All posts by Kary

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
Canada
Mexico
England
Austria
Belgium
France
Germany
Italy
The Netherlands
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
Australia
China
Korea
Malaysia
Singapore
Turkey
Ukraine
Russia
And MORE!

worldwide

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!

 

 

 

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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!

LOAD DIAGONAL CALCULATOR

So you are sitting in high school math class studying the  Pythagorean theorem and wondering when am I ever going to use this……. the answer is: whenever you want to sell a stretch wrapper.  In determining how large of a turntable you will require for a particular pallet load, or if the pallet load will clear the machine while wrapping, we use Pythagorean theorem.

We all remember A squared + B squared = C squared.  Of course on your pallets, we do not have an A, B or C so think of it this way.  A = Length, B = Width and C=The load diagonal from one corner to the opposite through the middle of the pallet.  So lets do the math: In our example we will use a length of 48 (A) and a width of 42 (B) to find the diagonal (C).

In our example, it would look like this:

(48 x 48) + (42 x 42) = Diagonal Squared

2304 + 1764 = Diagonal Squared

4068 = Diagonal Squared

Take the square root of 4068, which equals 63.78.  Therefore 63.78 is the diagonal across the pallet and this is the number we would use to determine if the pallet is too large for the machine.

There is thankfully another way, load up the HLI Stretch tools and run the load diagonal program.  Simply put in your length and width and select calculate.  This will return 63.8, nothing could be easier.

load diagonal calculator

 

Download the Stretch Tools App for iPhone and iPad HERE

and for Android and Google Play devices HERE

Remember to contact us with any questions that you might have or any blogs that you might want to read in the future.  Just email us at answers@highlightindustries.com.com

HAPPY WRAPPING!

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Who is Navin R. Johnson?

If you, like me grew up in the late 70’ and early 80’s you should know.  No, he is not Highlight Industries Director of R&D, or some Silicon Valley Software Engineer.  He is the inventor of Opti-Grab, a fictitious glasses support system in the 1979 movie “The Jerk”.

Navin, like Highlight Industries, was always seeking a better mousetrap.  So what could “Highlight’s Opti-Grab” possibly be? Voyager! Voyager has the ability to determine containment force, analyze film strength, save multiple wrap patterns and track film performance all on a unique film delivery platform that is unmatched in the industry.  This allows for the machine to essentially correct itself regardless of how you try to “trip” it up with adjustments and film changes.  Scroll to the bottom of this page to learn even more.

But wait there is more…Remember this scene?

On their date, Navin tells Marie (Bernadette Peters), “This is the best Pizza in a Cup ever, this guy’s unbelievable. He ran the old Cup O’ Pizza guy out of business”.  We at Highlight Industries also have the best “Pizza in a Cup”, it is called HiLIFE.  HiLIFE is a film monitoring system to understand all the factors that determine a stretch wrappers efficiency and productivity.  Although many claim to have a comparable system, few can match the accuracy of our monitoring.  Don’t be fooled by the old “Cup O’ Pizza” guys telling you that they can do it all and with a high degree of accuracy.  Our “Pizza in in a Cup”  (Highlight Industries HiLIFE) is a combination advanced algorithms, hi-tech electronics and 35 years of software development.  In fact, most film manufacturers worldwide use Highlight Industries Film Test Stands to determine their film quality and performance characteristics.  Best yet,  HiLIFE is Cloud based so it can be monitored anywhere in the world.  Take our reporting for a test drive here!

We all know that The Jerk is a Rags to Riches to Rags story, but for us it was about writing something fun and hopefully entertaining…..and unlike the original opti-grab, you will not go cross eyed.

Remember, if you have a question about your system hit us up at: answers@highlightindustries.com

Happy Wrapping!

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Visit Highlight Industries at the Pack Expo Trade Show!

invites you to

HIGHLIGHT IS AT BOOTH C-3840

Register for FREE!

We’d love to have you visit Pack Expo at no cost! Here’s how:

• Click HERE to be taken to the PMMI Show Registration Page
• Click “REGISTER” and complete the registration process as an END USER
• Use Comp Code 19K95 at the end and your show registration fee will be waived!

We hope to see you there!

pack expo show prize

Highlight will be at Booth C-3840 with a variety of packaging equipment and technology – stop by and check out the solutions we have to offer!

If you can’t attend, be sure to check out our website and follow a live feed of Highlight’s events HERE and subscribe to this BLOG to receive an in-depth overview at the conclusion of the show!

Highlight vegas

How to handle a Machine Break-Down

Let’s talk machine break downs:

Kinda ironic that The Fixx sang One Thing Leads To Another, isn’t it?

It happens before you know it; not machine breaks, (which never happen at a good time) but you find yourself singing an 80’s diddy as you drive down the road and reminisce about days gone by. Just like when you took in you bright shiny machine and it ran like a clock. But like your body, with age and neglect, it breaks down.

What you cannot understand is how it has SO many things wrong with it (I’m talking the machine) when it ran so long so well (your body too).  It seems like yesterday that it was just in its prime.  Now your first daughter is married, the second is on deck and a third is in college (and your bank account reminds you of that fact daily). But I Digress.

You have your local service rep come in (factory trained of course) because you want the best for your diagnosis (still talking machine here).  They go through the examination and you are given a laundry list of items that are recommended to be replaced.  But it ran fine yesterday.

Leave it to the Fixx to provide the answer:

Just like with a twisted ankle, when you limp, you stress your good leg eventually causing a problem with that leg too.  What picks up the slack on your machine for its “twisted ankle”?

When machines become neglected, like your body, they break down.

Rest assured it will always be at a time that is best for you when it happens.  That is why at Highlight Industries we stress the importance of simple preventative maintenance on every machine (ours or not, stretch wrapper or not).  In the long run, you will save money.

This is also why Highlight offers the HiLIFE System – to help monitor your film, equipment, and operators and to alert you of any machine deterioration or abnormalities in its performance, as well as changes in settings or film. This allows you to perform less invasive maintenance on smaller issues, before they propagate into huge disasters.

Imagine if you had a system like that for your body… oh, the doctor visits it would save!

You can also schedule your downtime to make minor adjustments instead of having the machine break while your largest customer is waiting for a truckload of products.

Who would have known that the London based band formed in the late 70’s were such machinery visionaries?

Happy Wrapping, and remember: if you have a specific problem or question let our experts answer by emailing us at: answers@highlightindustries.com

Re-Thinking Non-Powered Pre-stretch Stretch Wrappers

For years people have argued that powered pre-stretch stretch wrappers are a must.  WHY?

It’s simple really, because that is what we were all trained on years ago to sell a higher priced machine.  We also told everyone that 80 gauge film was a down gauged product (of course back then it was).
Now, just because you would run a 70 or 80 gauge stretch film on a powered pre-stretch machine (and in many cases a much lower gauge) does not mean that what is good for the goose (powered pre-stretch machine) is good for the gander (non-powered pre-stretch machine/core brake machine).
Allow me to expand….First we must look at the machine types and determine how they work to get a basic understanding of the fundamentals.  To make it easy for me we will use a simple graphic of a bicycle.  As you can see below, each time you pedal with your legs, the sprocket labelled A will go one complete turn.  Because of the differential in the size of the sprockets between sprocket A and sprocket B, B will turn perhaps 2 times around.
Now lets apply these basics to a stretch wrap machine.

Powered Pre-Stretch:

  1. Our Legs are replaced by an electric motor
  2. So every time the motor turns sprocket A one time, sprocket B turns twice.
  3. NOW if each sprocket was attached to a roller that carried film, and they are the same size, for every rotation of sprocket A, B would turn twice which would create a stretch between the rollers of 100%.
  4. The force it requires to stretch the film is absorbed by the motor. Therefore with a POWERED PRE-STRETCH machine you can lay the film on loose like a dust cover, or so tight it either breaks the film or crushes the product being wrapped.

NON-Powered Pre-Stretch

  1. The film is pulled through the rollers and attached to the pallet to be wrapped.
  2. So every time the motor turns sprocket A one time, sprocket B turns twice
  3. In the above sprocket example, you will still get 100% stretch but not the pallet will rotate pulling the film out f the machine.
  4. The force it requires to stretch the film is absorbed by the PALLET OF PRODUCT.  Therefore with a NON-POWERED PRE-STRETCH machine you can only wrap pallets in film that have the stability to stay in-tact while forces are applied equal to what it takes to stretch the film.
  5. EXCEPTION TO THE RULE – Core brake technology does not use gears and sprockets to change the stretch, they incorporate a braking method on the roll carriage that will create resistance.  Changes to the brake tension will create changes in stretch.

DOES THAT MAKE SENSE?

Stated in a more simple manner, when utilizing a NON-Powered Pre-stretch system, all of the force is absorbed by the pallet of product.  Regardless of it is a geared system or a braking system, the force is applied to the load.
NOW LETS TALK THE OTHER PART OF THE EQUATION – FILM!
As you can imagine, if I have an 80 gauge film and a 45 gauge film, they will take different force to stretch them both the same amount.  As wise man has taught me over the years “There is no replacement for mass”, so it is most likely the 80 gauge will require more force to stretch 200% than a 45 gauge.  So what does that mean to you, the consumer?  You will get less containment with a 45 gauge film than an 80 gauge because it takes less force to stretch it to its maximum point of elongation, or it will break with less force than the 80 gauge.

NOW LET’S TIE IT ALL TOGETHER:

Because of what we just discussed regarding film and the types of stretch machines available, what is right for your Non-Powered Pre-Stretch machine?  Lets take the following items into consideration:

  1. What is the value of the load being wrapped?
  2. How far is it travelling?
  3. How is it being shipped?
  4. What is the weight of the pallet load being wrapped?
Now that you answered those questions, consider that if I wrap on a Powered Pre-stretch machine at 250%  (which is stretching the film from 10″ to 35″ before the film leaves the machine) I may start with an 80 gauge but it is a 30 gauge possibly as it is applied to the pallet (as the film thins while being stretched).With a Non-Powered Pre-Stretch it may only stretch it using a core brake (which will not allow for more force than the pallet can withstand without the film pulling the pallet load apart) that 80 gauge may only allow for me to stretch 30% (or 10″ to 13″).  This film would be applied on the pallet at a 70 gauge (as the film will thin as it stretches).

MY SOLUTION: Apply the 45 gauge so it stretches 125% (again, determined by the force you can apply without pulling your pallet load apart). All of the force is applied to the load giving you excellent containment force and as the film is thinned and applied it is probably in the area of the same thickness of the Powered Pre-Stretch applied film.

WHY DO THIS:  It all boils down to ROI (return on investment), if you are wrapping under 30 pallets a day, this is a very viable, justifiable process with tremendous labor savings and typically a great return on film as compared to hand wrapping.

QUESTIONS ABOUT POWERED VERSUS NON POWERED PRE-STRETCH? Ask answers@highlightindustries.com!

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Heat sealers on stretch wrappers grinds my gears!

Shouldn’t you handle the film correctly and NOT put that bandage on the open wound?

Image result for grinds my gears

Wait, how can that be?  Doesn’t Highlight Industries make heat sealers? The answer is: rarely.

Let’s pull back the curtain and show why they are not always needed with Highlight Industries machinery. 

Heat sealers are to seal the film to itself after the pallet has been wrapped.  Sounds simple enough right?  The rub for most is the two primary types of systems out there.  The first is a heated roller that rolls down the side of a pallet (on an automatic conveyor) and melts the film layers together.  The second is a heated tamp pad (typically mounted in the same position).

The problem:

  • Heated Roller : These in theory are great but the combination of heat and the roller make it hard to properly regulate the heat and hold the narrow band between not hot enough and too hot.  Additionally the roller is a high wear item so these have proven to be unreliable and a maintenance headache.
  • Heated Tamp : Although more stationary and fewer moving parts the problem is in transferring a pallet into the area and stopping it in order to heat your seal band.  Costly in throughput and almost equally as unreliable.

Intermission:

The Solution:

Highlight typically will offer you the following deal: if you try our system and feel as though you still need a heat sealer, we will provide it.  In years of building machines, we have built very few!   Go ahead and ask, WHY?

We incorporate Dual Powered Hydro Stretch (DPHS) systems into some of our machinery as our film stretch method (we’ll explain more on this below).  By stretching film at 200%, others will take the tacky film and stretch every 10” into 30” taking all of the tackiness of the film and spreading it out, making it ineffective of holding the film together and creating a film tail (which will impact any automatic handling devices in your production).

Highlight Industries DPHS will have complete control over the film and stretch percentage.  It is really quite simple…reducing or eliminating the stretch at the end of the pallet wrap process (for only a couple of feet of film) will not only reduce the amount of film breaks (we will expand on this in another blog) But it will also keep all of your tackiness together.  The end result is film tails that stay in place. 

Combine that with the wiping process as the pallet exits and you are set for the life of the pallet.  Now you are putting the film to work the way it was intended to be used when you bought it.

Do you have questions about film breaks or anything else? EMAIL ME HERE and we can discuss any breakage issues that you are experiencing.

Happy Wrapping!

 

 

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