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Stretch wrapper eliminates product damage in transit for metal fabricator

After replacing manual pallet wrapping with automated orbital wrapper, the shipping department became a one-person operation.

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Based in Lithonia, Ga., Southern Metalcraft is a full-service sheet metal fabrication shop founded in 1974. After recognizing excessive product damage in transit, the company replaced its manual pallet wrapping process with a fully automated orbital wrapper.

The shop was shipping more than 25 pallets of large, complex parts per week and reworking an average of one pallet per month at a cost of thousands of dollars over the year, according to president Greg Williams.

“With the manual wrapping, we just couldn’t get a secure wrap every time,” Williams says, noting steel banding and crates were often used for extra support. “As we grew, it became more important to address this and then I read about the orbital stretch wrapper.”

The new wrapper (TAB Industries) secures the load to its pallet by wrapping plastic film 360 degrees around and under the pallet to create a unitized pallet load that keeps the product in place despite the rigors of transportation throughout the supply chain.

The wrapper enables a single forklift driver to operate the machine at the press of a button without leaving the seat while the load stays raised on the forks. Williams says the 100-inch model—the largest of the standard models available—has turned a cumbersome, two-person job into a fast, easy one-person job.

“Our drivers are very happy with it,” he says. “We should have bought this a long time ago.”

Enjoying a sharp increase in business, the company has been able to handle packing and shipping nearly twice as many pallets per week since installing the wrapper and has dramatically reduced the use of crating and banding.

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Columns   Other   Productivity Solution   Warehouse   Packaging   Technology   Automation   Packaging Systems   Pallets   Stretchwrapping   TAB Industries   All topics

About the Author
Josh Bond, Senior Editor
Josh Bond is Senior Editor for Modern, and was formerly Modern’s lift truck columnist and associate editor. He has a degree in Journalism from Keene State College and has studied business management at Franklin Pierce University.
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