Stretch Wrap film for Load Safety – Consistent quality required
In Europe load stability has gained momentum with the upcoming EUMOS regulations, stating that the consignor of the goods is responsible for proper packaging and the loader is responsible for proper securing the load units on the vehicle. The drivers behind these regulations are equally important in other markets: costs and − more importantly − lives have to be saved. Lives, because load stability is an important factor in road safety. Costs, because product loss during transportation is an immense factor especially for brand owners.
Efficient and save
Reduction of primary and secondary packaging materials to save resources and cut costs are a reoccurring topic. Better resins and extrusion technology over the last decade provided the means for down gauging activities in stretch film thickness. On the other hand, load safety and product protection have to be ensured. Thus stretch film producers are faced increasingly with the question of how the quality of the manufactured film can be monitored reliably, which quality parameters are relevant for the application, and which tolerances must be observed.
Reproducible film performance
For a stable load, three things must be harmonized: the load itself, the wrapper setup and the stretch film properties. Once this has been achieved and certified, everything needs to be kept the same, including the stretch film properties. Consistent film quality means exactly that – maintaining the same load stability result, day-in, day-out. Today, a typical process setup requires feedback from the lab in order to adjust the correct mechanical properties. This iterative procedure may take one hour or more and only a very small percentage around 0,05 % is tested in a normal production set-up. Also until now, the different process steps from the resin to the end application at the pallet wrapper have been more or less unconnected. This missing connection makes it difficult to trace feedback from the application back to its root - be it resin, production, storage or handling.
100% inline quality measurement
The new FILM PERFORMANCE MONITOR (FPM) performs 100% in-line quality measurement with full traceability and makes it possible to ensure a reproducible film performance during further processing and in the final application. During production, FPM measures, collects and models process data relevant to the properties of the film. A set of comprehensive data is assigned to each individual roll. In a second step, the FPM quality data are correlated with suitable data from the lab. In addition, data captured on stretch wrappers provide feedback on film performance during pallet wrapping. The collective set of data can be used for product development, process setup and to define and monitor a suitable process window. With 100% traceability of quality, the consistency of the final product will improve – providing an answer to the challenge of consistent product quality in stretch wrap film.
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