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.

 

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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!

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The Difference Between Polyester and Steel Strapping

Steel & Plastic Strapping

Your shipment is about to go out, and there’s a sudden snap. One of the metal straps holding your product together and in place has broken. One of your workers sighs and goes over to replace it. As he’s removing the strap, he grabs the edge the wrong way and it cuts him. He’s bleeding, and needs medical attention. After getting him to the proper care facility, a small group of individuals gets the broken strap off and the new strap on by hand, taking up an hour of wasted time and unfortunately injuring a worker. Just as they finish fixing the strap, the forklift operator comes over to stack the product and – drops the pallet. Now the replacement strap has broken. There goes another hour.

What a headache.

It may seem like an exaggeration, but this disaster is more common than you would think when using metal straps on skids and shipments of any kind. The use of plastic straps over steel will eliminate the risk of being cut, keeping your workers and your sites safe. As opposed to steel straps, plastic straps have the following benefits:

  • Safety
    • No cuts, no lost time due to injury
  • Coil Weight
    • Weighs significantly less (only 55lbs!)
  • Cost
    • Costs less per foot than steel
  • No more seals
    • Saves money, less inventory
  • More feet per coil
    • 2.5 times more footage, fewer coil changes, less downtime
  • No corrosion
    • Won’t mar product, won’t leave residue
  • Tension
    • Better load containment and elongation recovery
  • No edge protection needed
    • Saves money, reduces inventory
  • Made from recycled material
    • Environmentally friendly and sustainable
  • Better Tooling
    • Signode

These easy-to-use tools save time, money, and of course, keep your employees safe. Signode tools apply friction to the strap to weld the strap ends together, rather than using seals. This way, there are no cuts, no wasted man hours, and no re-applying straps when the skids inevitably fall or the wood expands naturally.  All of this means your workers are no longer getting injured, are using recycled material, and are saving time by not using seals, and instead using convenient battery powered tools to strap products.  Don’t be left with a foreman’s worst nightmare. Save money and keep your employees safe. Head over to our strapping page, contact us, or schedule a site needs analysis to make sure you’re utilizing the best ergonomic tools for your job site.

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Pallet Unitizing: The Different Types of Pallets and How to Protect Them

Using strapping material to secure pallets has been around for forever. Using stretch wrapping as a method to unitize pallets really came on board in the 70’s. It has since changed the way that people unitize pallets and can be a huge asset to any company. The whole key to determining the best approach to take with stretch wrapping is the size, weight and shape of the customer’s product on the pallet.

Stretch Wrapping Machine

Stretch Wrapping Machine

Stretch film and machinery vendors have classified pallets into three different types called A, B or C type pallets.

A Pallet:

An A pallet is uniform and neatly stacked with smooth edges. This is the easiest style of pallet to wrap because there are no protruding edges that could cause potential rips and breaks in the stretch film.

B Pallet:

B pallets are not so uniform and may have a variety of different items on the same skid. This may require more protection as the protruding edges are causing more force against the stretch film. In some cases, a higher grade of stretch film is used to prevent breakage.

C Pallet:

C pallets may look like a person with four arms. There are edges protruding all over the pallet causing sharp edges. These are normally difficult to wrap and require manipulation of the film and strap used to protect the load.

The nice thing about stretch film is that it often takes 1 ½ – 2 minutes to wrap a pallet, when using strapping to unitize a pallet, it normally takes around 5 minutes. A lot of companies still use strapping to unitize pallets because they have done so for the last 50 years. With new technological advancements in the manufacturing of stretch film happening every day, switching from strapping to stretch film can realize cost savings and provide better product protection during shipping. Determining what type of pallets you are shipping is the first step in identifying what the best approach to protecting them is.

For more information on the pros and cons of each option, feel free to contact us at www.rvevans.com or by phone at 1-800-252-5894.

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Is There a Difference in Strapping Joint Strength?

rv-evans-joint-strength-strappingA question that we hear a lot here at the R.V. Evans Company when discussing strapping is; “Is there a difference in joint strength between strapping materials?” This is often times brought on by the difference in appearance between steel strap and polyester strap. Naturally, you would think that the steel strap would be stronger, but in reality, the joint strength of strapping material is very similar.

Sealless Joint types

Sealless joints can be made with manual or pneumatic combination tools for steel strap. Using interlocking keys, the sealless joints provide static joint strength equal to that of notch-type joints. The reverse lock sealless joint features one reversed interlocking key for added security in impact conditions.

Basic seal joint types

Notch Joint

The most commonly used joints for steel strapping are down and reverse notch. One way to lock strap ends is to cut, or “notch” the seal and the strapping it joins to form tabs at the edges. These tabs are bent down (down notch joint) or bent up (reverse notch joint). The strength of the notch joint comes from the mechanical interlock between the seal and strapping. Notch joints are typically used on waxed steel strapping in packaging and unitizing applications.

Crimp Joint

Another way to seal the ends of strapping is to press or “crimp” undulations into the seal and strapping ends. The strength of the crimp joint comes from the deformed seal creating high frictional forces. Crimp joints produce high static and dynamic joint strengths and are used on applications in which the strapped load is subject to severe impact.  This style of joint is used in plastic applications as well.

Friction Weld

Polyester strapping uses friction seals to weld the strap, eliminating the need for metal seals. Additional savings can be gained via polyester’s low strap cost per foot and through reduced product damage from seals or staining. 

Summary

In conclusion, there is no strength lost from switching between steel and polyester strap with a properly specified strap recommendation. It is a general rule that you can expect 75-80% of the listed joint strength of strap. This rule holds true whether you are talking about battery powered hand tools or pneumatic hand tools for strapping. Though different types of strap are designed for different applications, there are benefits to each type and the joint type used. Contact the R.V. Evans Company to ensure that you are using the right type for you specific application.

For more information visit our website at www.rvevans.com or call us at 1-800-252-5894.

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Sources: http://www.rvevans.com/Packaging-Solutions/PDF/signode_catalog_spd_1445.pdf