Casebook 2011: Stretch-wrap prototype passes its first test at Buffalo Rock Co.

Soft drink bottler gambles on new stretch wrapping technology and wins uptime lottery.

By ·

Family owned Buffalo Rock Co., an Alabama-based Pepsi bottler, has the flexibility to make quick decisions. When given the opportunity to try-out an alpha model of a new stretch-wrapping machine (Lantech, 800-866-0322, http://www.lantech.com) in 2008, the company took the offer. After the new machine eliminated line stoppages and operator intervention, easily handled damaged film rolls, and increased overall film yield, Buffalo Rock knew it had made the right choice.

The key development in the new machine was a patented system that prevented film breakages. Far from being a source of trouble, the machine was so predictable that operators would often ignore the machine until it was time to reload it with the scuffed or partial rolls of film that usually caused stoppages on other stretch wrapping machines.

“The most important issue with any stretch wrapper is consistent output,” says George Garrison, general manager of manufacturing at Buffalo Rock. “Any stoppage requires immediate response from the operators. That’s just been a non-issue with this particular machine, and a first in our plant.”

With the new stretch wrapper, the plant has cut film costs while gaining valuable data. The machine is rated at 60 to 80 pallets per hour, but is available with a high-speed option for 80 to 100 pallets per hour. As it wraps, the machine monitors capacity versus true utilization, stoppages for starvation, blockage or film break, loads wrapped per hour, shift, day, week and month, and loads wrapped per roll of film. The control also reports how many pallets can be wrapped with the film remaining on the roll, allowing operators to budget their time efficiently for reloading. The machine easily consumes the film down to the roll core without any usual end-of-roll tears.


About the Author

Josh Bond, Contributing 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.

Subscribe to Modern Materials Handling Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Find out what the world’s most innovative companies are doing to improve productivity in their plants and distribution centers.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Article Topics

Casebook 2011 · Lantech · Packaging · Stretchwrapping · · All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
Is Your DC Ready for E-commerce Growth? Here’s How to Handle More SKUs and Inventory Turns
The rise of e-commerce and multi-channel fulfillment has caused distribution centers (DCs) to experience ever-growing numbers of stock-keeping units (SKUs) and more inventory turns, up to an average of nine in 2015.
Download Today!
From the August 2016 Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
5 Emerging Technologies Enabling Competitive Advantage for Distribution
Come hear about the latest in each-picking robotics, co-bots, artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles, sensors, drones and droids that are enabling competitive advantage for distribution.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
The data-driven lift truck
Now that manufacturers and distributors are using the data from their automated systems to drive...
Destination Maternity: Destination Automation
Running short of space in its old facility, Destination Maternity Corp. built a new, highly...

Hibbett Sports: Faster, Flexible and Efficient
A high-speed conveyor and sortation system at Hibbett Sports’ Alabama distribution center speeds...
Necessity is the mother of invention at Quiet Logistics
Faced with the loss of a robotic pick solution, Quiet Logistics invented its own robots. Are they...