New stretch film? Here are 5 areas to watch.

Multiple standing rolls of stretch film

Stretch film is a simple product, yet it’s one that still gets reinvented. This makes the stretch film market dynamic and competitive. Facilities may decide to pick a new stretch film supplier to try a compelling, new product or to save money.

While changing to a new film reveals benefits, the decision also carries risks. “It’s not uncommon to discover issues that can cause thousands of dollars of waste and variations in containment,” says David Wasserman, Load Containment Specialist at Veritiv. “These variations can cause damage in transit, injury or, in a worst case scenario, a safety incident.” If you’re considering new film, keep these areas in mind to improve production efficiencies, reduce labor and material costs, and maximize uptime.

1. Breakage, damage and loss

With new film, there’s an opportunity for breakage as employees get comfortable working with the product. If new material is misapplied or damaged and then reapplied, companies lose money and time when the film is scrapped. For facilities focused on LEAN principles, reducing film breakage, damage and loss is even more important.

2. Product knowledge

There are several factors to keep in mind when evaluating a new stretch film product—the manufacturer, material and film gauge, dimensions, unitized load properties needing containment, and freight and shipping conditions.

Films perform differently based on its unique components and how material is applied. A new film often requires ramp-up time for employees to adapt to the handling requirements. But with proper training, the time can be reduced.

Work with a packaging expert who can recommend the best product solution for the application. Testing your product also helps optimize film for your application.

3. Stabilization and safety

Deploying a new stretch film can expose load containment risks, such as unstable pallets shifting during transport. In an environment where there’s no room for trial and error, it’s important to work with a load containment specialist to see if the new product meets all requirements. No one wants to end up with damaged goods, so make sure loads are wrapped properly to avoid a safety incident.

Formatted text representing a point made in the content4. Applied stretch

There are many factors that can affect applied stretch, including slippage due to improper threading and worn belts. Equipment malfunction can damage material and affect film yield. A load containment specialist or service technician can often spot equipment failure during an audit and when checking for adherence to service standards.

Another focus area is applied stretch properties, along with any pre-stretching requirements. When facility employees are trained to understand the stretch film’s capabilities and ideal application, they get the most value.

Consider cost and labor savings when evaluating new film to ensure you’re choosing the best product for your application.

5. Waste

For LEAN-focused facilities, labor waste is as detrimental as product waste. When a new stretch film product is brought into the facility, training to support the introduction helps minimize waste.

The downstream impact of waste is important, too, especially if customers have to deal with excess stretch film due to improper application. This is an opportunity for a load containment expert to recommend the correct film wrap application, making sure it’s tested for performance and applied consistently without waste.