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f+h Intralogistics 4/2015

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f+h Intralogistics 4/2015

PACKAGING TECHNOLOGY A

PACKAGING TECHNOLOGY A comparison of “wrapping”, “shrinking” and “stretching” packaging technologies For many companies, packaging of palletized goods is a decisive competitive factor. This is especially true in matters of transport safety, protection against theft or weather conditions for outdoor storage. Process efficiency and lower costs are also decisive factors in this connection. When choosing a suitable packaging process, a uniform approach is important. 34 f+h Intralogistics 4/2015

PACKAGING TECHNOLOGY Palletizing and packaging play a special role in ensuring that goods from many different sectors – the chemical industry, construction materials or food production – reach end customers and dealers in the best possible condition. If the necessary stability is not provided, sharp braking or a sudden steering maneuver could cause goods like glass, stone or brick that are stacked on truck cargo beds to comes loose and be broken. Depending on the product, this can entail considerable costs. Materials such as cement, flour or cocoa powder need to be protected during transport and storage, especially against the effects of weather and moisture. Depending on the transport material or type of container, three processes are available: the shrinkwrap, stretch-wrap and stretch-hood processes. Logistics specialists should know the most economical and ecologically sustainable processes for their tasks. Beumer Group GmbH & Co. KG with headquarters in Beckum, Germany has systems and plants in its product range for each of the pallet packaging processes above. Efficient packaging with shrink-wrap film The film packaging process for pallets was developed in the mid 1960s by a German chemical producer. It was based on shrinkwrap film, which is produced as a sleeve in blow mold extruders with ring nozzles, then further processed to become a hood or slit open to become a flat film. Hot air heats it up to the melting softening point as it shrinks. During this process the film is pulled together, fits itself exactly to the contours of the palletized goods and tenses as it hardens to help secure the load in place. The heat needed for the shrink-wrapping process is generated by the packaging system either electrically or with gas. If necessary the pallet can be packed so that the pallet foot remains free for the fork of the industrial truck. That makes it possible to store the load carrier in high-bay racks as well. It is also possible to guide the film through the pallet foot. The shrink-wrap process is suitable especially for products that are sensitive to permanently elastic package stacking processes, for example glass. Appropriately packed goods are reliably protected for outdoor storage against weather conditions such as snow, rain, UV radiation, dust and insects. Because the film becomes opaque due to the shrinking process, however, the products or barcodes printed on them are difficult to recognize. Another disadvantage is that polyethylene (PE) bags can weld together with the plastic of the packaging film. Due to the effects of heat, this results in a fire hazard. Convenient, but with high material consumption About ten years after the introduction of shrink-wrap film, an American crude oil Comparison of packaging processes production and chemical company developed the ingredients for stretchable film. The stretch-wrap process was created. Because the initial capital expenditure in machines is less expensive compared to shrink or hood-stretch systems, this solution remains one of the most popular today for many companies in different industries in terms of packaging processes. Consumption of stretch-wrap film for pallet packaging in Europe alone is estimated at 1.4 million metric tons a year. Because the process Stretch-wrap Shrink hood Stretch hood Display effect × √ √ √ √ √ Rack storage packaging √ √ √ √ √ √ Pallet foot packaging (understretch) × √ √ √ √ √ Scanning coding × √ √ √ √ √ Reduced energy consumption √ √ √ × √ √ √ Reduced risk of fire √ √ √ × √ √ √ Reduced film consumption √ √ √ √ √ √ Weather protection √ √ √ √ √ √ √ Product stabilization of hard goods (stones, etc.) √ √ √ √ √ √ √ Product stabilization of bagged goods (powder, etc.) √ √ √ √ √ √ Product stabilization of new glass × √ √ √ √ Handling / change cycles √ √ √ √ √ √ √ × = Process is unsuitable √= Process is suitable √√= Process is good √√√= Process is ideal f+h Intralogistics 4/2015 35

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