Hand Stretch vs. Machine Stretch Wrap: What’s the Difference?

Hand stretch vs. machine stretch wrap: what’s the difference? On the face of it, it’s about workers wrapping pallets, packages, and products versus having an automated device do it. But it’s more than just the means of delivery—it’s about safety, security, and savings. While hand stretch wrapping may seem simpler and easier for you and your workers, you may be wasting resources while risking product destruction and spoilage down the line. Consider an upgrade with a stretch wrap machine, and you’ll see immediate benefits and results!

Machine Stretch Wrapping Saves Material

Warehouse workers use pallet packing wrap to bind pallets and packages together, preventing them from toppling, separating, or otherwise being damaged in storage or transit. Rolls of hand stretch wrap tend to be smaller and more compact to allow greater maneuverability and application. However, in this scenario, too much is left to the worker’s discretion. As a result, and in the interest of being thorough, workers often overcompensate while applying the wrap. They use too much wrapping, leading to financial loss in material costs. Machine stretch wrap, however, is wider and covers more area. And because the machine can gauge the stretchiness of the wrap, it knows exactly how much to employ for a piece.

Machine Stretch Wrapping Can Handle Larger Jobs

Hand stretch wrapping is perfectly fine if you’re a smaller company that handles no more than 50 or so pallets per day. However, if you have more than that, and especially if you plan to expand, a stretch wrap machine is a wiser investment. Stretch wrap machines are faster, cover more area, and aid in the proper load containment of pallets through layers, force, and thickness. The platform that pallets are set on also aids in positioning and balancing the pallets and their contents for adequate wrapping.

Machine Stretch Wrapping Frees Up Your Employees

If you’ve asked yourself, “What’s the difference between hand stretch and machine stretch wrapping?” don’t forget that putting a worker on hand stretch wrapping duty leaves them unavailable for other jobs that require greater skill and know-how. Hand stretch wrapping is also a monotonous and tiring job – leaving employees bored, distracted, and increasing the risk of faulty work or accidents.

Which Is Better?

Clearly, machine stretch wrapping is the superior choice for consistency and efficiency, especially for larger operations, but not every company has the budget to maintain and run such a device. Hand stretch wrap, however, is a simple and economical choice for smaller workplaces, though it’s worth keeping the above qualities of stretch wrap in mind while using it. Remember that a little bit of stretch wrap goes a long way!