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.

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!

Latest Whitepaper
Solving the Labor Shortage Crisis: The Four Benefits of an Automated Warehouse
Not enough warehouse staff? Finding it difficult to keep up with orders during peak periods?
Download Today!
From the March 2018 Modern Materials Handling Issue
Here’s how one of the world’s largest 3PLs is looking to tomorrow’s innovative technologies, including heads-up display and robotics, to transform its operations today.
Conveyors & sortation: Carrying the e-commerce burden
2018 Productivity Achievement Awards
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Emerging Technologies for Your Distribution Center
Come get an insider's view of the latest technologies for inside your Distribution Center. You'll learn which technologies are being piloted, which are having success and moving from concept to implementation and into production on the maturity scale, and what's coming on the horizon.
Register Today!
NextGen Supply Chain at DHL
Here’s how one of the world’s largest 3PLs is looking to tomorrow’s innovative technologies,...
Trinchero Family Estates: Pallet handling in the vineyard
The second-largest family-owned wine company in the world turns to automated pallet handling and...

System Report: Rocky Brands Sees the Light
Confronting an aging materials handling system and new channels of business with new customer...
Lodge Manufacturing: Distribution Cast in Iron
In a new facility, iPhones and a new WMS allowed cookware manufacturer Lodge to double its business...