Material Handling
Thursday | 09 November, 2017 | 1:15 pm

It’s a wrap

By Colin Linneweber

Processors, fabricators can rapidly secure and protect finished products prior to shipment

November 2017 - “Success is due to our stretching to the challenges of life. Failure comes when we shrink from them,” said American clergyman John C. Maxwell.

Often, a company processing large loads of material, or asymmetrical, awkward products, face a couple of risks. The first risk is they will not be able to keep the load from falling off a forklift or other piece of material handling equipment. The subsequent risk is that if the material falls, an employee may get hurt.

Glenview, Illinois-based Muller LCS has been providing equipment, material load containment solutions and stretch packaging needs since 1977. A privately held company belonging to Signode Industrial Group, Muller has developed a tool to help manufacturers and processors prepare finished products that must be moved around the plant, whether from machine to machine, in and out of inventory or to the shipping bay.

One of Muller’s practical tools is its Yellow Jacket Orbital Stretch Wrap machine. The Yellow Jacket is designed to securely fasten pallets of varying dimensions while its materials remain on a forklift without bands or straps. This machine, which doesn’t require additional resources, is particularly valued in the metal fabricating, automotive, aerospace and oil and gas industries.

The Yellow Jacket is designed for convenience, speed, portability, versatility and safety, Muller spokeswoman Christina Eyuboglu says. In relation to convenience, portability and speed, the Yellow Jacket works with all types of rider forklifts and narrow-aisle lifts. Although the machine’s footprint is stationary—wherever the customer finds it most convenient to place—it does slide from side to side on rails to accommodate different sized mobile equipment.

Using a 20-inch roll of film, the Yellow Jacket plugs into any standard 110-volt power outlet, and wraps most loads for transit in 3 minutes or less. Plus, the Yellow Jacket can be assembled in under an hour and needs minimal maintenance, Eyuboglu says.

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The Yellow Jacket optimizes load containments, reduces film usage and protects products for shipping. 

Solving challenges

“The Yellow Jacket Orbital Stretch Wrapper was originally introduced by fabricators to solve the unique challenges of securing oddly shaped, heavy loads without weight restrictions directly to the pallet,” says Eyuboglu. The wrapper prevents injuries that might occur when using metal banding to secure loads and any time there are heavy loads that must be lifted.

“The Yellow Jacket effectively secures complex fabrications, metal parts and loose assemblies on a pallet while simultaneously decreasing the time and labor traditionally required to secure the load to a pallet. This innovation is now considered the preferred load containment solution for fabricating industry veterans,” she claims.

Joe Albert, vice president and general manager at Muller, says that metalworking shops using the Yellow Jacket will minimize the time and labor traditionally associated with securing a load to a pallet. Particularly for those in the fabricating metal market, this product is ideal for any company wrapping large, oddly shaped loads.”

He adds that Yellow Jacket was built to be extremely durable, optimize load containments, reduce film usage and protect products that will be shipped.

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The Yellow Jacket is designed for convenience, speed, portability, versatility and safety.

The Yellow Jacket, available in manual (87-M) or semiautomatic (87-SA) configurations, operates on an AC power voltage converter 110VAC and can wrap a standard pallet size up to 68 inches diagonal.

Easily installed in most plants, the Yellow Jacket 87-M requires a footprint of only 5 feet by 9 feet.

Eclipses manual wrapping

Eyuboglu says that many companies have long used stretch or shrink wrapping but had to perform the process by hand, which can slow down the packaging and shipping processes.

“The Yellow Jacket Orbital Stretch Wrapper significantly minimizes the time it takes to internally or externally wrap a load by hand,” she says. “Typically, it takes two workers roughly 10 minutes to wrap a similar load by hand. By using a Yellow Jacket machine, you can wrap a similar load with one worker in one minute.

“In addition to reducing the labor required to wrap by at least 50 percent, Yellow Jacket also eliminates the need for other strapping materials or expensive cartons to secure loads.”

Cost-benefit analysis

Efficiency is far from its only benefit, says Eyuboglu. “Yellow Jacket’s customers have reported anywhere from $20,000 to $50,000 saved annually in labor costs alone. Factor in the increase in product integrity, reduction in material use, and other hidden costs, and the savings only increase.

“Tightly wrapped to the pallet, the load’s ability to shift, fall or slide in transit is nearly impossible,” she adds.

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Many companies have long used stretch or shrink wrapping but had to perform the process by hand, which can slow packaging and shipping processes.

Albert says Muller realizes its customers’ input is invaluable and he always tries to consider their loading and traveling demands. “They say that to truly understand another’s problems, you must walk a mile in their shoes. That proverb has become increasingly true in business, where companies are creating new and groundbreaking technical solutions by working directly with customers.”

Muller LCS is no exception and the resulting product, the Yellow Jacket Orbital Stretch Wrap machine, “has proved to be a timeless solution that specifically benefits fabricators,” says Albert. MM

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