Stretch film designed specifically to be applied manually is referred to as hand stretch film. It is also referred to as hand film, hand stretch wrap, hand wrap or manual pallet wrap. It is typically utilized in lower capacity packaging operations. However the efficiency of manual stretch wrap packaging should be regularly re-evaluated against potential benefits of upgrading to a machine wrapper. Choosing the right stretch applicator will result in more efficient and cost effective packaging operations.
Hand wrap stretch film requires an operator to attach the film to the load and then proceed to unwind the stretch film as he circles the load. The operator also must apply the required tension to the film to ensure enough wrapping force is applied to contain and unitize the load. As the stretch film rolls must be manipulated by the operator, the size and weight must be limited for ease of use. Thus hand wrap is typically shorter in width and length to limit the weight. This method is typically used in only low volume applications.
Advantages of Hand Wrap Stretch Film
- Inexpensive for the low volume application.
- Can be performed throughout the facility.
- Does not require a capital investment in stretch wrap equipment.
Disadvantages of Blown Stretch Wrap
- Limited production speed (dependent on the operator).
- Difficult and tiring for operator resulting in potential for injury.
- Inconsistent application of stretch film resulting in poor holding power.
- Poor looking loads, lack of professional look.
- Extra film costs as total film application is left to the operator.