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What To Expect When Installing A Pallet Wrapper: Installation Dynamics
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By: Nathan Dube on October 15th, 2020

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What To Expect When Installing A Pallet Wrapper: Installation Dynamics

Equipment  |  The Business of Packaging  |  Fulfillment

On the day of installing a pallet wrapper in your warehouse, a lot is going on. Old machinery needs to be shut down, decommissioned, and removed from your warehouse. At the same time, the new equipment must be delivered, set-up, and installed.

 

Having helped thousands of companies purchase and install new pallet wrappers, Industrial Packaging is able to ensure that even the most complicated installations go smoothly and without error.

 

In this article, we will break down everything you should expect and be prepared for when the day of installation of your new pallet wrapper arrives.

 

Things To Consider Before Installing A Pallet Wrapper  

 

Before you go through with this process, there is much to consider before buying and installing your new pallet wrapper.

 

You will likely find yourself asking some important questions prior to the day of install. Some of the questions you should be asking yourself may include:

 

Should you upgrade to a fully automatic machine, or perhaps stick with a manual model?

 

Do you have enough space to install the new device? Will you need to purchase additional items such as an air compressor or other options for utilities? How long is the installation of this equipment going to take?

 

Furthermore, you will have to consider the following items, each of which have their own concerns related to the process of the installation.

 

What Does Service Cost?

Is the machine uncrated or do you have to do it yourself? Do you have the appropriate power needed to run the machine? How long will training take?

 

Is Training Supplied?

Operator training, how to run the machine, what the controls do, how to thread the stretch film, what to do in an emergency. Your operators will need to have this training done. Be sure to find out if your vendor will supply this training as part of the installation.

 

How Much Is Maintenance?

Maintenance should be done at regular intervals. Common wear items, common problems, and how to fix them must be considered. Do you have a preventative maintenance plan in place or will you be paying as you go?

 

These are just a sample of some the the questions that you should be thinking about during the buyer's journey leading up to the day of install. We would recommended speaking to a packaging machinery expert and working through these and any other questions you might have, before scheduling the installation of your new machinery.

 

How Long Does It Take To Install A Pallet Wrapper?

 

The length of time it takes to install a pallet wrapper entirely depends on which type of pallet wrapper you will install in your warehouse.

 

While there are many different types of pallet wrappers to choose from, they generally fall into three categories: manual pallet wrappers, semi-automatic pallet wrappers, or automatic pallet wrappers.

 

It should be noted that depending on what type of pallet wrapper is purchased, it can take anywhere from one day to one week to install.  

 

Installing Manual Pallet Wrappers

 

Manual pallet wrappers are machines that require a human operator to run every aspect of the machine from loading, unloading, wrapping, and everything in between. Generally speaking, a manual pallet wrapper can be delivered, set up, and installed within one day.

 

Installing Semi-Automatic Pallet Wrappers

 

Semi-automatic wrappers have automated some of the functionality, but still requires some manual operations from the person running the machine. These devices also take, on average, one day to install.

 

Installing Automatic Pallet Wrappers

 

Fully automatic pallet wrappers, on average, require about one week to install. This is primarily because these machines are more complicated units with more advanced control systems and computerized elements. If you are purchasing one of these machines, you will want to plan your installation week accordingly.

 

 

What Elements Affect Installation Time?

 

Several different factors will affect your installation time, regardless of the type of machinery you choose. Below, we will review a few of these items to better understand the installation process and the time required.

 

Physical Space Requirements For Your Pallet Wrapper

 

When installation day arrives, the physical space inside your warehouse is a big concern. Unless you are buying a pallet wrapper for the first time, you will likely have to plan for the shutdown, decommissioning, and removal of your older pallet wrapping machinery.

 

Once your old equipment has been removed, then the new machinery must be set up, installed, and tested. Next, training for operators must commence.

 

Removing the old equipment and installing the new machinery can be disruptive to the rest of your warehouse. Depending on the amount of space you have, you may need to shut down the wrapper area of the warehouse during installation if the available physical space is too tight.

 

We recommend having your packaging machinery sales representative take a look at your physical location for the new equipment before installation. This will give you a close approximation to the exact time required to complete the operation.

 

Electrical Output For Pallet Wrappers

 

Another critical consideration is your electrical output capabilities. Not all pallet wrappers use the same amount of electricity. Suppose you upgrade from an old machine to a brand new piece of equipment. In that case, you will need to make sure that you have the proper electrical outlets and power capabilities in advance of the installation.

 

Failing to do this can result in potentially long periods of unexpected downtime. You will want to set up a meeting with your sales representative and your electrician to ensure that you have the right set up for the required electrical needs.

 

If you you do not currently have the appropriate power requirements, you will want to make sure that your facility is updated before the day of installation.

 


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Things To Complete Before Your Pallet Wrapper Installation

 

There are some other things to think about when you are preparing to install your pallet wrapper. These include items such as mechanical dynamics, material installation and end-user operation.

 

Purchase The Appropriate Stretch Film

 

Perhaps you are upgrading from using manual labor and implementing a stretch wrap dispenser. In that case, you will need to purchase a different kind of stretch wrap to run on your new pallet wrapper. Hand stretch wrap cannot be used on a pallet wrapper.

 

 

Attempting to do so will result in mechanical issues, inadequate load containment, tearing, and other common stretch wrap problems, including potential injury.

 

The type of stretch wrap that you need to purchase for your pallet wrapper is entirely dependent on a few different things.

 

  • The Products You Are Wrapping - You will need to choose the appropriate thickness of stretch film, which is dictated by your palletized products' shape, size, and weight. Oddly shaped or heavier products with sharp edges will require a thicker (higher gauge) stretch wrap. More uniformly shaped items with smooth edges can be wrapped with lighter gauge films.

  • The Type Of Loads You Are Wrapping - There are three types of loads commonly used when palletizing products. These are broken down into A-type loads, B type loads, and C type loads. Each type of load will require a different stretch film as they will have other load containment requirements.

  • The Atmospheric Conditions Of Your Warehouse - Extreme changes in the atmosphere of your pallet wrapper's location can be detrimental to your stretch film. Suppose your warehouse is continuously exposed to extreme heat or cold. In that case, you will need to choose the correct films best suited to dealing with these situations. Ideally, you will have a climate-controlled area for pallet wrapping to take place.

After you have identified the correct stretch film to run on your pallet wrapper, you will want to purchase some before installing your machinery. The installation of your new pallet wrapper may take a a day or longer to complete. During that time, you will not be operational.

 

Buying your stretch film before your installation day will ensure that when your installation is complete, you will be able to load a roll of stretch wrap on to the machinery and get back to work as quickly as possible.

 

Operator Training On The Pallet Wrapper

 

If possible, you will want to consider getting your operators trained on your new equipment on the day of installation of the machinery.

 

You are not going to want to deal with unnecessary downtime if you can avoid it. Implementing this training on or before the day of installation will allow for you to avoid such a situation.

 

Utilities For Pallet Wrappers

 

When you buy a pallet wrapper, they are either going to be electric or pneumatic. If you purchase a pneumatic machine, you also have to purchase (or already own) an industrial air compressor. These are large machines that cost (on average) around $5,000. It should also be noted that compressed air is an expensive additional option which is required for pneumatic packaging machinery.

 

To find out exactly how much it will cost to run a pneumatic machine, speak to your packaging vendor and review with them how many pallets you will be packaging per day. With this information in hand, you will be able to calculate the exact cost of using compressed air for your wrapping needs.

 

Work with your packaging machinery and materials vendor to analyze all of your your utility requirements. Identify if you will be required to make any changes to your warehouse regarding these items.

 

If you do need to make updates, be sure that the appropriate changes are made before installation day. This way, you will not have to deal with unnecessary downtime during the installation process.

 

Failing to ensure that these items are taken care of before installing the new pallet wrapper may result in the need to shut down other equipment in your warehouse. This is especially true if you need to update any electrical output for the installation of machinery required to use utilities such as compressed air.

 

Maintenance And Service Plans For Your Pallet Wrapper

 

When it comes to keeping your pallet wrapper running, you have to be prepared for mechanical failure and other types of unexpected downtime. You will either need an in house technician on your payroll, or you will have to implement a contract or retail based preventative maintenance plan.

 

You should have these items in place prior to the installation of the equipment so  you won’t be waiting around and trying to pull a solution together last minute should a problem arise.

 

Working With Your Packaging Vendor To Prepare For Your Pallet Wrapper Installation

 

Make sure that you speak with a packaging expert before the installation of this equipment. You will want to talk with your sales rep from your chosen vendor a couple of months in advance of the installation to make a proper game plan for the day of the install.

 

If you do not already have a packaging vendor to work with on this type of project, you may want to talk with one of our packaging experts. They will be able to assist you in the process of installing your new packaging equipment.

 

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About Nathan Dube

As the Digital Marketing Specialist at Industrial Packaging, I am honored to create content for such a phenomenal company and work with one of the greatest teams in the Packaging Industry. Whether creating a video, writing blog posts or generating other pieces of content and multimedia, I am always excited to help educate and inspire our prospects and clients to reach their highest potential in regards to their packaging processes and needs.