The customer’s pallet wrapper and top sheet applicator were a bottleneck for their operation and in peak season this was a limiting factor to the production output. Due to the fact they moved in to an old building in the 1990’s and had already outgrown it, they were looking for any solutions that could either free up space or improve throughput.
The customer runs a 24hr operation, 7 days a week, 364 days a year. The machinery was running flat out in terms of its capacity in terms of pallets per hour when we arrived! We had to be creative in terms of how to free up capacity during their busiest times.
Respack’s technician established that using the current pallet top sheet material and stretch film, meant we were having to stop the machine 86 times per week (4514 times per year) to change either the reels of top sheets or reels of stretch film. This took between 5–10 minutes depending on whether the operator was prepared for the stoppage or whether it was the stretch film or top sheet. If using 7 and a half minutes as an average stoppage time then this would lead to 11hrs a week in dead time where pallets were not flowing through the machine.
Both films were at their maximum diameter for the machine so the company couldn’t simply add more meters to each roll, so we came up with our last stretch film, Xpert™ that could do the same job of protecting the pallet but at a much lower thickness so the yield per roll would increase.
We ended up providing a combined solution that reduced the number of reel changes per week to 45, by using modern blends of polythene for the top sheets and our unique machine pallet wrap. We reduced our polythene packaging consumption by 53% and our overall costs by 16% but most importantly, it gave us 11 extra hours of extra production output per week where the pallets are now able to flow through the machine.