Pre stretched or thin film – which is better for your business?

Like most businesses, you are probably facing constant pressure to keep your costs in check while making sure your production line achieves its output targets.

The impact of Covid-19, Brexit and other global events haven’t helped matters either, sending shipping costs sky high, and limiting access to materials amidst an unprecedented demand for polymers.

Now more than ever, cost cutting is on the agenda for businesses throughout Ireland and across the globe. However, it can be challenging to find a way to cut costs while maintaining quality and efficiency, and keep customers happy.

So, what difference would it make to your business if you could achieve three times the efficiency from your film? Think about the cost savings that could make to your business, while also making an impact on your efficiency, and the environment?

Not all stretch wrapping film is the same

You are probably already quite familiar with stretch wrap, and that the type of stretch film you choose, alongside the gauge and length of film will determine the price you pay for it.

How stretch film is used will also influence costs. For example, the thickness or gauge of the film, the force used on the stretch film and the number of times it is wrapped around a load contributes to the integrity and stability of a pallet load, and whether it will survive the shipping process and arrive in its destination in its intended condition.

Typically, the thinner the film, the more you will pay per kilo, but you can wrap more pallets. This is why many businesses opt to buy thinner film to save on their packaging costs.

But is this the best option to save money while guaranteeing the integrity of your pallet load?

The challenge of load containment

Products and their pallet loads come in a range of different shapes and sizes, and a number of variables will influence how secure your pallet load is and how it will fare during shipping.

Achieving load containment depends on a number of things.

Some pallet loads will be relatively uniform in size and shape and are straightforward to wrap. Others may be more challenging, with varying degrees of irregularity in product type, stacking and height. These loads are often more prone to serious punctures.

Stretch film ensures pallet loads are more stable thanks to a consistent stretch that decreases the movement of products on the pallet during shipping. While we know this to be true enough, what most businesses don’t realise is the cost savings that can be made by using a powered pre-stretch machine.

For example, if your business employs staff to wrap pallet loads manually, either with or without a stretch device, the best stretch you can hope to achieve from any typical film is 10% to 20%. Manual wrapping is a tiring and arduous job for staff and is subject to a range of variables that impact its consistency.

That’s why when you are wrapping any more than on average 15 pallets a day, using a pallet wrapping machine is almost always a better option than wrapping pallets manually.

By introducing the correct pallet wrapper, the average stretch ratio of a good power stretch film will jump to between 200% and 250%.

Not only have you increased the efficiency of your film dramatically, you have freed up your staff to focus on other tasks while reducing the risk of injury and chipping away at morale.

Now, imagine being able to achieve even more efficiency from your film; a Vorteck pallet wrapping machine with a power pre-stretch head can stretch the correct film up to an incredible 320%.

This has cost implications to your business, if you could achieve 100% greater stretch the cost savings can be spectacular!

Why should I buy a power pre stretch pallet wrapper instead of just buying thin film?

You may have wondered about the efficacy of buying a powered pre-stretch head wrapper if you can simply buy a cheaper, pre-stretched film.

A couple of decades ago, when pallet wrapping machines capable of stretching your film were much more expensive, you may have had a case; back then you would have paid three to four times the price for a machine with a powered pre-stretch head and films were not capable of working on them.

However today, the price of a powered pre-stretch is very economical and has closed the gap between a cheap pallet wrapper and a machine with a pre-stretch head.

To put it simply, a powered pre-stretch machine will reduce the number of rolls of film that you buy.  I have seen big users reduce their film roll use from six rolls a day to 1.5 rolls a day.

By achieving up to three times more efficiency than a machine without a powered pre-stretch head, you will use significantly less film. The fact is, some businesses with sufficient volume have found their pallet wrapper with powered pre-stretch head has paid for itself within a matter of months.

Benefits of a powered pre-stretch machine

If the cost savings alone aren’t enough to convince you of the benefits of a powered pre-stretch machine, think about the impact you can make on your carbon footprint.

By reducing the amount of film you have to buy to securely wrap your pallet load, your business can make a meaningful contribution to the environment.

With environmental concerns increasingly influencing customer choices, the steps a business can take to reduce their impact on the environment will be viewed positively.

Other benefits of a pallet wrapper with powered pre-stretch head include:

  • consistency in rate of stretch
  • strong, secure wrap that provides stability to pallet load
  • increases employee productivity as they focus on other tasks
  • reduces risk of workplace injury
  • improves employee morale


If you want to cut costs in your business, call Vorteck now.

With more than 50 years of end-of-line packaging expertise, we understand the variety of challenges you face.

Our experts can provide you with advice that is tailored to your operations and will not only save you money, but enhance your productivity and efficiency.

Speak to a member of our team about your current pallet wrapping process today on 01 685 2096 and find out how a powered pre-stretch machine can transform your business.