Unitizing and Stabilizing Your Products: Strapping

Strapping, also known as banding or bundling, is a common way to unitize, stabilize, and secure products. The strapping process involves applying straps (or bands) to a unit or collection of units in order to hold those units in place, or to further secure boxes or crates in which products are packaged or stored. An example of a strapped pallet of products is shown in Figure 1.

 
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Figure 1

 

Many applications involve strapping individual boxes for further package integrity. An example of such is shown in Figure 2.

 

Image result for plastic strapped box

Figure 2

 

The straps help hold the boxes in place, providing stability and therefore protection for the products inside the boxes. Combining strapping with stretch wrapping and corner board provides for a well-protected pallet of product. An example of such is shown in Figure 3.

 

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Figure 3

Types of Strap

There are many different types of strap. However, these many types fall under two primary categories: steel and plastic.

Steel Strap

Steel strap is used for medium- and heavy-duty applications. Steel strap is manufactured with many different widths, thicknesses, tensile strengths, etc.- all designed for a certain set of applications. Determining an appropriate type of steel strap is best performed by an R.V. Evans solutions representative. 

Plastic Strap

Plastic strap is used for light- and medium-duty applications. There are three primary types of plastic strap: nylon, polyester, and polypropylene. Additionally, each of these three material categories have been included in many different products designed for different applications. Determining the appropriate plastic strap for your application is best determined by an R.V. Evans solutions representative.

Strapping Equipment

Strap can be applied with manual hand tools, battery-operated hand tools, pneumatic tools, or semiautomatic and automatic strapping machines. Each type, size, and model of strapping tools provide a unique set of benefits. Finding the best one for you is, of course, best performed by an R.V. Evans solutions representative.

 

For more information on strapping applications, click here!

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.