Hand Wrap vs. Machine Wrap

Stretch film is also known as stretch wrap, which is typically used to contain items for shipment. There are two different ways for stretch film to be applied: by machine or by hand. In order to choose which option works better for you, different variables will need to be taken into account. Many people will say that machine wrapping is a lot better than hand wrapping – truth is, it all depends on what you are using it for.

Hand wrapping is often looked at as an outdated technique to wrap a pallet and its contents. However, if all you wrap are light loads or items for internal use, hand wrapping is a great option. It is important to remember though, that hand wrapping is not ideal for heavy loads.

If you are currently wrapping more than 15 pallets a day, machine wrapping will definitely make a difference when it comes to productivity and cost savings. There are a few different options to consider:

  • Turntable Machine: the column will hold the stretch film while the table holding the pallet spins to be wrapped
  • Rotary Arm: the arm holding the stretch film will rotate around and wrap the pallet on the base
  • Bundling Stretch Wrap Machine: typically used for items not on a pallet

The results of using a machine wrap versus a hand wrap can be quite different. If you are wrapping heavy loads, there are several advantages to using a machine wrap instead of a hand wrap:

  1. A machine will be much more uniform as the tension and pattern used by a hand tool technique tend to be inconsistent.
  2. Because of this consistency, machine wrapping also means that the right amount of stretch film will be used. Hence, eliminating any chance of wasted product. Great cost savings!
  3. The cost savings don’t stop there… With a machine wrap, you will also see big savings in labor cost.
  4. Machine wrapping is a great solution for the safe shipment of your products. It reduces the chances of your product getting damaged during transit. Securely wrapped products means safer products, less returns, and better brand image.
  5. Now, let’s not forget about employee safety. As mentioned earlier, hand wrapping is not ideal for heavy loads. If your team is using this technique, it can result in back injuries. Some accidents and work related injuries have been caused by hand wrapping pallets.

Review OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration) Stretch Wrapping Guidelines and reach out to your local sales representative to discuss your stretch film application before making your pallet wrapping decision.