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A stretch wrapper applies a second layer of film, trapping all four edges of the top sheet.
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A load from Basalite leaves the plant and is off to a customer. Forklifts do not damage the film cable.

Mid-wrap top sheeting is another feature of the two S1500 Lantech machines used at the new facility. The top-sheet dispenser permits high-throughput wrapping of 30 to 35 loads per hour with five-sided protection. “We top-sheet during the winter months as a service to our customers, and by applying it in the middle of the wrap cycle, it's probably as close as you can get to making the load waterproof,” says Anthes.

Automatic dispenser

The top-sheet dispenser is fully automatic, and requires no operator intervention or heat-sealing. The protective 2-mm top sheet goes on after one layer of stretch film has been applied to four sides of the load. Wrapping then continues to trap the edges of the top sheet between layers of stretch film. The system automatically senses load height and positions the film head at the correct height, then cuts it.

To secure the load, Basalite uses the optional hot-air sealing system that fuses the film tail to the load. “Film tails can cause loads to snag, photoeyes to misread, or loads to unravel during shipping. Sealing them down is another value-added benefit for our customers,” Anthes states. “We've used this on all our Lantech machines.”

The surface-seeking seal head is integrated with the cut/wipe arm of the machine. Eight independent nozzles individually find the load surface, accommodating up to 2 inches of irregularity. The nozzles direct hot air at the film tail. “The film tail is sealed before cutting, so wrap tension is maintained throughout handling and shipping,” Anthes explains. Basalite uses a minimum 75-gauge stretch film, as specified by its home-center customers.

“Pallet-Grip has been a great alternative to the lift tables, and we've heard nothing negative from our customers,” adds Anthes. Basalite is adding a similarly equipped machine in Carson City, Nev.

For more information on the system, visit www.lantech.com. Visit the producer at www.basalite.com.

— Author Bill Long is a packaging equipment specialist for xpedx, a distributor of printing paper, packaging supplies, and equipment. He has 45 years of experience in developing and providing systems for the packaging and baking industries. He can be reached at 800-468-0204, ext. 6519.