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Many companies find this question hard to answer. They struggle to come up with ways to make sure that they are getting the best solution for their pallet wrapping at the most competitive price when comparing different suppliers of pallet wrap films.
Achieving the most cost effective solution for their application can be a challenge. Users need to ensure therefore that there is a valid basis for direct comparison especially when suppliers provide products and quotations based on different parameters?
The key is to use the same denominator and we believe that there are four parts to consider before benchmarking a supplier of stretch film: –
Nature of the Load
Is your load heavy or light? Is it stable or unstable? Do you use strapping or layer pads or sheets? Are your products uniform or not? Are the products brick stacked or column stacked? This will give you greater clarity with regard to the second question below.
What is it that you want the film to do for your product and how is your current film performing?
In the main, film does either one or both of the following two things to your product namely secure the load for transport and storage or protects it from water or dust.
The next question is very simple. How well does your current solution achieve what you need your pallet wrapping film to do? Recent tests of approximately 2500 acceleration tests have shown the following:
- Approximately 70% of the pallets were not rigid.
- 20% were rigid but too expensive
- Only 10% of the pallets were optimised.
Bearing in mind that an estimated 4% of all transported goods in Europe are damaged upon arrival, there is clearly a huge potential for improvement along the complete process chain.
There are a number of important considerations when it comes to the type of equipment used in the wrapping process.
- Do you wrap by hand or machine?
- If you wrap by machine, what type of machine is being used?
- What are the stretch capabilities?
- How much control do you have over the wrap pattern on the machine?
- Can you adjust tension and pre-stretch?
Clearly a pallet going to a customer in Russia needs wrapping very differently to a pallet that is going to your store across the yard. Also methods of transport affect the expectations made on the film. A pallet transported on its own needs more stability that a pallet transported as part of a full load. Whether its road, sea or air, it is critical that these factors are considered to ensure that your products are not part of the 4% that are damaged on arrival at your customer.
Once you have an understanding of the points above, benchmarking then becomes a much simpler exercise and you can assess suppliers based on which will provide the best solution to the requirements we have identified above at the most commercially viable price per pallet wrapped.
In addition, there are some things to look out for:
- Core weights – we see variations in core weights from 1.0kg to 2.0kg and as you always pay a price for film and core, you could be losing 60kg of film per 1000kg’s to cores at these extremes.
- How well the film answers the questions above – is there accurate proof that the results being offered are actually being achieved (see next month’s blog for more details on this).
- Are all three aspects (your product, your wrapping equipment and your film) married up to optimally wrap your pallet?
Blog by Robert McEwan, to contact Robert to discuss any of this blog, please email him email@example.com