There’s a prevailing myth out there that stretch packaging is a fairly simple process. So much time, energy, and money has been invested in the primary packaging, the sales, inventory, and logistics, and now you need to get it wrapped up and out the door.
Shine it and ship it, as they say.
Well, our packaging engineers beg to differ. With their top-to-bottom understanding of the science of stretch wrapping – from the film properties, to the stack pattern, to the machine settings and application – they’ve set out to correct this misconception. And what they’ve learned in the last decade working with our customers – not to mention in the last 2 years working at the Packaging Solution Center – is that when it comes to stretch wrapping, it’s not always all about stretch wrapping!
More than a Band-Aid Solution
We’ve been stretch film people from the beginning. We thought we could solve most of our customers’ unit load issues with stretch film alone. But with the testing we’re doing at the Packaging Solution Center, we’ve learned that there are a number of different factors that add up to a solution all together.
We’re looking at shrink film and shrink bundling; at stack patterns and pallet quality; and at material and equipment conditions at the customer facility to make sure it’s easy for our customer to implement the packaging solution we came up with. In addition to performance and load stability, we’re also looking at the impacts of packaging on sustainability and cost (See: The Balancing Act of Cost, Performance & Sustainability).
As our Lead Packaging Engineer, Kyle Pischel, remarked, “If we don’t consider each of those factors carefully, we end up trying to create a band-Aid solution in just one area of the entire unit load.”
So as we continue to test and to learn new insights with each case study, we’ve started to open up to possibilities about the other factors in play that can ultimately hurt or help load stability (See: The Big Picture of Sustainable Packaging). We’re also continuing to invest in new testing equipment that will help us gather the data we need to analyze those factors.
This approach together with our testing capabilities allows us to look more systematically at how we can improve each component individually as well as the entire unit load as a whole.