Can one stretch wrapping machine be safer than comparable equipment, while still being less expensive, miserly with materials, smaller and more convenient to use?
Kisko Products found the answer is "yes" when it applies to its two Lantech stretch wrapping machines. Safety was an overriding pre-purchase decision factor, but the six-month payback in reduced film use and overtime made the two S-300 rotary-arm machines an accountant's dream, according to Randy Josephs, vice president of operations at Kisko.
The two machines have reduced film use more than 35 percent and eliminated about four hours of overtime a day, while churning out several hundred pallets per day during the company's seasonal peak.
"Much like our plant equipment, we put a premium on safety as it relates to our transport packaging," explains Josephs.
Kisko Products is one of North America's producers and distributors of freeze pops and premium juice products. Its product brands, such as Kisko Freezies, Kisko Ice Pop-Its, Mr. Freeze, "C" Plus Juice Pop and Nice ‘N Juicy Tropical Juice Bars.
Cases are hand palletized in loads up to 40" x 48" x 70" maximum height, or in half-height loads. The company's aging turntable stretch wrappers were slow and inefficient in the pre-stretch of film, so ongoing material costs were high. "We knew that new equipment on the market could cut our film use significantly and improve our overall efficiency," explains Josephs, "so we started to look at our options."
Because the loads weigh up to 1,800 pounds and are relatively top heavy and unstable, Kisko focused on rotary-arm stretch wrappers to replace the turntable machines.
"At the time we started to look at new equipment, all the other machines on the market with rotary arms required a safety fence around them, including Lantech's," says Josephs. "Apart from the added cost and floor space needed for the fence, it's never a perfect solution because someone will always find a way to defeat a safety perimeter."
Then Lantech introduced the S series straddle stretch wrapping systems with a large shock-absorbing safety shield on the arm and a drive system that stops the rotation immediately if there is any pressure on the safety shield. "These machines proved as safe or safer than those with a perimeter fence; they cost less because there's less hardware and they take less floor space," Josephs says. "
The S-300 is a freestanding stretch wrapping system that requires no wall mounting and takes up just 188 square feet. It can wrap 25 to 35 loads per hour up to 76 inches height, with operator intervention limited only to attaching the film to the load. Auto Film Cut-Off lets the operator hop back on the lift truck after starting the wrap.
Film savings is accomplished with electronically controlled pre-stretch, which is normally 200 percent, but can range from 100 to 300 percent. Kisko's machines are set for 200 percent pre-stretch with 70-ga. film, and each pallet is wrapped in two layers of film.