

What type do I need?

Know thyself. More specifically, your company’s needs. What types of loads will you be wrapping? What size? How will they be transported and what kinds of stresses will they be subjected to? If your loads are stable and light, a turntable wrapper will probably be adequate. Heavy or structurally unstable loads will need a rotary arm machine.

What features do I need?

There are lots of machines with different features. Perhaps you’ll recognise some that may suit your particular case:

  • Pre-stretch: motorised pre-stretch reduces film consumption and increases wrap strength
    • Integrated scale: installed on the wrapper, it will weigh your pallet while you wrap without an extra step in your process
    • Remote control: you can cut in half the times of your forklift driver comes off his truck and increase your efficiency
    • Top pressure: will maintain stability by wrapping while holding the load
    • Ramp: makes manual loading and unloading of pallets easy for manual forklifts

The size of the product & your space matters

The size of your pallets but also the available space in your warehouse are two factors that will play a crucial part in your choice. There is little point in buying a big wrapping machine if your pallets are small. Features are impressive on paper, but make sure you actually use what you pay for.

First and foremost: what’s your budget?

A pallet wrapping machine is an investment for your company. Take that into account, calculate the savings you expect for a five-year period for each of the candidate machines and see if those savings are worth the investment.
Also, do not neglect to put your employees’ safety into the equation. Wrapping machines are much safer than hand-wrapping, and there is no price tag for workplace safety.

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