Part 2: Breaking Down the Different Types of Automatic Stretch Wrapper Machines

Last week on the blog, we broke down two of the common automatic stretch wrapper machines: conveyorized rotary arm and turntable machines. Rotary arms and tables represent the more conventional types of stretch wrapping technology. In this post, we will touch on another traditional category, non-conveyorized automatics and also introduce rotary ring automatics, which make up newer technology within the stretch wrapping industry.

Non-Conveyorized Automatics

The main difference between a non-conveyorized and a conveyorized automatic is how the load is brought to the wrapping machine. With a non-conveyorized automatic machine, a forklift brings the load to the machine and takes it away, while a conveyorized automatic is brought to the machine by way of the attached conveyor.

For a non-conveyorized automatic, a forklift operator does not need to get off the forklift after placing the pallet on the stretch wrapper table. The operator only needs to place the load on the table and pull a cord that activates the machine.

Let’s look at three non-conveyorized Phoenix Wrapper machines:

PLPA-2150

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The PLPA-2150 automatic stretch wrapper is designed for heavy loads. Most commonly, the PLPA is used in conjunction with pallet jacks and either an attached ramp or operated forklift. Since the machine is lower to the ground, an operator can run a load up the ramp and onto the turntable. It was built with durable components to withstand loads of up to 5,000 pounds and 52” X 52” in capacity. The PLPA-2150 is also known for its speed with the ability to wrap 40 loads per hour. While this product can be used as a stationary wrapping station, the PLPA-2150 is portable, providing the option to easily move it about the warehouse.

PHPA 2150

automatic stretch wrapper

The PHPA-2150 has a handful of similar features as the PLPA-2150. The machine runs at the same weight, size capacity and speed of 5,000 pounds, 52” X 52”, and 40 loads per hour. Similar to the PLPA-2150, the PHPA 2150 is easy to move amongst your warehouse. Where the PHPA-2150 differs from the PLPA-2150 is the turntable. The turntable, shaped like an octagon, is 48” in diameter with 7x high capacity table support caster bearings. A PHPA is designed specifically for forklift use. Compared to the PLPA, the table is higher up allowing for a forklift operator to clearly see the table for depositing the load. Accuracy in load positioning is not as much a factor as with a PLPA for the forklift operator. You can see the PHPA-2150 in action below:

PRTL – 2150A

automatic stretch wrapper

The most affordable machine for moving unstable and heavy loads, the PRTL-2150A is meant for unstable or very heavy loads where production rates require automatic capacity. As the loads sit on the plant floor, the machine has no limitations in the weight it can hold and is able to wrap 30 loads per hour. While the system is perfect for any wrapping application, it is most know for wrapping unstable loads that could fall apart on a turntable machine. The rugged all structural steel helps maintain durability, and the HSS tubing provides a strong but light-weight arm that minimizes the driving forces required to rotate the arm.

Rotary Ring Automatics

There is one deficiency in the conventional wrapping process which is causing a strong wave of change in the industry. Overall, the mechanical design of stretch wrapping equipment has not changed over the last forty years. Specifically, turntable and rotary arm technology has remained the same. The costly drawback to this old technology is that the clamp and cutting system are in a fixed location on the conveyor. This means that when the carriage moves to the top of the load to start a wrap cycle, it dispenses wasted film as it moves to get there. The 2 (or more) extra revolutions of film provide little value except to increase cost, waste, and wrapping time. The photo below shows the minimum revolutions eliminated compared to standard automatic wrappers:

The new technology of rotary ring machines are beginning to replace conventional arm and table wrappers. Rotary ring machines do not apply these wasted revolutions of film as the clamp and cut mechanism moves with the carriage. This simple difference results in tens of thousands of dollars in film savings, while allowing for faster and customized wrapping cycles.

Although patent issues prevented the widespread use of ring technology in North America, overwhelming dominance by rotary ring technology happened 20 years ago in Europe. Today, rotary ring wrappers have effectively replaced the old conventional rotary arm and turntable automatic machines in Europe, and now North America is rapidly switching out old turntables and arm machines with rotary ring machines to take advantage of the same benefits.

PRRA-2100

automatic stretch wrapper

The PRRA-2100 rotary ring wrapper starts at the bottom of a load and finishes at the top without having to return back down to the clamp fixed at the conveyor. The act of not needing to apply wasted film at the beginning of a cycle like conventional wrappers do results in saving an extra 30 or more feet of stretch film which helps save thousands of dollars over the course of a year. You can start and stop your wrapping cycle anywhere on the load. The film carriage is supported and rotated using a 96” diameter ring. The carriage is the only part of the PRRA rotating which decreases the stress and strain on the equipment and allows for more than double that of most conventional wrappers. The PRRA-2100 is the equipment of choice in full time wrapping applications that are 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

In addition to tens of thousands of dollars in potential film savings, the PRRA-2100 moves at a 21 RPM wrapping speed and holds the following pallet sizes:

  • 48” X 50” L Max Pallet Size 80” H
  • 36”X 36” Minimum Pallet Size 24”H

PRRA-4000

automatic stretch wrapper

The PRRA-4000 is the next level rotary ring automatic that can help increase stretch wrapping productivity. The 40 RPM wrapping speed results in 120+ loads per hour. The PRRA-4000 also has the film saving benefit of the PRRA-2100 and holds the following pallet sizes:

  • 48” X 50” L Max Pallet Size 80” H
  • 36”X 36” Minimum Pallet Size 24”H

Watch the video below to see the PRRA-4000 in action:

Final Thoughts

Rotary ring technology gives you solutions to old stretch wrapping issues that conventional wrappers do not solve. In a future blog post, we will provide examples of how rotary ring technology is used not only to speed up production and save stretch film, but how being able to start and stop the wrapping anywhere on a load can solve other packaging issues.

We hope you enjoyed our two part blog post breaking down of the Phoenix stretch wrapping product line. We touched on both conveyorized and non-conveyorized automatics in addition to newer stretch wrapping technology in the rotary ring automatics. If interested, request a quote here. If you missed Part 1, read it here.

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