Flexibility to change speed or product size are the most common considerations but ability to change material should also be a consideration in purchasing a wrapping machine.
When we are approached about buying a wrapping machine, often an inquiry regarding material for wrapping follows on its heels. Over the lifetime of one of our wrappers, far more will be spent on the wrapping material than the wrapper itself. So it is an excellent idea to think about the material, its functionality and cost, and the flexibility to change materials down the road.
It is likely that the material first used on a newly purchased wrapper will change. Purchasing will look for better pricing. The machine’s parameters will be explored by its new owners.
Wrapping material, both film and paper, is in a constant state of evolution: new films, new papers, new tweaks to the material composition. Things that can change include raw material sourcing, coatings, material thickness and printing, even the basic material itself.
Flexibility in the wrapping machine’s ability to run different materials, different gauges of material plain and printed are factors to consider when purchasing a new machine, so that manufacturing can be prepared when marketing comes out with its new ideas on branding.
We have a customer who does some contract candy manufacturing as well as under their own brand and needs to run both paper and film on their FA-ST over wrapping machine. The flexibility to switch from paper to film is critical to them because it means they can please their customers seasonally.
One thing that we have noted in testing machines during the build cycle is that we can usually improve on our initial expectations. On a recent bundling machine we thought the customer’s film was not doing an adequate wrapping job, so we used some film from a different supplier. After we perfected the wrap with our film, we switched to the customer’s film and were able to make that run perfectly too. For the fun of it, we then tested paper on the machine and discovered that it ran perfectly the first time. That customer may never run paper on their machine but we now know it can be done and we can apply that knowledge to someone else’s wrapping machine.
Paper or film, waxed paper or coated, bio-based material or home compostable, we have tested them all and can speak to you about what matters for your operation. It is better to have that conversation before you buy the wrapping machine than after.