The key here is that you could indeed drive an old pickup truck to get the job done, but why would you waste all that money to accomplish the same task? A Honda Civic will get the job done faster and more economically than an outdated pickup truck. In case you were wondering, the pickup truck is an analogy for 80 gauge stretch wrap — it’s been used for ages, and it works, but it’s not the most efficient way to get the job done anymore.
People have used 80 gauge stretch wrap for over 20 years. It’s been the same product with little to no advances in the offering. It is truly the old pickup truck of stretch wrap. There have been a lot of new products in the last 20 years, however. Traditional 80 gauge stretch wrap was mostly a one-layer film — now modern stretch wrap offerings are multi-layer. The same principle that applies to plywood’s strength applies here — multiple layers of a thinner material, laminated on top of one another make for a stronger product than a single layer of the same thickness.
So a multi-layer film is stronger than a single-layer film given the same thickness (gauge). So why is this significant? Because stretch wrap, similar to other resin-based products, is priced by the pound. So the less material you can use to get the job done, the less money you’ll have to spend. So now you’ve got to ask yourself: Would I rather use an outdated technology and spend more money, or use a newer stretch wrap offering and save? i would hope that you chose the latter!
But that’s still not all there is to it — there have been more advances in stretch wrap over the last 20 years than just single-layer vs mutli-later films. Now the films have more advances properties, such as single-sided cling on a cast film and higher stretch tolerances. To explain why these are significant, I’ll have to give you a little background on the way that stretch wrap is made. There are two main types of extrusion: blown and cast. Blown film is cooled much slower so that the particles in the film align in all directions so that the film “cures” and becomes very strong. Although this yields a stronger film, this process is much more time consuming than a cast film process, so it’s significantly more expensive. Blown film also had a great quality of only having cling on one side of the film — handy if you have light pallets that might touch during transit (no one wants to have their pallets stuck together when they arrive at the destination!). Blown films are also a bit cloudy, and very loud when they’re unwound.
Cast films were cooled much faster, so the particles would only align linearly, which resulted in a weaker film. But they were usually very clear and quiet to unwind. Also, cling properties were on both sides of the film. Since then, however, cast film has become the poster child for product innovation. Stretch wrap manufacturers have since eliminated almost all of the drawbacks of cast film, while maintaining all of the great properties it offers. Modern cast film is quiet, clear, single-sided cling, strong, and light. What’s not to like? Not only that, but they’re less costly since the manufacturing process takes less time than blown stretch wrap. And in the process of refining the process and product, they’ve also introduced a means by which you can, literally, stretch every penny out of your stretch wrap.
Modern cast stretch wrap offerings can withstand severely high stretch percentages. What this means is that between the time that the film unrolls and the time that it touches the pallet, it can stretch a LOT. This has a two-fold benefit. Not only does it mean that you can effectively get more stretch wrap off the the same roll of stretch wrap — a 1,500 foot roll can now easily yield 3,000 feet of pallet-feet or more! — but it also means that your stretch wrap maintains its elasticity better, thus keeping the load retaining force on your pallet higher for longer. This means that your pallet will be more securely contained for longer periods of time, resulting in less damaged or refused shipments.
If you haven’t made the switch to modern stretch wrap yet, now is the time. Your competitors are doing it, and they’re going to be able to provide more competitive prices as a result of saving real money on their packaging and shipping process. When it comes down to picking out the correct stretch wrap for your particular application, we’re here to help. Feel free to get in touch with us — we’ve been doing this for nearly 50 years, so we’ve got the experience to make sure you’re getting the right product. Go ahead, send us an email at http://packaging-central.com/shop/contact and give us a challenge! We’ll surprise you with our knowledge!