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Lantech Inc: Lantech reinvents stretch wrapping with new conveyorized straddle machine

Patent-pending technology gives users new options to improve load containment, reduce film consumption, and increase throughput.
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FILED IN:  Sustainability  > Strategy
     
It's a breakthrough that eliminates annoying stretch-film breaks – Lantech's new stretch wrapping system utilizes the company's patent-pending No-Film-Break technology to offer users a unique mix of choices to improve their bottom lines, including film-use reductions up to 50%, greater throughput and improved load containment. No-Film-Break technology is now available on Lantech's proven straddle platform for automatic, conveyorized stretch wrappers. The new machine is designed for in-line use with high-speed palletizers. It can handle a wide range of consumer goods and beverages shipped in display packs, or order-picked loads of highly mixed goods. Using No-Film-Break technology, wrapping is so gentle that the machine can wrap partial layers. The new machine is rated at 60-80 pallets per hour, and is available with a high-speed option for 80-100 pallets per hour.

"This is game-changing technology, with more bang for the buck than anything since the invention of stretch wrapping," said Product Manager William Caudill. "The NFB machine addresses two major industry drives: damage reduction and sustainable packaging. We can remove up to 50% of the stretch film normally needed, and still get same or better containment force on the load. Display packs and light loads can easily tolerate stretch wrapping now, because there's no pulling, crushing or deformation of the load during the process. Users can choose to improve their load containment with no increase in film use. They can choose to reduce packaging cost by down-gauging the film, without compromising containment. They can use fewer revolutions of film to increase throughput, without compromising containment. Or, they can blend these choices."
 
One key to the No-Film-Break process is metered film payout. The machine feeds layers of pre-stretched film onto the load, which then recover to produce the containment force. Containment force on the load can be optimized without displacing the load. The new NFB machine can wrap loads to 110 inches high, and includes Lantech's patented Pallet-Grip system, which locks the load to the pallet with a cable of film rolled into the bottom edge of the web.
 
The new machine uses 225 percent pre-stretch as standard. "From what we've observed in decades of film testing and experience, 225 percent is the sweet spot of film pre-stretch," said Caudill. "Certainly you can stretch the film to 300 percent, but film breaks will increase exponentially, or you end up using extra film on the load because thinner film can't produce the needed containment force. Our design goal was to consistently achieve optimum load containment with the least amount of film, not to achieve the highest level of pre-stretch, which is self-defeating."

Another unique feature introduced on the NFB machine is a new visual management system that provides detailed productivity reports to machine operators, floor managers or, via Ethernet, to a central monitoring system. Data tracked and charted include machine capacity vs. true utilization; stoppages for starvation, blockage or film break; loads wrapped per hour, shift, day, week and month; loads wrapped per roll of film and a host of other key metrics.

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