When it comes to shipping products from the manufacturing facility out to the wholesaler or retailer, palletizing is one of the most impactful ways to create efficiency. Palletizing goods means you can move multiple cases as one unit, you can use forklifts rather than handle cases manually, and you can quickly load and unload trailers to turnaround deliveries.
Palletizing also provides better protection for the products in transit and in storage – as long as they are wrapped correctly.
Not All Stretch Wrapping Is Equal
When we first began working with stretch wrappers and stretch film many decades ago, we found that by providing the right technical service to keep the wrappers in good condition and by using high quality film, we could dramatically improve the performance of the stretch wrapping.
We could better protect the products, we could reduce overall material costs, and we could improve process efficiency.
But we also found that this performance can deteriorate over time due to a variety of factors. Equipment parts degrade and fall out of spec, for example, or new operators change settings when they have film breaks.
How to Maintain Performance
To help maintain the performance of the machine and the consistency of the film application over time, we developed the MUST Monitor. This device can be attached to any stretch wrapper and can monitor the performance of every load wrapped. The data from these loads are reported to both end-users and Atlantic engineers through the MUST Software. They are alerted when wrapping is out of spec and can troubleshoot to get back to optimum performance.
We released the first version of the MUST Monitor in 2008. At the time, we thought that this was the answer. This was the solution that would solve all the problems.
But what we’ve learned since 2008 is that the monitoring piece is a single factor in a much more complex equation.
The Managed System Approach
Today, Atlantic takes a managed system approach to stretch wrapping. We start at the beginning with a study of your operation – what products are you wrapping, how are they being stacked, what equipment are you using and how is it set up? Are you having any product damage?
We look at all of this in an effort to understand the problems you’re trying to solve and the areas where you can benefit from improvement.
From there, we can take your loads into our testing facility at the Packaging Solution Center and come up with a proven recipe of equipment settings, film gauge, and film application for optimizing your stretch wrapping. We do the heavy lifting of taking this solution from the lab environment to your production environment and implementing it on your own equipment, adding new capabilities if necessary. Our engineers and technicians are the key to making our solution actually work in your operation.
And at that point, we install the MUST Monitor to make sure that this investment in optimizing your performance continues day after day.
When we think back to how we started this process – with the MUST Monitor over a decade ago – it’s so interesting to reflect on how this has all evolved. The monitor was the innovation that gave us the tools and the data to really see how our solutions were working inside the customer plants. At the time, we thought this was the answer.
But it turns out that the monitor by itself was only the beginning.
Without the knowledge and expertise our team brought to every customer, the monitor was just a piece of hardware. And the data we gathered taught us even more about stretch wrapping, informing the way we conducted the initial audit. We learned better questions to ask and how to spot the real problems we were solving. It changed how we formulated solutions and ultimately led to our investment in TruMotion testing equipment and the Packaging Solution Center. It challenged us to implement better solutions in your facilities. And it continues to monitor performance so you can reap all these benefits of this hard work into the future.