Stretch Film Wrapping Equipment | Which Should I Use?  

With so many kinds of stretch film wrapping equipment on the market, it’s important to know which type is best suited to your operation’s needs and wishes. Whether you’re looking to improve your efficiency, eliminate as much manual labor as possible, or simply find the most appropriate solution for your business, we’ll help you break down all of the options to determine the best fit for you.  

There are three main categories of stretch wrap methods and equipment, each of which offers their own unique benefits. These include manual stretch wrapping, semi-automatic stretch film wrapping, and fully automatic stretch wrapping. No matter which variety of stretch film wrapping style you choose to operate or employ, it will fall into one of these three primary groups.  


Manual Stretch Wrapping  

Though the name itself is somewhat self-explanatory, manual stretch wrapping involves utilizing your actual team members to wrap a load by hand. No machines are used during this process, which means the only costs associated with this method are labor and material. However, even when your employees use the utmost care and accuracy with their hand stretch film wrapping techniques, this system is oftentimes highly labor-intensive and time-consuming.  

While this may work well for those running small packaging and shipping setups, it generally results in wasted time and money for any medium or large operation. Thankfully, there are a number of effective tools that your business can take advantage of to eliminate this loss of time and resources.  


Semi-Automatic Stretch Wrapping Equipment  

If you’re looking to pair your manual labor with an efficient tool that improves and expedites your workflow, semi-automatic stretch film equipment does a beautiful job. These machines allow you to utilize the skillset and knowledge of your staff, as well as the premium productivity offered by this versatile technology. Not only do they save valuable time, but these pallet wrapping tools also save you money in the long run, despite the up-front cost you see right away. They reduce man-hours and move quickly in order to provide impressive advantages to your company.  

When operating a semi-automatic stretch wrapper, a person on your team will need to prepare and move the load in order to get it ready to be wrapped. At that point, the machine will place the stretch film wrap on its own without requiring further human intervention. All of this means that semi-automatic stretch film wrapping tools are ideal for medium-volume operations that seek safe and stable loads every time they send a pallet out.  

Fully Automatic Stretch Wrapping Machines   

Those in the market for a completely automated system for palletizing should opt for a fully automatic stretch wrapping machine. Boasting virtually no physical labor requirements, these are an excellent choice for maximizing efficiency, dramatically increasing productivity, and eliminating the waste that seems to come standard during the manual process. The only contribution needed from your team is the occasional change of film rolls – everything else is taken care of by the automatic stretch wrap machine itself. This first-rate equipment can handle both stable and unstable loads, allowing it to take care of nearly any kind of pallet you need.  

Because these auto stretch wrapping machines are capable of performing everything semi-automatic equipment can do and then some, they are essential for operations putting out high volumes of shipments or those who do not have access to a significant amount of manpower. With the purchase of a new, fully automatic stretch film wrapper, you’ll get a machine that provides consistent and powerful wrap strength, a fast process, a considerable decrease in labor hours, and, perhaps most importantly, long-term cost savings. 

What Kind of Stretch Wrap Equipment is Best for Me?   

Now that we’ve covered the three primary methods of stretch film wrapping, it’s important to identify which style will work best for your specific operation. To help make this decision, there are many different factors that need to be considered in terms of your organization, including personnel availability, spending requirements, and load output.  

When contemplating those three aspects of your business, you should be able to easily reach a conclusion as to which method you want or need. If you do not have significant access to physical labor, don’t mind spending more upfront to save over time, and frequently send out large numbers of pallets and shipments, a fully automatic stretch wrapping machine is clearly the way to go. If you have access to at least a few team members who can assist with the stretch wrapping process and your load output varies, you should consider a semi-automatic stretch film wrap machine, especially if you’d like to maximize your efficiency as much as possible.  

That said, life isn't always quite so clean cut as these scenarios. If you’re shipping very few pallets each month, it makes sense to stick with hand stretch wrap that’s applied by a person, even if you don’t have a particularly large staff. On the other hand, if you regularly ship high volumes and have many team members standing by to help out, you still may want to consider a semi-automatic or fully automatic stretch film wrapping machine to speed up your process and allow your employees to focus on other areas instead.  

No matter what kind of equipment you ultimately select, there are a variety of options for you to choose between. There are many different hand stretch films, semi-automatic stretch film wrappers, and fully automatic stretch wrap machines that are specially designed to securely accommodate a wide range of loads of all shapes, sizes, weights, and more.