HiLIFE – Synergy Solutions

It may not be the meaning of the painting, but time feel like it is slipping away from you?

We have all been there, you are working later and later and still as you close your computer, there is a host of items still in your head that are now going to become tomorrow’s priority.  Meanwhile you spend more and more money wrapping your pallets due to not having the hours needed to confirm that you are doing things affordably and most importantly safely.

Highlight Industries has developed the Synergy Solutions to assist in creating your specifications.  It is a simple, yet proven,  4 step process that will allow you to take some things off of your plate.

Step 1 – Evaluate.  Look at what you are doing currently.  Survey the machine, film and pallet to determine what the problem area is.

Step 2 – Create.  This phase is the development of a recipe for your application.  How to wrap your loads (machine configuration), and what film to use, how to apply it and where to apply it to get the best wrapped load.

Step 3 – Test. Using the Highlight Industries Transportation Simulator we can determine if your would survive the journey intact and free of damage.

Step 4 –  Maintain.  Simply put, think of this as your safety net.  It will assure you that your set up is not changed, and should it be, you will be notified.  Additionally, it can make you aware of impending machine problems as a result of monitoring the process.  HiLIFE also features full reporting to provide your end users.

Best of all, using HiLIFE allows you to collect your pallet data and can provide tremendous usage, uptime and containment reports.

So stop worrying about your machinery and performance, go off to fight other windmills, Highlight Industries, using the Science of Stretch, has got you covered.

Until next time…Happy Wrapping.

The most mis-applied machine made – Case Erectors

There is no doubt that Case Erectors are a necessity to automating your business, but they are so often mis-applied. And to make matters worse, not even the person who sold them in most cases even knows that.  In their defense, after over 20 years of being trained by people who are “Industry Experts” in most cases they know no better.

Just a few months ago, I was standing in the exhibit hall at the PMMI 2017 Show in Las Vegas and having this conversation with multiple people.

Here is the typical conversation:

Customer: I need a case erector, do you make those?

Highlight Industries Rep (HLI): We do, tell me about the application.  How would you like to use it?

Customer: I want to make boxes.

HLI: I understand, how will the erector operate in your business?

This is where it gets really interesting because the conversation is going one of two ways at this point.

Option 1 Customer: I want to put it in my plant and make boxes that I will have stacked and delivered to my packaging area for shipping products to customers.

Option 2 Customer: I want to place it inline with my conveyor and use an on demand photo eye system to replenish the boxes that are being conveyed to my packaging area to ship product to my customer.

I want to handle these in reverse order if you will allow this indulgence.

HLI to Option 2 customer: Great response as you truly understand the benefit of a case erector and might I add at a level higher than most people who sell them.  Lets discuss how Highlight Industries can help you.

HOWEVER, the option 2 customer is rare because packaging sales people, the “Industry Experts”, have let them down and as mentioned above, have not provided the proper use of an automatic erector and explained its benefits.  In fact, the only level of expertise these types of sales people have is “Expert Order Takers”.

Now, HLI to the Option 1 Customer: Lets discuss the usage of the people and machinery.  You may invest $30,000+ on a new erector and place it in the corner of your plant and be happy with the results that you get having a person stack the 10 cases per minute that you may get at that price OR Consider putting that person to work incorporating a $5000 solution into your business.  Sure it will save you $25,000 of investment but, you can’t take it with you! The important part is that the person that you paid to stack the boxes is now able to semi-automatically erect boxes at a rate of approx. 15 cases per minute.  MEET THE 2300-BFF.

Lets examine the benefits of the BFF vs. the benefits of the regular Erector.

  • Benefit of the BFF
    -Starts at $4995
    -Runs ~15 cases / min
    -Easy to set up (15 Secs) and use
    -Available in a Random Version
  • Benefits of Erector
    -Who needs extra money anyway?
    -You will get about 10 cases so it will allow you to run your -investment longer increasing familiarity.
    -Your setup people and operators will feel very smart oncethey learn how operate the erector
    -Available in Semi Random for BIG $$$

So there you have it……keep the questions rolling in and we will do our best to keep the answers flowing back.  Email us at answers@highlightindustries.com.


Happy Wrapping…….and erecting!

Section 179: How YOU can save money!

New Tax Laws just made your job easier!

The Section 179 deduction has been increased for 2018!  This means you can deduct the full purchase price of new or used Highlight equipment from your gross income.  Check with your tax legal adviser on how this will affect your business.

You can review the potential benefits to your company at http://www.section179.org/


As always, we are looking to save you money and provide you value.  Keep sending us your questions at answers@highlightindustries.com.


Happy wrapping!

Year End: 2017

As we come to the year end, reflecting on 2017, it has been a year of change at Highlight Industries.

Just to mention a few:

• We continued to develop our testing lines and offer the easiest-to-operate Transportation Simulator in the industry.  Not to mention it’s measurement system is the most accurate.

HiLIFE continues to evolve as more customers embrace its reporting capabilities. Easily mounted to almost any machine with unparalleled accuracy in it reporting.

•Stretch Wrap Solutions continue to be provided by the truckload (pun intended) as we still build machines others run from.

• Several changes to our standard machines have made them an even better value.

• Highlight continues to rapidly grow in case sealing as you have embraced our case sealing line.

• We also added a new northeast sales manager who is based in New Hampshire. Make sure that you reach out to him if you are in the NE region and need an expert to review your application.  Email Matt: matthewp@highlightindustries.com


As we look towards 2018, it appears to be the Chinese calendar’s Year of Highlight.  You can expect to see  more great innovation, perhaps a new machine or two, and expanded machine types.  It will be a busy year for us as we continue to bring service and value to you.  Strap in, this is gonna be a fun ride!

Be safe through the holiday season and be sure to continue reaching out to answers@highlightindustries.com.

Happy Wrapping!

Go Green with Highlight!

We may not have a solution for Global Warming at Highlight Industries but we can play our role!

Recently I sat down with a customer and discussed what his goal is with a project that we were working.  In fact, below is a picture of my notepad from our meeting (I will ask you to look past my Doctor-esque penmanship).

This may not be prioritized but were the top 5 items that the customer stated he would take into account when making his purchasing decision outside of investment in the machine (which kind of rolls with ROI).

As we worked through the list, I wondered how my competition would address this green initiative.  In the past (pre-Highlight Industries days) I would talk about how stretching the film would save money and cut down on waste.  Great story, but there was no real way to put a number on it.  I say pre-Highlight Industries days because, at Highlight Industries, we have tools that accomplish just that.

As part of our commitment to our customers and the environment, we have not only developed machinery that is eco-friendly in many cases but we will work through your application with our ROI tool that will provide you more than just your ROI.  Below are just some snippets of what else we provide:


And last but certainly not least:

So Mr. or Mrs. (Ms.) Customer, there is a better provider of information out here.  Do not settle for the tired old one page flyer that is more focused on selling the machine for the manufacturer instead providing you clear cut information.  Allow Highlight Industries (the people who understand the “Science of Stretch”) to provide you more complete information that helps you make the right decision.

Give us a call at: 616.531.2464

Or contact us at Answers@hli.com

Happy Wrapping and Happy Holidays from our team at Highlight Industries!




Things that I am thankful for…..

Unless you live under a rock, you are aware of the Jimmy Fallon’s Thank You Notes bit on his late night TV show.  At this time of year, doesn’t it feel like everyone should be thinking of saying Thank You for something?

Below is a list of our Thank You cards I would write to the Highlight Industries Stretch Tools App (available in itunes or Google Play)

Thank you COST OF STRETCH FILM PER LOAD CALCULATOR for allowing me to stand with confidence in front of customers and tell then within seconds how much their wrapped pallet should cost them along with ounces per wrap, footage used, pallets per roll and net weight of roll.

Thank you CONTAINMENT FORCE CALCULATOR for actually giving me a start point for containment when my competition just says, “I don’t know, if it doesn’t work, put on more film”.  More is only better when you are talking about gaming on xbox apparently.

Thank you LOAD DIAGONAL CALCULATOR, you allow me to spec in turntable sizes even though I played euchre through High School Algebra and missed the Pythagorean Theorem.

Thank you STRETCH LEVEL CALCULATIONS for giving me 4 different ways to determine how much stretch is being applied to the load.  One is actually a “Smell Test”, what comes to your mind?

And you thought selling packaging was a tough job!

Thank you FILM THICKNESS CONVERSIONS.  It never fails that when I sit in front of customers they talk mils and I talk gauge, or millimeters to micron.  You allow us to speak the same language making life so much easier, and I do not look so silly singing the conversion song.

Thank you 20” vs 30” FILM COMPARISON.  I no longer have to work out the math myself to illustrate how it costs more money to run 30” vs 20” film…..then tie it into determining if the increased speed is worth that added cost.

Thank you FILM ROLL RELATED CALCULATIONS, well, for allowing me to run virtually any other calculation that I could possible run on a roll of film.

Lastly, Thank you Highlight Industries, for not only allowing my nonsense bi-weekly by giving me this forum, but allowing me to look so darn smart while working with my customers.  Thank you for the submissions to the Answers@HighlightIndustries.com email.  We promise to continue answering them all.  If it serves you best for us to reach out to you, follow this link to a simple contact form and we will reach out to you, or if you have specific project details you would like to share, follow this link to the Introductory Questionnaire.

Until next time, Thank You for reading our blog, to our partners and most of all, the Customers who have trusted us with their Projects!  On Behalf of the Employees of Highlight Industries it is an honor to serve you.

Happy Wrapping!




Lets talk about “The Sweet Spot”

Lets talk about “The Sweet Spot”

When you think about the “Sweet Spot” what do you think about?

Is it the spot that when you rub your dogs belly, he tries to start a motorcycle with his back leg? ….or is it that perfect dessert to complete a wonderful dinner?

At Highlight Industries, we see things differently.

Since development of the Stretch Film Test Stand

we have continued to learn about film, its characteristics and proper handling of the film while being stretched. Highlight Industries has also learned that film has a sweet spot. In fact, all films have a sweet spot and no two are the same, but they have some similarities.

On the Stretch Film Test Stand, one of our standard tests is the ultimate elongation test:sweet spot graph
In this test we will measure the force to stretch film.

This shows the force (in pounds) that is required to stretch the film (shown in percent stretch). We start with zero stretch, and as we dial up the stretch percentage, we measure the force. This provides a great deal of information, including a major contributing factor to load failures.

When reading the curve you will see a stretch (pun intended) where no more force was required to stretch the film a greater distance. We call that the necking region of the film, and it is very dangerous for pallets to be in this area. What that means is that while your pallet is being jostled in the back of a truck, the load is putting a force on the film therefore your pallets have the ability to stretch the film further. The result is pallets that are not contained properly.

By finding the point where a significant amount of force is required to get increased stretch (maybe looking for a slight incline) that is where the film is becoming stiff and is at its best for pallet containment. That is what we call the Sweet Spot.

Consider it the perfect storm of stretching film, where thickness, stretch and elasticity all meet to take your film and make it better!

Does your stretch wrapper put your film in its sweet spot? Do you know where your films Sweet Spot is?

Keep sending us your questions and we will continue to knock them down. Just email us at answers@highlightindustries.com

Until next time…Happy Wrapping!

Highlight Worldwide

At Highlight, we engineer and build equipment and film test systems that are utilized all over the world, including:

The continental United States
The Netherlands


That’s quite the range, if we say so!

From resin producers to film manufacturers, transportation testing labs to distribution facilities – Highlight’s technology is spread far and wide – and we’re not stopping there!

Highlight presents at a variety of conferences and symposiums around the world, such as the ExxonMobil Technology Symposium, the ISTA Transpack Forum, the AMI Conferences in Germany and in the United States, at DOW Chemical’s Materials University, and several others. We plan to continue to present and showcase the amazing technology Highlight is developing, and ensure the world has access to it.

Now you may be wondering how on earth we keep up on all of this equipment and ensure our service standards remain the same around the world as they are in our hometown.

Well, as we have lead the industry on film technology, the rest of the world has kindly kept up with communication technology! We have taken on several communication apps and programs so that we have the best systems available to video conference with our counterparts all over the world! Operators and specialists in all corners of the world can simply connect with us; then we have live images and video of the equipment in question so our own engineers, fabricators, electrical and technological specialists, and whoever else might be needed from our headquarters team, to direct and correct any issues that might arise.

Here is our IT Specialist at our headquarters, assisting with a Film Test Stand in Russia!

world wide service

By utilizing these growing technologies, we are able to make sure our equipment is serviced and maintained to the highest possible standard, while saving our customers time and money that would add up quick with an international service call.

If you have any questions regarding film testing, transportation simulation, or any of our technology or equipment, always give us a shout at answers@highlightindustries.com

20″ VS 30″ Film

Make sure that you understand the difference between 20 and 30!

We all know that there is a significant difference between 20 and 30.  What 20 vs 30 is really like…

It does not matter if you are talking years or stretch film, the difference can be astounding.  Thankfully Highlight Industries has the ability to help determine if 20” or 30″ film is right for you.

Using the Highlight Stretch tools App you can determine if the cost is worth the speed increase  Lets walk through the exercise.

Use these parameters:

Your pallet dimensions are 60” tall, 48” long, and 40” wide.

We would like to wrap up to the top, do 2 top wraps, then wrap down again (so in the “up only or up and down” input, enter 2) completing the cycle by with 2 bottom wraps. 3” overlap will be a good number to use in our example.

Press calculate and you will find that in this application we would recommend 20″ film as it a 9% savings compared to 30” film and will only require 4 revolutions more of the turntable.

20" vs 30" film

Since most semi-automatic turntables will rotate a maximum of 12 revolutions per minute, your speed increase is 20 seconds of wrapping time using 30” film per pallet.  20″ film will wrap in  75 seconds compared to 30” film wrapping in  55 seconds.

Why is there a savings on film?

When a photo eye senses the top of the pallet, it stops it upward travel.  Since the top of the film carriage (regardless of film width) stops at the same position, 30” film will add 10” of film more than 20” film to the body of the load.  This will then be repeated at the bottom wraps position.

So the next time you are looking at 20” film vs. 30” film do a time study (as you would always complete) but also take into account that there is more duplication and determine if the speed is worth the financial cost.

Remember – Keep your questions coming to answers@highlightindustries.com and we will keep writing our blog to provide solutions.

Happy Wrapping!







Pack Expo 2017 – All Wrapped Up!

That’s a wrap, folks!

PMMI Pack Expo has concluded for the year!

Highlight had a wonderful and productive time at the show, and we hope you did too!

Highlight’s “Highlights” included:

  • Showcasing our new Portable HiLIFE System – for film, equipment and operator monitoring (more details will follow! Stay tuned!)
  • Showing the Voyager System paired with the Stretch Tools App – your personal Packaging Engineers built in to your stretch wrapper, and your mobile device!
  • Collaborating and meeting with numerous suppliers and distributors to continue to improve and build on our service and support lines
  • Meeting with new companies and showcasing Highlight’s stretch wrapping and case sealing capabilities, and providing solutions to improve their current packaging methods
  • And much, much more!

We’d like to thank our amazing team here at Highlight for all of their work; from set-up/tear down, meeting coordination, working the booth and making sure each of our guests were well taken care of.

We’d also like to thank each and every one of our guests at the show – we truly appreciate the time you spent with us, and can’t wait to assist you further with your packaging needs!

If you’d like more information about what systems Highlight had at the show, as well as our technology, click HERE.

If you didn’t get a chance to stop by and exchange information, and you are interested in Highlight’s offerings, email us HERE.

From all of us at Highlight, thanks for a great show, and we’ll see you in Chicago in 2018!