Stretch wrapping by hand or by machine – the pros and cons

Man vs. Machine – when is it more beneficial to stretch wrap a pallet by hand, and when should you use a machine to do the stretch wrapping? 

To help you decide whether you should continue wrapping by hand or invest in a machine, it is worth having a look at some of the pros and cons of each option.

Pros and cons for wrapping pallets by hand

+ doesn’t require any significant investments
+ space-efficient – you don’t need a huge production area
+ good option if a company only wraps a few pallets per day or per week
+ good choice if a company wraps pallets of many various sizes

– risk for bottlenecks in the production line
– higher risk of ergonomic injuries to employees

Pros and cons for pallet wrapping machines

+ effective for a medium to large company
+ pallets wrapped quicker, not manually saves a company money in the long run
+ ensures more professional-looking pallets
+ decreases potential injuries among employees due to automation 

– a large investment
– requires space for machinery

Stretch wrapping film manually or automatically – which is the best solution?

Looking at the pros and cons, it’s clear that the answer depends on your specific packaging operations – mainly how many and the types of pallets you wrap. A stretch wrapping machine can be quite a heavy investment for a small business, so it is essential to analyse your pallet wrapping needs to see if a machine is worth the money spent. Here’s a few pointers on what would be the best pallet wrapping scenario for you…

You wrap a small amounts of pallets

If your company only wraps a few pallets each day or just some days a week, wrapping pallets by hand is a great way to protect your goods and increase pallet stability. Although a machine may not be required for your operations, using a hand pallet wrap dispenser will save your employees’ backs and improve efficiency and product safety. 

You wrap a large amounts of pallets

It takes a number of minutes for an employee to wrap a pallet by hand, and if your company is stretch wrapping a substantial amount of pallets every day, the time and productivity adds up. It gets to a point where a machine can be more efficient and cost-effective than manual labour. With a wide range of pallet wrapping machine options, there’s one for your specific packaging operations. 

You want to save money

Investing in a wrapping machine might seem an expensive prospect for your business. But productivity can easily become an issue when manual labour is used where an automated machine can help. Human error, customer satisfaction, and productivity are all areas where your company could be losing money without realising.

You want to improve pallet stability

Unstable pallets cost money, cause high amounts of damaged (and returned) goods, and risk safety. To improve pallet stability, suitable packaging material, correct stretch film and the proper tension must be applied to the pallets. A pallet wrapping machinery can assist with this, and really helps to improve pallet stability when applying stretch wrapping film to your pallets.

You want to avoid injuries in the workforce

When stretch wrapping a pallet  by hand, a good idea in order to minimise health and safety risks to employees, is to use a hand pallet wrap dispenser. Hand dispensers for pallet wrap are ergonomically designed for ease of use in the packaging process.  

A wide selection of stretch wrapping film and pallet wrapping machines

Whether your business needs stretch wrapping film (maybe pallet stretch wrap with 30% recycled content), a new pallet wrapping machine, or want to optimise your packaging operations, we can help you. Speak to our team  at Lindum today to see how we can help with your packaging operations. 

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