Nathan Dube

By: Nathan Dube on February 11th, 2020

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The Top 5 Problems With Stretch Film

Packaging Materials

Does your company need to hold boxes and products together on a pallet for transportation? If so you’ve probably looked into and evaluated your options, starting with stretch film. It’s the most common product to hold objects together and protect them during transport and storage. 


At Industrial Packaging we sell stretch film on a daily basis and believe in the many benefits of packaging your products with stretch film. That’s not to say that it’s a packaging solution without problems. 


When using stretch film to properly contain your products, there are various issues that can arise from human error, improper settings on your machinery, and various other sources of trouble. 


In the article below, we will explore the top 5 most common problems with using stretch film and offer advice on how to negate and avoid them.


1. Tearing Stretch Film


A tear in your stretch film is the bane of productivity, consistency and most importantly, safety. When tears occur it means the stability, load containment and safety of your wrapped pallet has been compromised. Choose to ignore tears, and you risk safety hazards, injury, damage to products, downtime, unnecessary clean up and slower production times.


Depending on whether you are using manual labor in conjunction with a stretch wrap dispenser or using a stretch wrapping machine, tearing can happen due to various reasons. To avoid tearing it is advised to use an automated or semi-automated stretch wrap machine programmed in advance with the proper settings and for the correct load containment.


Using an automated stretch wrap machine might not be feasible for your company. If you're unsure of the proper settings on your machine or if you must rely on human labor to wrap your pallets, it's advised to have a local packaging expert analyze your stretch wrapping process.


After reviewing your machinery, dispensers, labor force and operators in your normal day to day process of wrapping, your rep should be able to offer advice on how to optimize your materials and equipment to reduce and/or eliminate tearing.


Want To Know How Much Money You Can Save With An Automated Stretch Wrapper?

Show Me Savings With An Automated Stretch Wrapper!


2. Improper Load Containment Of Your Stretch Film


Using the incorrect load containment can result in various problems. But what exactly is load containment? In the video below, our machinery technician Steve will explain the three main components of load containment. Additionally, he will also explain how to properly optimize this element of stretch wrapping to ensure a safe, efficient, productive, and quality implementation of proper load containment protocols.



3. Using The Wrong Type Of Stretch Film


When using stretch film to wrap your pallets, using the wrong type of film can result in wasted materials, wasted time, wasted money, safety issues, injury, costly repairs, breakdowns, downtime and other unwanted dynamics. First off, you will want to educate yourself on the different types of stretch film available, the appropriate applications and machinery to use them with and the other elements of each variety of stretch film and their correct usage.


There are various different kinds of stretch film and each of them have different applications in which they are used correctly. Here is a list of the most common types of stretch film currently available:


  • Machine Stretch
    • Cast Stretch
    • Blown Stretch
    • Pre-Stretch
    • Hay Baling Stretch
  • Hand Stretch
  • Color Stretch
  • UVI Stretch
  • VCI Stretch
  • Vented Stretch
  • Reinforced Stretch
  • No Cling Stretch
  • Double-Sided Cling Stretch
  • Single-Sided Cling Stretch


Learn in-depth descriptions and information about each type of stretch film and the appropriate applications for each type.


4. Using The Wrong Size Of Stretch Film


While it may seem trivial at first glance, there are different sizes of stretch wrap for different types of applications and products. You may be asking yourself, WHY? After all, you could use any size and just be sure that you are wrapping enough layers and the pallet will still get wrapped, right?


Well, technically, yes you could do that. But, when using the wrong size of stretch wrap to wrap your products you will end up wasting wrap and throwing away time and money in addition to risking improper load containment. The size of stretch wrap you should be using will ultimately be decided by the size and shape of your products and the width and height of your pallets.


If you are not sure which size of stretch wrap you should be using to wrap your pallets, reach out to your local packaging expert and ask them to analyze your current wrapping materials and machinery. By switching from the wrong to the right size of stretch wrap, you could potentially save thousands of dollars a year in addition to some serious man hours.


5. Using The Wrong Thickness Of Stretch Film


Just as using the wrong size of stretch wrap can lead to various problems, so it is with utilizing the inappropriate thickness (or gauge) of stretch film.


Using too thin of a stretch film for your products may result in consistent tearing which leads to wasted material, time and money.


If you are using an excessively thick stretch film for products that do not require said gauge of film, you are also wasting material and essentially throwing money away.


Is Automated Stretch Wrapping Right For You?


So there you have it! The top five problems of working with stretch film. When it comes down to it, all of these problems can be avoided with a little forethought and research. If you are currently struggling with any of these issues, feel free to contact us for advice or information. You can also have one of our packaging professionals analyze your machinery and related packaging line dynamics for simple optimizations.


If you are currently using manual labor and stretch wrap dispensers to palatalize your products, you may want to consider upgrading to an entry level stretch wrapping machine. Depending on the volume of pallets you are wrapping per day, you may actually be throwing money away doing it the old fashioned way. That being said, if you are not ready to speak to a rep, you can use this free stretch wrapping calculator to figure out if a stretch wrapping machine is right for you and you can do it from the comfort of your own office!


Stretch Wrapper ROI Calculator


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.