5 THINGS TO CONSIDER IN CHOOSING STRETCH FILM
Stretch film or wrapping film tends to be an afterthought in the safe transport of goods, while it deserves to be given priority. Wrapping film – as the word implies – is a stretchable polyethylene-based film used to fix goods onto the pallet and to establish a connection between the load and the pallet. This way optimal pallet stability is created. Pallet stability is essential for protecting goods during transport, as well as in the warehouse.
But what is the appropriate stretch film? The general perception is that wrapping film is interchangeable and only differ in price. Nothing could be further from the truth: selecting the right stretch film involves many factors. You should therefore look ahead and select the right stretch film in advance. To help you along in this process, we explore five aspects that require your attention in further depth.
WHAT IS THE PRODUCT?
First, there is a wide range of types and dimensions of stretch film, and for good reason. Optimal pallet stability is achieved by using the film correctly. And the proper use of stretch film varies by application. It is therefore important to give advance thought to the product you are going to transport. What are the product’s properties? For example, is it heavy or light? For inspiration: light loads are subject to the risk of damage when the pallets are not properly wrapped. For example, a pallet with trays of yoghurt requires a different stretch film than a pallet with heavy bags. It is the product that determines the type of film needed.
WHAT IS THE SHAPE OF THE LOAD?
There is no such thing as a single stretch film that is suitable for any type of load; in other words, there is no ‘one size fits all’. There are films for heavy loads, light loads, and difficult loads. How the products are stacked on the pallet is important. Are the products stacked with cardboard sheets, with rounded corners, in between? For example, what is the point resistance needed to prevent the film from tearing at the corners of the pallet? What is the shape of the load and is it uniform throughout? How much pressure will be exerted on the pallet? Different types of loads require different types of stretch film and wrapping patterns to ensure stability.
The type of pallet is another factor to take into consideration. The pallet may be made of wood or plastic. Each type has its own quality guidelines.
COLOURED STRETCH FILM
Stretch film is available in different colours. The most often used stretch film is transparent, but coloured stretch film is preferred for some applications. For example, we manufacture a white stretch film that is resistant to solar radiation. Ideal for products stored outside. A black stretch film is the perfect solution when you want to protect the product’s contents, for example in case of new products or loads of high value. But also when your load consists of different types of products.
WHAT KIND OF MACHINE IS USED TO WRAP THE PALLET?
Stretch film is made to be stretched. So be sure you do just that! As noted earlier, the combination of the right stretch film and the right machine settings determines the load’s stability. A basic machine can only wrap a pallet and cannot stretch the film. This does not yield the right stability and furthermore, the costs per wrapped pallet are relatively high! The right wrapper can optimally stretch the film, which makes it possible to create a stable pallet. For inspiration: many of our stretch films have a stretch of at least 270 percent. It is therefore important to give careful thought to how to optimally use the machine for achieving pallet stability.
This is a bonus point! The future belongs to sustainability. Customers increasingly more often ask manufacturers for sustainably produced products and to reduce the wastage of raw materials. In addition, there is an increase in European regulations: effective from 2025 at least 30 percent of the plastics used by companies must be recycled. It is therefore becoming increasingly more important to pay attention to the volume of plastic and its composition. Is the film thin, but strong, so you can reduce the consumption of plastic? And is there a film made of renewable raw materials? Look ahead.
As you can see, selecting the right stretch film involves many factors. Because the market is continuously developing and there are increasingly more options, it is understandable that you may no longer be able to see the forest for the trees when selecting the right stretch film. It is a complex process, in which the price per kilo only plays a small part. Therefore be sure to work with a partner who can help you get started as efficiently as possible on the basis of an extensive analysis of your loads.