Investing in an automatic pallet wrapping machine can seriously boost productivity and efficiency in your warehouse. But not all pallet wrappers are created equal. You want to choose a machine with the right features to suit your specific pallet loads, throughput needs and budget.
These are the top five key factors to look for as you evaluate different pallet wrapping machine options for purchase:
Adjustable Wrapping Tension
The tension controls how tightly the pallet load gets wrapped in stretch film. You want a machine that lets you dial in just the right amount of wrap tension for each product. Delicate items need a loose tension while heavy bulky loads need extra tight wrapping to keep everything secured.
Look for pallet wrappers with separate top and bottom wrap tension adjustments. This level of control prevents damage to products from wrapping that’s too tight or loose.
Variable Speed Settings
The wrapping speed determines how quickly each pallet gets wrapped from start to finish. Faster speeds allow higher throughput for busy warehouses moving lots of pallets daily.
But you also want the option to run at slower speeds for loads with intricate stacking patterns that need more careful wrapping. Slower paces help ensure complete coverage without gaps.
Ideally look for programmable pallet wrappers that allow storing preset speeds for quick changes between product runs.
Rotary or Orbital Wrapping
The stretch wrapping mechanism itself comes in two main styles:
Rotary – Film roll spins around the stationary pallet
Orbital – Pallet rotates while the film carriage moves up and down
Rotary wrappers take up less floor space while orbital wrappers allow accessing all sides more easily for loading. Choose the most practical motion style for your warehouse layout and pallet configurations.
Automated or Manual Loading
Higher priced units feature conveyor systems that automatically feed new pallets into the wrapper without assistance. This results in much faster cycle times with less labor.
More budget-friendly manual pallet wrappers require an operator to roll, lift or guide each pallet into the machine. Having workers staging pallets nearby helps keep things moving.
Evaluate if the improved efficiency of automated loading is worth the added cost based on your volume.
Integrated Stretch Film Carriage
Wrappers that include an onboard film carriage right on the machine are convenient. The film roll is housed directly inside the unit for quick, easy loading and less wasted wrap between changes.
Some lower-cost pallet wrappers don’t include integrated film carriages. This means needing to mount a separate dispenser rack nearby and run film to the machine.
While I focused on key features, don’t ignore basics like structural durability, power type, and maintenance needs that factor into long-term ownership costs. Be sure to get hands-on demos of any pallet wrappers you’re considering when making this important investment. Know exactly what features you’re getting for the price!