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f+h Intralogistics 4/2015

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f+h Intralogistics 4/2015

PACKAGING TECHNOLOGY

PACKAGING TECHNOLOGY requires a lot of material, however, users have to change film rollers frequently. For this reason, stretch-wrap is suitable mainly for small production output. Stretch-wrap film is stretchable. That’s how it solidifies for packing palletized goods. But the process applies only slight vertical tensioning to the load This is what provides the actual holding force against transport stresses. However, the process is unsuitable for heavy goods or materials with sharp edges, such as stones or bricks. Another disadvantage: To protect products against weather conditions and moisture, the user must secure the load with additional layers of film. Because the film overlaps, it is not possible to achieve a good display effect or clearly recognize the barcodes on the goods under the film. Because the film is wrapped, it cannot be printed on. Dirt particles are attracted due to the 36 f+h Intralogistics 4/2015

PACKAGING TECHNOLOGY adhesive properties of the film so there is a risk of a dust layer forming on products during extended storage. In addition, load carriers formed with stretch-wrapping provide no protection against theft. Unauthorized persons can remove goods from the pallet without destroying the film. Another problem is caused by protruding film remnants. In automatically operated logistics centers, they can interfere with the sensor systems for conveyor technology or racking storage and retrieval vehicles. This results in frequent error messages. Because of the many setting parameters, it is also not possible to calculate the amount of film required exactly. Stretch hood for transport safety Stretch-hood technology is a combination of the film-hood and stretch-wrap processes. Beumer installed the first system in Belgium in 1988. However, the breakthrough for this pallet packaging process did not come until about 15 years later. Improved raw materials made it possible to increase the quality of the film significantly. Like shrink-wrap, stretch film fits any product stacked on a pallet as it shrinks. And just as with wrapping, the film stretches and solidifies the material with horizontal restoring forces. This process therefore provides a high level of load stability. The packaging film does not stick together with the product during the process. The pallet can be packed either so it can be stored in a high-bay warehouse or with understretch. The smooth and hole-free surface of the film gives a clear view of the packed goods. This achieves an excellent display effect for on-site sales. Barcodes located on goods can also be recognized. The film that is used is recyclable and is also not heated during the stretch-hood process. That reduces the risk of fire, increases operating safety and with it insurance premiums. For many applications in industry and for end consumer products, the stretch-hood process thus offers reliable protection for stacked goods against weather conditions, moisture, insects and UV radiation. Stretch process doubles throughput To remain competitive in the long term, companies should consider more than just total operating costs when making investment decisions. For this reason, the Beumer Group includes both economical and ecological as well as social aspects in considerations during development. This allows system operators to plan their capital expenditures strategically. For most companies, securing the load and protecting it against weather conditions are both critical factors in selecting the most suitable packaging process. Beumer employees have accordingly compared mainly the shrink-hood and stretch-hood processes against each other and concluded there is a clear cost advantage with the stretch process. As an example we took a palletized stack 1630 mm in height. Systems that pack palletized goods with shrink technology can process 35 to 70 pallets an hour. The thickness of the film is between 120 and 180 µm. The stretch hood process achieves almost twice the output with 100 to 120 pallets per hour. The film that is processed is also thinner, at 70 and 140 µm. Because the film stretches, the stretch hood process requires less material. Market prices in Germany were taken as the basis for the international comparison. In 2014 the market price for shrink-wrap film was 1.70 Euros per kg. The packaging costs for a film hood were about 1.02 Euros. At 300,000 pallets a year, the cost of film is therefore about 306,000 euros. For the stretch hood process, the current market price for film is somewhat higher at 1.90 euros per kilogram. To form a film hood, however, the required material costs only 57 eurocents. To process the same number of pallets in a year, there is a significant difference in costs of about 159,000 euros. The user can save about 52% on costs. The systems also differ in terms of energy needs. Gas consumption for shrinking averages about 2 kWh per pallet. The cost of the energy required to form a stretch hood is six eurocents. For the 300,000 pallets a year in our example, costs for the user are about 18,000 euros. Because the hood-stretch system works without gas and the costs for About Beumer power consumption of the two processes are nearly identical, the user saves these costs with the system from Beumer. Maintenance costs for the shrink process, especially with older machines, fluctuate between 2,000 and 8,000 euros a year. 4,000 euros was taken as the basis for calculations. The average costs determined for the stretch process come to between 1,000 and 3,000 euros a year. Taking 2,000 euros as the average, the user saves about 2,000 euros for maintenance measures. The stretch-hood process thus has lower annual costs for the operator here as well. The company has redesigned the proven packaging system from the ground up to create stretch hood A. As part of development, our employees analyzed various components and optimized them in terms of their function, arrangement and ergonomics. This includes for example intuitive menu guidance for the machine control unit with a soft-touch panel, an optimized, ergonomically designed workstation for the operator and gentle transport of the film material in the system with an innovative film conveyor system. The new system also has higher system capacity and requires less installation space. Photos: Beumer/processing: VFV Grafik www.beumergroup.com MULTIMEDIA CONTENT Internal video: Learn more about the achievement spectrum of the enterprise The Beumer Group is an international leader in the manufacture of intralogistics systems for conveying, loading, palletizing, packaging, sortation and distribution technology. Together with Crisplant a/s and Enexco Teknologies India Limited, the Beumer Group employs about 3,200 people and achieves an annual turnover of about €500 million. With its subsidiaries and sales agencies, the Beumer Group is present in many industries the world over. f+h Intralogistics 4/2015 37

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