Pallet wrappers are complex industrial tools, and like all factors that contribute to your business’s success, they should be cared for with stringent maintenance protocols. Ignoring this could lead to issues that will cost you time and money in the long run.
As with all machinery with many moving parts, maintenance can prevent avoidable costly repairs. It will also prevent you from having to stop your production for repairs, which would throw your warehouse’s workflow into chaos.
Maintenance should begin with ensuring those operating the machines check them every day before they use them. Here are some of the signs they should be looking out for:
- oil or fluid leaking
- tangled film
- dirt or debris on the rollers
Having given the machine a once-over, the operators can then start the pallet wrapping machine up. If they hear any unusual or concerning noises, the device needs to be shut down immediately. There may be a film stuck, or a part may be broken. Minor issues can usually be sorted out by checking the owner’s manual, but if you are unsure, call your installer to inspect the machine.
Here are other factors of working with pallet wrapping machines you need to keep an eye on to prevent breakdowns and maximise efficiency.
1. Use the Correct Film
Certain pallet wrapping machines require unstretched film, while others need pre-stretched film. Ensure you are using the appropriate material on your pallet wrapping machine. Using the incorrect type can lead to the film getting caught in the rollers or the wastage of wrap.
2. Check Package Weights
Overloading of pallet wrapping machines should be avoided. Specific devices are only designed to withstand a certain amount of weight. If the package is too heavy for the machine, it will overcompensate and dispense more wrap than is needed. Or it could break entirely.
3. Train Your Staff
Start by making sure every warehouse worker is given a copy of the equipment owner’s manual. A well-trained team will know their tasks and your expectations for maintaining a pallet wrapping machine. They are the ones operating the machines daily, so it’s essential they know the signs and issues to look out for. They also need to know the correct procedures for cleaning and shutting down the machine when they are finished using it. All of these steps will ensure the pallet wrapping machine lasts longer and needs fewer repairs.
How else can you look after your machinery and the health and safety of your staff? Let’s take a closer look:
Transporting Stretch Wrap Machines
When transporting stretch wrap machines, note that only forklift extensions that can handle the equipment’s weight should be used. You don’t want to risk it dropping and injuring someone in close proximity. Avoid pushing or sliding the machine across the floor, too, as this can damage the equipment.
Installing Stretch Wrap Machines
The company that supplies you with the machine is the best bet to help you install your stretch wrap machine. They will know the specific safety guidelines to follow during the installation process and ensure it is flat. They will also do checks to ensure the room temperature, and cleanliness of the air is optimised or adequate.
Safety of the Operators
Safety precautions are important to be mindful of when operating a stretch wrap machine. Here is some crucial advice:
- The operator should never walk in the space that lies between the mast and load when it is operating.
- The roll carriage should have a pressure-activated safety stop on the roll carriage.
- A cut and clamp device that is enclosed is critical to prevent injury.
- A device (anti-fall device) that is placed on the roll carriage will stop sudden drops of the roll carriage.
- Bumpers protect operators and others by shutting down the stretch wrapper if they come too close.
- The machine should be kept clean and free of debris at all times.
- Avoid using extension cords as they come with the risk of tripping and electrocution. Avoid the need for them by making sure your stretch wrap machine is installed close to an outlet.
- Keep the machine away from smoke and dust as airborne debris will interfere with its ability to function.
- It would be best to have the correct lighting because automatic stretch wrappers have a trigger motion device that has a photo-eye. If the lighting is too bright, the machine can malfunction.
The final tip is a simple one: power off the machine when it’s not in use. It’s a piece of heavy equipment, so it should be standard practice to ensure the stretch wrapper is powered off while not in use. It will save you in power usage, but more importantly, it will eliminate the risk of it starting up by mistake when someone is working in the area is nearby.