Orion Vs. Leading Competitor: Pallet Wrapping Competition

Pallet wrapping, stretch wrapping, load wrapping- whichever you prefer to call it- is a big industry with a lot of options available. Whether you are looking for ways to reduce packaging costs, increase throughput, or reduce total cost of ownership, there are options for you. These options come from manufacturers like Orion Packaging, Wulftec, Lantech, Uline, Phoenix Packaging, ARPAC, and several more. Determining which is the best is entirely dependent on your application. However, to serve as a general reference point, we will compare the Orion Sentry with a popular competitor’s leading pallet wrapper.

Consider it a wrap battle. If you want.

Let’s begin with a snapshot visual of the two pallet wrappers.

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For the most part, the comparison between the Orion Sentry pallet wrapper and the leading competitor’s pallet wrapper is self explanatory. However, let’s highlight a few key points.

Turntable Motor and Max Weight: This is particularly important for heavier loads, of course. The Sentry’s more powerful motor provides the ability to wrap bigger and heavier loads.

Film Delivery and Pre-StretchWith a powered pre-stretch capability, the Orion pallet wrapper provides a pre-stretch of your film by 200%, while the competitor’s pallet wrapper’s manual roller produces only a 60% pre-stretch. This extra 140% pre-stretch provides significant savings in your film costs and provides a stronger hold on the pallet.

Height Sensing: This is essential to ensuring a correct pallet-wrapping job on pallets with different heights. With no sensor, the height has to be adjusted manually unless the operator wants the pallet wrapper to expend film unnecessarily.

Typical Starting Price: Price is always a concern in ever-changing markets and operational conditions. In this comparison, the Orion provides numerous advantages over the competitor’s solution- at a lower cost. 20.8% cheaper, actually.

These are just two options in the vast world of stretch wrapping, pallet wrapping, load wrapping, etc. There are many options, and it can be very difficult to scan the market to ensure you’re always getting the best fit for your needs. It will behoove you to consult the people who study the market every day. The R.V. Evans team.

Contact R.V. Evans by clicking here, visiting http://www.rvevans.com, or by calling 800-252-5894.

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Rising Turnover Costs in Manufacturing: Mitigation Through Automation

Employee turnover can be expensive. In fact, Josh Bersin of Deloitte believes the cost of losing an employee can range from tens of thousands of dollars to 1.5–2.0x the employee’s annual salary. These costs include hiring, onboarding, training, ramp time to peak productivity, the loss of engagement from others due to high turnover, and higher business error rates. (Altman, 2017).

In a time when speed-to-market, low defect rates, and low cost-per-unit levels drive profitability more than ever, manufacturers are particularly affected by employee turnover. In 2016, manufacturers experienced turnover rates of 16%. (Bares, 2017). Doing the math, one can see that if their company turns over 16% of their operating workforce, and turnover costs are 2x the lost workers’ salaries, then annual turnover costs can equal up to 32% of your total operating payroll per year (assuming equal wages for simplicity’s sake). The “learning curve” effect also plays its part in higher defect rates and lower productivity, decreasing product quality and speed-to-market (Argote and Epple, 1990). In other words, turnover can severely affect profitability, especially in manufacturing.

So, what can manufacturers do about it? The psychology and social science on this subject has been published for many years, yet turnover rates are still high and have risen consistently over the past five years. Let R.V. Evans Company take a different approach. If you’re a manufacturer, do any of these activities fall under any of your workers’ job descriptions?

  • Forming cases and boxes
  • Closing and stapling boxes/cases
  • Sealing/taping cases
  • Bagging parts
  • Stretch-wrapping pallets
  • Printing images, date and batch codes, or barcodes on products or cases
  • Applying labels
  • Manually creating void-fill protective packaging for cases
  • Manually shrink-wrapping products
  • Applying strap to bundles, boxes, pallets, etc.

If you answered yes to any of those, there is room for automation.

Automation doesn’t always come in the form of complete robotics; there are ways to semi-automate as well. Semi-automation reduces the amount of laborers required to perform certain tasks in the manufacturing process, particularly in packaging processes. Examples of automation and semi-automation include:

  • Incorporating a WFPS 3290 Combo to allow a single operator to form, pack, and seal up to 30 cases per minute
  • Using an AutoBag 550 to allow a single operator to bag up to 45 parts per minute
  • Install an Orion Flex Series stretch wrapper to wrap pallets much faster than by hand
    • with a 260% pre-stretch that can save up to several thousand dollars in stretch wrap per year
  • Implementing a Samuel Model P715 automatic plastic strapping machine to apply plastic strap to your packages at speeds of up to 60 straps per minute- without an operator
  • Connecting many of these systems and others via conveyor equipment
  • Much, much more

There are numerous ways R.V. Evans and its team of packaging solutions representatives can help you reduce turnover by eliminating some of those high-turnover positions entirely. This is not a recommendation to replace your good, high-quality people that make your operation great. This is a recommendation to allow R.V. Evans to help you find ways to eliminate positions that are difficult to keep occupied due to high turnover. Equip your good workers with the means to produce more and add more value- at a lower total cost. Automating, semi-automating, and/or streamlining your processes can increase your speed to market, decrease your cost-per-unit, lean out your labor force, and make you more money. 

Why R.V. Evans? Because we are a team of experts whose core competencies are creating packaging solutions and giving great customer service. We spend every day staying up to date with the latest technology, studying that technology, and creating ways to implement it in various manufacturing environments. You are the expert in your operation, and we are packaging solutions experts. Team up with us so we can create a packaging solution that is right for you. We will forever follow up with great service.

Here is how to get started. 3 options are included below.

  1. Click here to schedule a site needs analysis with one of our packaging experts
  2. Click here to request general information about a specific product or product line
  3. Call 800-252-5894 to speak to one of our wonderful customer service representatives

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Shrink and Stretch Wrapping: Differences and Applications

“Go ahead and shrink wrap that pallet”, my boss said before he walked out of the warehouse. I leaped into action only to waste 15 minutes searching for a shrink wrapper in the warehouse. There wasn’t one. As my boss returned, he said to me in an annoyed voice, “Ok, what was confusing about shrink wrapping the pallet?”. “I noticed there isn’t a shrink wrapper here, sir”, I said. He stared at me for a second before replying, “Ok…I guess it is hard to miss”, then he grabbed the pallet jack and wheeled the pallet over to a large, conspicuous stretch wrapper just 20 feet away.

There is a common confusion regarding shrink wrapping and stretch wrapping. These two applications have something in common: they are both methods of packaging something in plastic. However, these applications package things much differently and for different purposes.

Shrink Wrapping

Shrink wrapping is the process of using shrink film, a material comprised of polymer plastic, and heat to seal products inside of the shrink film. The heat application process can be done via either a heat gun or a shrink tunnel. Packaging manufacturers like Seal-A-Tron produce shrink wrapping systems for industrial applications. A shrink-wrapped item will look something like this:

Image result for shrink wrapped product

In some cases, entire pallets of produce can be shrink wrapped to provide a form of product protection in transit and/or storage. However, most applications involve individual products, especially food products.

Stretch Wrapping

Stretch wrapping is the process of wrapping stretch film, a highly stretchable and elastic plastic film, around products. The elasticity of the stretch film pulls the products together and keeps them secure. This process is often performed with a turntable stretch wrapping machine like Orion’s Flex CTS Twin Station Stretch Wrapper, although many options are available for different user needs. A stretch-wrapped pallet looks something like this:

Image result for stretch wrapped pallet

This particular pallet was also strapped and equipped with corner board, a form of protective packaging, for optimal protection and security in transit and in storage.

Which One Should You Use?

This question is best answered by requesting more information from the R.V. Evans team. However, to get you started, a brief breakdown of a couple advantages and applications is shown below.

Stretch Wrapping Applications/Advantages Shrink Wrapping Applications/Advantages
· Wrapping boxes and pallets of products

· Cost-effective (particularly with pre-stretch)

· Protection from dust, dirt, and moisture

· Typically used to secure single products

· Best choice for food products

R.V. Evans Co. would be happy to provide you with any additional information you need at 1-800-252-5894 or via the website.

Budget Friendly Solutions for Your Packaging Equipment Investment Needs

  1. Do you have a packaging project where new equipment is needed, but the scope of the project doesn’t justify an outright purchase of new packaging equipment?
  2. Do you need to meet an increase in production, but your budget won’t allow a capital investment in new packaging equipment?
  3. Do you experience down time in your packaging line but your budget won’t justify the purchase of a second piece of the necessary packaging equipment?
  4. Is your existing packaging equipment old, maintenance intensive, but money is not available for a replacement?
  5. Do you think your production volume is too low to justify automation in your packaging production line?

If any of these scenarios are preventing your company from investing in the packaging equipment you need for your production line, R.V. Evans’ Equipment Placement Program may be the packaging system solution you need to help take your packaging production process to the next level.

BEL 505 carton former with BEL 252 carton taper.

BEL 505 carton former with BEL 252 carton taper.

R.V. Evans’ Equipment Placement Program specializes in providing budget friendly investment solutions for a variety of new and used packaging equipment including:

For more information on R.V. Evans’ Equipment Placement Program, contact R.V. Evans or schedule an on-site review of your specific packaging application and receive your customized Equipment Placement recommendation and proposal.

Connect with R.V. Evans Company for new packaging and fastening system updates, tips, application solutions, and a little fun stuff too!

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Industrial Packaging: Functions and Materials

Industrial packaging includes a variety of materials, forms, applications, and equipment. There are multiple facets of industrial packaging, including Primary Packaging, Secondary Packaging, the function of each type of material, and the variety of applications in which you can utilize plastic industrial packaging. 

Industrial-Shrink-Film-on-a-Roll-Photo

Primary Packaging

Industrial packaging can refer to primary packaging – the packaging in which products are brought to market – (a good way to think of this is it’s often the last thing that you toss when the product is consumed, or it’s the packaging that comes directly in contact with the product)

Packaging Product
Bottles Soda, water, juice
Tubing Toothpaste, cosmetics,
Boxes Crackers, household goods, electronics
Jars Candles, Salad Dressing
Clamshells (plastic cases) Hardware (nuts, bolts, etc.), Toys
Shrink film Frozen Pizzas, Apparel

Secondary Packaging

Secondary packaging refers to protective packaging, including strapping, edge protection, stretch film (palletizing), envelopes, etc. This is the packaging that is used to protect the product in transit, storage, and on the shelf. Secondary packaging also includes –

   Air pillows         Air cushions
   AirPouches         Void fill
  Paper void fill         In-the-box-paper packaging
  Foam-in-place         Rolled bubble and foam products
  Corrosion prevention         Bubble wrap
  Paper liners         Air pouches
  Packing peanuts         Corrugated boxes
  Protective sheeting

What it’s made of: Polyethylene Film

One of the most prevalent materials in the flexible packaging industry is polyethylene (PE) film. Polyethylene is made from ethylene gas and is versatile, tough, has good clarity, and there are several variations with distinct and specific characteristics that make it a preferred material for industrial packaging applications.

There are several variations of PE film that are regularly used; three of the more popular types are LDPE, LLDPE, and HDPE. PE film is a popular flexible packaging material because of its relatively low cost, sealability, moisture barrier, and tear resistance. Its applications are versatile, ranging from uses within the agriculture, construction, and manufacturing industries. There are several different types of PE, three of the most common are:

  • LDPE – Low Density Polyethylene film
    • LDPE film is known for its toughness, flexibility, and fair transparency.
  • LLDPE – Linear-Low Density Polyethylene Film
    • Characteristics of LLDPE film include its high tensile strength, high impact and puncture resistance, flexibility, and resistance to chemicals and UV radiation.
  • HDPE – High Density Polyethylene Film
    • HDPE film is known for its high clarity and scratch resistance. HDPE film is harder, stiffer, and stronger when compared to LDPE film.

Applications for LDPE, LLDPE, HDPE films

LDPE film is often used to produce

  • Bags:
    • dry cleaning bags
    • newspaper bags
    • bread bags
    • frozen food bags
    • household garbage bags
  • Other uses include:
    • shrink wrapping
    • stretch wrapping
      • Stretch wrap is available in “hand wrap” or for “machine use”
    • bags on a roll
    • bubble packaging
    • industrial liners
    • container lids
    • toys
    • squeezable bottles

LLDPE film is used in the same applications as LDPE along with applications that require more toughness and sealability.

  • Hardware
  • Automotive parts
  • Food
  • Craft items
  • Medical devices
  • Electronic components
  • Retail applications

HDPE film is used in similar applications as LDPE and LLDPE films. HDPE is stiffer than other PE films, which is beneficial when packaging needs to retain its shape

  • medical
  • food
  • sporting goods
  • any application that might result in chemical contact with the film

These types of films are used for protective packaging, satisfying the needs of small operations (with 5 to 10 packages per day) and large operations packaging product around the clock. Different forms everyone is familiar with are bags, sheeting, tubing, casing, and liners. When you purchase anything that needs to be assembled at home, the hardware is in a PE film bag. When you see a home renovation or remodel, the plastic sheeting that is often protecting the floor or furniture is PE film. Trucks hauling equipment or pallets that are covered by plastic sheeting – polyethylene film! Garbage liners and mattress bags are also made from polyethylene films.

When it comes to industrial packaging and uses, PE film is one of the most common. You’ll find it in primary packaging, secondary and protective packaging. You’ll also find PE film in several different variations, serving multiple purposes because of its versatility and affordability.

Contact one of R.V. Evans’ sales professionals to discuss the material you’re currently using and the potential in your industrial packaging processes at 1-800-252-5894 or visit our website at www.rvevans.com

You can also email us at sales@rvevans.com or connect with us through our social sites.

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How to Understand Pre-Stretch Tests

Stretch film is there for the safety of products. That much is obvious. However, without the best stretch film available, your company can be losing money and actually decreasing your product’s safety.

Luckily, there are three tests that an R.V. Evans specialist can perform to help insure that your business is using the absolute best stretch film to save money and protect your products.

  1. Stretch Test – This test checks how far a film can stretch on a skid. A mark is applied to the film every 10 inches, and then the film is wrapped around a skid. The new distance between the marks is then measured. You usually want these new measurements to be somewhere between 200% and 300% of the original 10 inches (somewhere between 20 and 30 inches). This means your film can stretch 2 to 3 times its original size. The more the film stretches, the less you have to use per skid, and the more money you save.
  2. Force to Load Test – Force to Load is how much pressure it takes to loosen film from the skid. For this test, a small hole is cut in the film, a plate is put under that hole and a fish hook is connected, and pulled against the film. How much pressure needs to be applied to pull the film from the skid determines how tight the film is wrapped. The tighter the film, the more secure the product.
  3. Cut & Weight Test – This is the simplest test, but one of the most important. After wrapping a skid, the film is simply cut off, balled up, and put on a scale. Less weight means less stretch film, and more money saved.

These tests are all essential to making sure that your company is using the safest and most cost effective solution to help move large amounts of product out of your warehouse. Having the least amount of film that will stretch the farthest while holding the product the tightest is important to your products safety and your company’s wallet equally. Depending on how many wrapped skids your company sends out, you can save thousands of dollars every year just by upgrading your stretch film. R.V. Evans has experts that can come straight in to your facility and apply these tests, helping find the best solution for your team.

Retail Distribution Center’s Pallet Loads are “All Wrapped Up” with Orion Stretch Wrapper Solution

Pre-Solution ApplicationOrion RTA Tandem Stretch Wrapper

The client, a distribution center for over 50 retail store locations, was previously manually applying hand grade stretch film to unitize their outgoing pallets of merchandise.  This method was time consuming, labor intensive, and provided inconsistent load containment.

The R.V. Evans’ Value Added Solution

After performing a Site Needs Analysis and thorough review of the application, an R.V. Evans’ Packaging Sales Specialist determined the appropriate value added solution.  The recommendation:  (2) Orion Flex™ Series RTA Deluxe Tandem Automatic Rotary Tower stretch wrappers with gantry frame fencing option and alarm package.  In addition, the client will utilize their previous & current method of material handling of the pallets: electric walkies and electric double pallet jacks with extended forks to carry (2) pallets at a time.

Key Benefits of the Orion Flex™ Series RTA Stretch Wrapping Solution

  • Secure up to 40 – 50 loads per hour (based on 80” tall load, 12 revolutions)
  • Runs 20” standard and 30” optional width stretch film with a standard prestretch ratio of 260% = (increased yields!)
  • Ultra low wrap to within 1.5” off floor
  • Automatic load height sensing photo eye and film force-to-load control
  • Second leg gantry style frame and zone protection fencing with photo eyes for enhanced wrap zone protection and/or high speed applications
  • Alarm package: audible/visual warning and light/horn to indicate start cycle
  • Boost end-of-line packaging efficiency – RTA automatically attaches the film tail to the load, then cuts and secures the film tail at the end of the cycle.  Operators pull a hanging lanyard to start the cycle and perform other duties while the pallet loads are securely wrapped for shipment.
  • Proudly made in the USA.  4 year warranty on all major components, 5 year warranty on structural frame, lifetime on InstaThread stretch rollers

Measurable Savings Realized

This stretch wrapping  solution has enabled the client to experience a number of improvements including increased throughput with the dual wrapper wrapping (2) pallets in tandem, reduced labor, improved load containment, as well as increased yields with the use of machine grade stretch film at a 260% prestretch ratio.  In addition, the automated solution vastly reduces the chance of injury associated with hand wrapping and increases the level of operator safety with the addition of the gantry frame fencing option and alarm package.

If you are interested in a stretch wrapping solution specific to your application, contact R.V. Evans Company by visiting www.rvevans.com.  Here is a link to view more stretch wrapping solutions on our website:  http://www.rvevans.com/Packaging-Solutions/Stretch-Wrapping.aspx  or if you would like to set up an on-site review of your packaging process, R.V. Evans can help.  Schedule a Site Needs analysis by clicking on this link: http://www.rvevans.com/Contact-Us/Schedule-Site-Needs-Analysis.aspx.

For a variety of videos featuring different stretch wrapping machines in action, check out the R.V. Evans’ Orion Stretch Wrapper Playlist on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLC699644908B14C7B</a>

Connect with R.V. Evans Company for new packaging and fastening system updates, tips, application solutions, and a little fun stuff too!
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