5 Step Guide to Choosing a Stretch Wrapper

January 02, 2022 5 min read

Are you tired of wasting time on hand wrapping your pallets? Would you like your staff to have the time to handle other projects? If you answered yes to either of those questions, you’d likely benefit from stretch wrappers. These machines help you save money, time and effort in the short- and long-term, while also providing superior containment force when compared to hand wrapping.

To learn more about how to buy a stretch wrapper that fits your needs, the five following steps will help you find the type of stretch wrapper that’s perfect for your business.

1. Choosing the Right Stretch Wrapping Machine for Your Usage

The first step you should take when you’re looking for a stretch wrapping machine is to determine what you intend to do with the wrapper. Once you define your needs and intentions, you’ll have criteria to work from as you sift through the different types of stretch wrappers on the market. Check out some of the top considerations of those interested in stretch wrappers below:

  • Per day, how many loads do you have to wrap currently? How many loads do you expect in the future? These questions will help you determine how powerful of a machine you need and whether it should be automatic or semi-automatic. For example, low estimates for the number of loads you need to wrap might indicate you only need a semi-automatic.
  • Do you need any special features? There will be differences between the capabilities of common stretch wrappers and more specialized ones. If you don’t need anything out of the ordinary, you probably shouldn’t splurge on a stretch wrapper with all the bells and whistles.
  • Is this wrapper a stand-alone product, or will it be part of your automated line? For those with a product line, it’s important to determine if the stretcher wrapper can keep up with the pace of the rest of the line. You don’t want to invest in a stretch wrapper only to find out it’s slowing down your line or causing jams.

2. Understand Stretch Wrappers: The Main Types of Pallet Stretch Wrapping Machines

Several types of stretch wrappers are available to consumers. To select the best pallet wrappers for your needs, you should know the main types of stretch wrappers used today:

  • Turntable wrapping: Like the name suggests, a turntable stretch wrapper uses a rotating turntable that places stretch film around an item. Generally, turntable wrappers will wrap from bottom to top and then back down again. This type of stretch wrapper is one of the most common, and as such, it is usually modifiable to work in several types of applications.
  • Rotary arm wrapping: A rotary arm stretch wrapper employs a rotating arm to wrap pallets while the load remains in place. This type of stretch wrapper is popular for those who need high production speeds and who regularly handle large and heavy loads, light loads, beer and beverage.
  • Ringer or orbital wrapper: While a conveyor moves a pallet through an orbital or ringer wrapper, the wrapper moves over and under at the same time. Generally, these wrappers are used for flattened loads or items that are difficult to manage like pipes, carpet rolls and doors.
  • Ring straddle wrapper: These wrappers are used to wrap beverages, paper towels and tissues. As they are so specialized that they are not a very common type of stretch wrapper.

3. Comparing Advantages and Value: Automatic vs. Semi-Automatic Wrappers

One of the primary differences you’ll find with stretch wrappers is whether they’re automatic or semi-automatic.

A semi-automatic stretch wrapper needs an operator to begin the wrap cycle, adjust the load accordingly so it’s wrapped correctly and load and unload it. Some semi-automatic stretch wrappers also need a user to cut the wrap manually after the wrapping process is over.

In contrast to the semi-automatic, the automatic stretch wrapper wraps a pallet on its own based on the settings a user has recorded in the wrapper’s control system. It also automatically conveys pallets from a starting position to the wrapping area and finally to an endpoint, while also cycling in new loads at the appropriate times to ensure the job is completed as efficiently as possible.

Choosing between the two types of stretch wrappers usually comes down to how much you need to wrap and your budget. Semi-automatic stretch wrappers have the advantage of generally being cheaper up-front. If wrapping isn’t a central element of your business or your budget is extremely tight, a semi-automatic might be the best stretch wrapper for you.

Though the semi-automatic wrapper usually has a lower initial cost, you also will need to consider the speed in which an automatic stretch wrapper can handle loads. Since an automatic is going to be so much faster than a semi-automatic stretch wrapper, you’ll be able to complete wrapping jobs faster, which can lead to increases in profitability. Additionally, you’ll not need to devote a staff member to operate the stretch wrapper like you would with a semi-automatic, saving you labor costs.

4. Peruse the Market: Top Stretch Wrappers

Many different kinds of stretch wrappers are on the market today. As you search for a top option, you can look for the specific types of stretch wrappers mentioned previously. To narrow your search, consider the best pallet stretch wrappers available to you today:

  • Turntable wrappers: Cousins Packaging offers only the best semi-automatic and automatic turntable machines. Some of the top options include the HP3200 Platform Automatic and the Switch A-Arm that can be controlled with a wireless remote, which leads to labor cost savings and a safer work environment. If you want a fast stretch wrapper outfitted with a conveyor belt that can handle 65 loads an hour, the 6100-65-CTA Conveyorized Automatic is a great choice.
  • Rotary arm wrappers: For those who need stretch wrappers that can handle light or heavy loads, Cousins Packaging rotary arm wrappers should be your first pick. For example, the 7100-OHA Conveyorized Automatic handles up to 95 loads an hour and features advanced controls that allow you to customize the wrapper to your exact needs. Companies that need a versatile stretch wrapper will love the 4100-FA ULTRA, which can be configured into several different frame and mounting variations.
  • Pilot wrappers: The Pilot Stretch Wrapper is a wildly popular stretch wrapper due to its durability, accessibility and affordability. One of the top features it offers is intelligent controls that let you adjust top and bottom wrap counts and set the spiral speed, among other settings. Additionally, its rugged engineering ensures it can handle tough jobs.

5. Purchase: Who Sells Stretch Wrappers?

Now that you know how to choose a stretch wrapper, you’ll be ready to pick from the best stretch wrappers on the market. Since stretch wrappers aren’t just sitting around at the local hardware store, you might be wondering where to get a stretch wrapping machine.

Consider Cousins Packaging for the most impressive wrappers on the market. Our company differentiates itself from the competition by offering custom manufacturing, versatility in offerings and cost-effective solutions.

Find the right wrapper for your needs today. View our stretch wrapping machines. If you have any questions while shopping, feel free to contact us.