What are the differences between a Semi-Automatic, Automatic & Fully-Automatic Pallet Wrapping Machine?
Semi-Automatic Pallet Wrapping Machines require you to attached the film to the pallet load before wrapping the pallet and cut the stretch once the pallet has been wrapped. These type of pallet wrapping machines suit a majority of warehouse with a low to medium amount of pallets to be wrapped per day. More automatic pallet wrapping machines are preferred by high volume pallet wrapping requires. Even though these machines are referred to as semi-automatic pallet wrappers, the Omni Machines have more automation options than any other on the market. With the unique ability to pre-set up to 32 user programs, our pallet wrapping machines can automatically adjust its wrapping setting for each pallet load. It can release the tension when it comes to the corner of the pallet to prevent the film tearing while still maximising stretch yield.
The ‘automatic’ pallet wrapping machines come with the same programming options as the semi-automatic and more. These machines will automatically attach the stretch film to the pallet and cut it off and seal it back at the end of each wrapping cycle. This machine can be controlled by either a remote, lanyard (usually hanging from the warehouse roof) or a mounted control button nearby you don’t need to get off the forklift. This system has an air device to blow the film tail up and ensure that no film is left dragging off the pallet. This feature is unique of the Omni Superplus pallet wrapping machines. Dragging film tails from the pallets of one of the biggest causes of poor pallet load containment as it gets caught on objects and loosens and unwraps the stretch film from the pallet. Click here to View Guide to Improving pallet load containment.
Fully Automatic Pallet Wrapping Machines are used to integrate into automatic conveyed packaging lines. This almost operator less pallet wrapping solution is the key to increase warehouse efficiency and reducing labour costs. Customised to suit each production lines individual specifications, there are endless options to have weighing systems, barcode readers, acoustic and light alerts and more. True to its name, this machines are ‘Fully Automatic’
Rack & Pinion System
The rack and pinion system on our machines are patent and therefore unique and far superior to others brands of machines. The most widely used method on standard machines is a belt driven mechanics which regularly need to be replaced due to wearing out and breaking contrasting with our maintenance free chain driven turn table. Our rack and pinion system was engineered with precision to ensure its an unbreakable and safe mechanical system. The gearbox is designed so its mechanically irreversible, as the carriage moves with the gearbox it cannot reverse. As a result, it is impossible for the carriage to fall down unless the shaft of the pinion breaks. To give further guarantee safety assurance, the shaft of pinion can bear 5 times the weight of the carriage so is an unbreakable design.
The term ‘neckdown’ refers to the width reduction of the film after being stretched. The molecules of the film are made to easily slide in the length direction, so when you pull the film you get an elongation but at the same time you also get a reduction of film thickness and band width. This means that the material to obtain the elongation is taken from the thickness of the film and the width of the band. If the film is stretched 50%, the yield of 1 meter of film will be 1.5 meters, reducing the film thickness as well as the width of the band from 50cm to 40cm.
The neckdown is usually higher when the film is pre-stretched but our unique rubber rollers grip and lines system has been designed to prevent the film from reducing its width while being pre-stretched. This pre-stretch system was developed to the reduce the thickness rather than reducing the band width while the film still remains at the necessary holding strength.
The Omni Euro Wrap, a state-of-the-art cast film, is fantastic because it has a stretch yield of over 400% which reduces its thickness to 3.5 microns without losing holding force and even the neckdown is higher than other films. The Omni Stretch films and the Omni Pallet Wrapping Machines have been engineered together to become the Perfect Pallet Wrapping Solution, reducing film usage per pallet wrapped by over 50%. After the film is pre-stretched, there is always a bit of secondary stretch or film tension left which can cause a slight neckdown. To minimise neckdown and maximise film yield without losing holding force, the automatic programming can increase and decrease the film tension for the necessary position on the pallet. This setting is often programmed to lower tension on sharp corners of the pallet to avoid puncturing the film. Adjustments are also necessary to have light tension for starting bottom wraps and then to increase the film tension for the remaining and the final bottom wraps for increased load stability. The flexibility of automatic tension adjustment programming is unique to Omni Pallet Wrapping machines and not available on the Siat SW2.
Load Cell System
Another one of the many distinctions of the Omni machines compared to the Siat machines is that Siat use a dance roll system in contrast to our load cell system. To prevent the problem of the acceleration, it can be either minimised or the reactiveness can be increased. The first option is preferred for the dancing roller system as when the roller moves, it is detected by a sensor and moves it forward. The more movement made, it causes a bigger signal to the sensor. The increase of film request makes the dancer roller move which increases the speed of the motor. The movement of the dancer roller compensates the delay of the motor. In other words, the dancer roller is a mechanical way to compensate a mistake in giving film.
The Omni machines rollers are mounted on a load cell that measures the pulling force from the pallet. As soon as the request of film from the pallet increases, the signal from the load cells increases as well and the motor goes faster. As a result of nothing in between our load cell system it makes it much faster than the speed of a dancer roller. Therefore, the dancing roller is needed to compensate a mistake, the load cell doesn’t make the mistake. To make our system even more reactive, we eliminated the gearbox, so the motor drives directly the roller.
Another unique advantage of our machines is that you can select the film tension by the control panel. With the dancer roller system, you can only make the dancer roller harder to move forward and this is usually done by a spring and a knob. Consequently, the dancer roller system is unable to set different wrapping tensions during the cycle.
The flexibility of tension adjustment programming enables wrapping unstable and light weight pallets with ease. Tests have proven that trying to wrap light weight products on a Siat machine, the pallet is pulled of the turn table as you are unable adjust tension correctly. In comparison to wrapping the same weight product on an Omni machine, due to its adjustable tensioning features the pallet is wrapped with no movement problem.