Automated orbital wrapper eliminates lacerations

Metal fabricator cuts workers’ compensation claims with zero injuries in the packaging department over the last five years

By ·

Based in Watertown, S.D., Macksteel is a metal fabricator that has served the Dakotas and Minnesota for more than 40 years. After replacing a manual packaging process with an automated orbital wrapping machine, the company has completely eliminated injuries incurred from contact with laser-cut metal parts.

Prior to installing the orbital wrapper (TAB Industries), manually wrapping metal parts for delivery required two workers to hand-wrap plastic film around and under the pallet, passing the film roll back and forth while the pallet was raised on a forklift. The process often resulted in punctures, abrasions and lacerations. Workplace injuries resulting in time lost from work occurred approximately every three months and averaged $2,000 per incident.

The new wrapper uses a wireless remote to enable a single forklift driver to automatically wrap the metal products 360 degrees around and under the pallet to encase the parts as a sturdy, unitized, weather-resistant load ready for transport. The lift truck operator never needs to leave the truck. Since replacing the manual process, the company has not incurred a single injury in the packaging department.

“I consider this wrapper to be the industry’s best practice,” says Charlie Mack, general manager, “It allows us to work safer and faster, and it just plain works. We just don’t get those cuts anymore and everyone feels better about doing the job right. When you can take a task that nobody wants to do and make it safer and easier, it goes a long way toward building a culture of safety.”

About the Author

Josh Bond, Senior Editor
Josh Bond is Senior Editor for Modern, and was formerly Modern’s lift truck columnist and associate editor. He has a degree in Journalism from Keene State College and has studied business management at Franklin Pierce University.

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