The Containment Force Awakens Part 2

 Welcome back to our saga on Containment Force…

We left off with this important question: How will you know whether or not the standards you’ve set using Stretch Tools’ recommendations are being adhered to or not?

Much like secret plans exposing faulty exhaust vents, the HiLIFE System will give you A New Hope when it comes to knowing about system performance, as well as measuring the parameters that make a difference in the safety and economics of your loads, including Applied Stretch, which is the most accurate way to determine your Containment Force. Forget what you thought you know about measuring pre-stretch only.

As a famous Jedi Packaging Master once said:

yoda containment force
As the Packaging Masters know, measuring pre-stretch only doesn’t factor in relaxation, post stretch, or slippage. Applied Stretch, as measured with HiLIFE, is the only way to ensure accuracy in your wrapping.

You’ve now completed your training – you’ve learned to utilize the wisdom from Stretch Tools to provide you with your Containment Force. You’ve acquired your weapon, the tool you’ll use to combat poor containment by data acquisition, and you’ve been guided under the Master, HiLIFE, to monitor performance and maintain your standards.

You are no longer a Packaging Padawan, but a Packaging Master.

With these components working in harmony, you will ensure the balance of Containment Force, and ultimately the reduction in damage, and the savings on film.

The Dark Side of Packaging – damaged product, wasted time, wasted money – will not prevail so long as you stay at the ready with your knowledge, and there will be peace in the galaxy warehouse.

jedi containment force

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The Containment Force Awakens, Part 1

star wars highlight intro
The need for the Force has been reawakened….

containment force awakens

All too often, Containment Force is either looked over as unimportant, or the Force is not properly balanced or calculated, and load failures occur.

CONTAINMENT is KEY. Accuracy and repeatability is required when determining it, but how are you supposed to know what is right for your loads, and how are you supposed to achieve a balanced Force and reduced damage?

Balanced Force
Manual systems rely on operators to perform tests and determine Containment, but operators can influence tests, either purposefully or accidentally.

Highlight has the solution: our line of film testing equipment, along with the technology in our Stretch Tools App, will help you Master the Force and get you well on your way to proper load Containment, damage reduction, and film savings.

Starting with the Stretch Tools App, the inner strength of Highlight’s packaging knowledge. You could say that the knowledge from Stretch Tools is what allows us to be one with the Containment Force….
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Stretch Tools contains powerful and easy to use tools based on over 30 years of research and experience. With the power at your fingertips, you can calculate the proper Containment Force for individual styles of loads, and determine how much film will be used on that load, the cost to wrap, and much more.

The most effective and efficient way to understand containment is to understand how the film’s forces are applied to your load. You’re still a padawan learner, but even padawans need weapons.

Highlight’s Portable Film Force System is your lightsaber; portable and wieldable, the PFFS will take operator influence out of the equation, providing you with real time data on Containment Force as well as puncture resistance on your wrapped loads. It can, and should go with you everywhere you go. The PFFS is the best tool to collect data on your loads, and ultimately combat poor Containment.

glowing pffs

But how can you ensure that even after you measure your load’s Containment, your machine keeps up with the standards set and tested, day after day, year after year?

Image result for to be continued

 

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Highlight’s Freedom Automatic – Built to Last

Highlight Industries recently visited a customer to talk about adding a new high speed automatic wrapper to their packaging line.

They currently have two of Highlight’s Freedom 6500 automatic rotary arm stretch wrap systems, built in 1996 – 21 years ago!

They also have a 1 year old non-Highlight high speed automatic, which they are not pleased with – and looking to replace.

During Highlight’s visit, we evaluated the machines and came up with some numbers that help illustrate how Highlight machines are built to last:

Between the two old Highlights, one had run 661,000 cycles and the second had run 857,000 cycles.

The second Freedom’s carriage traveled a total distance of 35,600 miles, which is far enough to go around the earth 1.43 times!

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Both Highlight machines are still running well, and with a little service, which our distributor is planning to do, they should keep running for many more years.

To add to the customer’s army of  Freedom machines, Highlight is quoting that same robust technology that can circle the earth, and we’re also talking about adding the HiLIFE system, which is the latest technology from Highlight to monitor your system and load performance.

So we’re crossing over from the past to the future, keeping what works and improving it with state-of-the-art technology.

Highlight has countless success stories like this one – machines proving themselves time and time again, running for years, and putting customers at ease about their product protection. This is just another example of Highlight’s heavy duty equipment.

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SHOULD YOU GIVE YOUR CUSTOMER THE FINGER?

At Highlight Industries we have incorporated the Film Finger into many of our solutions.

 

film finger

This is easy when the customer is buying a new Highlight Industries machine, but what if the customer has settled on a lesser quality unit from another manufacturer?  Fret not Mr. Customer, in the words of the immortal Mighty Mouse,” Here I come to save the day!

 

Per the Mighty Mouse theme, “when there is a wrong to right” we can provide you with a magnetic film finger that will allow for testing and easily mount to any steel part on the machine. 

 

This means that if you are experiencing film breaks or want some reinforcement of the film to keep tear and propagation from occurring, these fingers can easily mount to your machine.

magnetic film finger

 

So if you have purchased or are purchasing a machine, you can be assured that like our caped hero, “We got the situation well in hand” Learn more about film finger by clicking HERE!

Don’t Buy A Stupid Stretch Wrapper 4: YOU ARE IN CONTROL

So, you have taken the necessary steps, but how do you know nothing will change with your new method?

Lets review the steps taken so far.  You have DEFINED the problem and admitted that you could be better at wrapping.

We walked through MEASURING your current methods to establish a baseline.  Additionally you used the ISTA to ASTM methods to ANALYZE your systems.

Then you IMPROVED your methods (and hopefully wrote the specifications for your packaging).

Now to CONTROL the changes.  There are several methods to verify that the settings of the machine are maintained.  They could range from on board monitoring systems, to cut and weighs, to continued containment testing.

The theory of all is that by wrapping consistently you will utilize the same amount of film on identical pallets.  By incorporating any of the methods into a customer’s PM routine, you will use consistency as your control.

control excellence

Lets expand on the various methods of measuring and how they work: The first is ON BOARD MONITORING.  This system will measure film as it’s applied to the load and report back to the customer via close based servers.  This is the best and most accurate method as it will allow customers to view the data in multiple ways.  It could be linear footage, amount of stretch, cost per load…..the list goes on and on.

The second method is the STRETCH FILM CUT AND WEIGH TEST.  The principle here is the same, but the control is the weight of the film.  You purchase film by the roll, but the resins that make the film are actually sold by the pound.  Using weight is an excellent method to verify cost per load and consistency of wrap.

The last method is CONTAINMENT.  This method is also very accurate as every revolution of film on a pallet will increase the containment force.  By measuring containment, you can verify that your wrapper settings have remained set to specifications.

The last method that can be used is a visual inspection of machine settings; but know that if there has been a film change, or as the machine wears, it will become inconsistent in performance. Different films stretch at different forces; putting on a softer film but leaving the machine at the same mechanical settings will increase film yield but decrease containment force.  Wear, well that speaks for itself, all things eventually wear.  The more play in your roll carriage bearings, the more film can slip through your roll carriage costing you money.  As a side note, this is also an issue with some film monitoring systems.  Because of how film is measured, they cannot account for slip.

Well, that wraps up our “Don’t Buy a Stupid Stretch Wrapper” series.  I hope that you enjoyed it and feel slightly smarter than you did prior to reading this.

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DBASSW Bonus: The Magnetic Film Finger

We interrupt your regularly scheduled program to bring you this important announcement from our sponsor: HIGHLIGHT INDUSTRIES.

So you have been trucking along reading about how to improve your pallet wrapping and now a commercial, no fast forwarding through this like its on your DVR.  This is that infomercial that may actually help you, so don’t consider this a commercial, think of it as sponsored learning.

While we spent time talking about the method of adjusting your machine, there are some additional tools that you may want to make note of.  Since I try to have some fun while writing bear with me while I channel my inner Ron Popeil.

I’m not going to paddle a screen door bottomed canoe around a lake that has been sprayed with a new tangled sealant, or spray paint my head yet, but wait, there’s more!

From the inventor who brought you such great things like Dual Powered Hydro-Stretch, Revolver Wrappers, Synergy Wrappers and everyone’s favorite the Predator Wrapping Family, we have the revolutionary new craze that is taking stretch wrapping by storm:  The Highlight Industries  Magnetic Film Finger, for when dialing in your containment force is too difficult to do because you just cant seem to get enough force without breaking the film!  Magnetic Film Fingers (MFF) are not made of space age materials and are not coated with impregnable Peruvian Yak Hair to limit wear.

film finger

But they are easy to use and their benefit is unmatched.  Mounting to most steel, they can be positioned on roll carriages and bases to provide a small roll of film which is more resistant to tear and propagation.  It’s simple, place the film finger in a position on your machine which allows for the roles end to fold the edge of the film over on itself.

 Seeing is believing, so watch below to see the MFF in action:

 

And watch here to see the MFF used as a bottom roper:

Also know that after your testing is complete, Highlight Industries can provide you a set of adjustable permanent fingers for some styles of machine. Machine sold separately.

 

We now return you to your regularly scheduled Blog.

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DBASSW Part 3: Improving your Method

Improving you method.

Are you having shipping damage?  Most everyone does, so if you answered no to the question: Congratulations! You are an exception, or perhaps ignorance is bliss.  Perhaps you should be filling the blogosphere with your wisdom…..or you can continue reading.

So now you are armed and dangerous with your Test Kit and you have the Highlight Stretch Tools Application on your Mobile Device.  Now what?  Well, you may ask yourself: “Self, this is great information but how do I use it?”

From here on it it may get challenging, but hey, you are up to the task! You already have shown a willingness to learn by reading our Blog!  Compare your containment test numbers to the numbers from the Highlight Stretch Tools App, Do they match?  In most cases, they do not.  I would guess that the Stretch Tools App has given you a higher number than you recorded using the ASTM D-4649-03 Annex A1 approach .  That is okay, we can fix that.  If the Stretch Tools App has given you a lower number than you record, great.  Again, you may be an exception but also know that you could improve also.  In fact, you may have too much film on your product and there could be a savings to be had here.

uneven-film-application

In both cases you can modify your wrap patterns (number of top and bottom wraps or the amount of film overlapping itself going up and down and turntable speed) and wrap force (the film force dial on the machine that makes the film loose or tight).

By adjusting these settings you will dial in your machine to match the Stretch Tools App.  There is some art to it but stick with it, you are about to become your company expert.  After you make a change, wrap a pallet, measure using the ASTM method and tools and see where you are against the ISTA (Highlight Stretch Tools App).  Once you are dialed in on your machine you are on the path to damage reduction or film savings!

Here’s a novel idea, write up your company’s packaging specifications based upon your findings.

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Don’t Buy a Stupid Stretch Wrapper: 2

ESTABLISHING YOUR BASELINE IN STRETCH WRAPPING.

In part 2 we are going to talk about establishing a baseline. Perhaps you have heard some of these statements: “Without Data you are just another person with an opinion” – Dr. Deming.dr deming stretch wrap

Or the words of Lord Kelvin, “If you cant measure it, you cant improve it.”
kelvin stretch wrap

First, lets define containment force with regards to pallet stretch wrapping. When you wrap your pallet with stretch film, you have the decision of how much force you want that film to squeeze your pallet with. You can wrap the pallet very loosely, which will allow for only a dust cover, or you can really pull the film tightly. The pressure that the film applies to the pallet is containment force.

Read more about containment force and stretch film properties HERE.

Unlike others who design special tools to measure containment, Highlight Industries conforms to ASTM D4649-03 Annex A1. This is a documented and repeatable method to measure containment on your pallets. (Please note that we also offer tools to allow you to measure your containment).

You may ask yourself, “Self, why would I want to use this method instead of others who may incorporate a cool gadget?”

The answer is simple: Highlight Industries helps you develop your packaging standards. Isn’t it important to have a nationally recognized living document that is available to provide your customers on exactly what you have done? Instead of them having to buy custom measuring tools that may not be clearly documented in their methodology, and could also allow for user variances.

For more information and tools to help you measure your containment, please contact Highlight Industries. Tune into the same Bat Channel and at the same Bat Time to read Part 3 of our Series….Improving your methods.

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Don’t Buy A Stupid Stretch Wrapper

Don’t buy a stupid stretch wrapper (from a stupid stretch wrapper company)!
Part 1

They all go round and round round and up and down right?
Wrong!

How you stretch wrap your pallets will make or break your customer’s relationship with their customer, and ultimately their relationship with you!

Image result for business relationships

At Highlight Industries, we pride ourselves in taking a scientific approach to stretch wrapping pallets. Over the years, salespeople have all been trained that if pallets fail, the solution is to put more wrap on the pallet. Maybe more at the top, maybe more at the bottom; perhaps, eliminate the vibration in the middle. uneven stretch film application

This ‘solution’ can be inconsistent, inefficient, and potentially costly. There has never been a “this is how you do it” fix… until now.

Introducing the Highlight Industries stretch tools App!

Among other things, such as a mil to gauge convertor, diagonal calculator, 20 vs 30 film comparison, cost to wrap, etc,  the Stretch Tools App has a containment force calculator.

containment force calcuation

You may ask yourself, “self, what does that do?” The answer is: Highlight Industries Containment Force Calculator will take important criteria (load value, dimensions, distance to be shipped, etc) and deliver an estimated containment requirement (the force that provides to hold your products in place), as well as the estimated amount of film that should be used to wrap the load and achieve this containment requirement.

Containment force

The Stretch Tools App eliminates the guess work when wrapping. You’ll always have the correct amount of film to keep your products safe; not so little that it falls apart, and not so much that you’ll be wasting money over-wrapping.

This app is available in Apple and Android versions.

So while other companies try to tell you the importance of containment, Highlight Industries shows you the amount required……very smart!

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Elastic Properties of Stretch Film

Stretch film does not get tighter over time.

When an elastic material is deformed due to an external force (example: your hands stretching a rubber band, stretching film), it experiences internal forces that oppose the deformation and restore it to its original state (the rubber band ‘pushing’ back after you slack on stretching it, film ‘relaxing’)  if the external force is no longer applied.

elastic rubber band

 

This is elastic recovery. Elastic recovery exudes constant pressure until the original state of the elastic item is attained.

This pressure is what keeps items tightly bound when it comes to stretch wrapping loads (or binding items with rubber bands). This ability to tightly bind pallets and products is why stretch film is such an effective packaging option.

This constant pressure also means that constant force is also being applied to whatever is halting full elastic recovery.

As seen with tests run on Highlight’s Film Test Stand: Labview Document

If that force is great enough, when applied over time, it can crush particles in items such as boxes, containers, and even watermelons. In the case of stretch wrapping, this is why pre-stretch levels, film force, and containment force are so important: you want enough force to contain your products, but not so much that you damage them.

Crushed load

 

Stretch film (and rubber bands) do not get tighter over time – it is the recovery of the elastic properties that create pressure and force necessary to contain loads. And if the force is too great, this pressure can also crush melons.

 

 

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