We agonize over the design concepts of overwrapping machines and the detailing that goes on in engineering, but the real issues often show up late in the assembly process: fine tuning the wrapping machine for the specific product and wrapping material.
Sometimes it is a shim or an adjustment that is mechanical in origin. Sometimes it is a software tuning issue. Once in a while it is a material issue. For example, our FA-ST servo machine makes a constant adjustment to film based on what the photo eye sees in the registration. Once this resulted in great variability in cut length for the material. After much puzzlement, it turned out that the marks the eye read on the film were irregularly placed by the film supplier. Since it was test film, this was easily resolved and actually proved the quality of our film registration to make adjustments on the fly.
Each product is different and every runoff is unique for that reason. The interaction of the product, wrapping material and machine is different every time. Whether it is a stack of items, a baked good, an unevenly weighted box, each product is different. Because this is a voyage of joint discovery with the the customer and the skilled machine assembly people bringing expertise to the process, it is always a learning experience for both parties.
For this reason we encourage customers to come to our facility for a two day visit. This gives us a chance to explain the machine, confirm the operating conditions and teach without distraction the machine operations and adjustments. Sometimes we learn new things from our customers’ single-minded focus on the overwrap machine. These two days area valuable time for all concerned and make our subsequent installation and training in their facility more relevant and useful.