If you've invested in an automatic pallet wrapping machine, you did so for one of these reasons. To save you time, boost production, keep your floor staff safe and save you money. No doubt it's already ticked all these boxes, working day in and day out for you. However, if maintenance hasn't been high on your agenda till now, you've probably already discovered that it's starting to fall short of your expectations for a pallet machine.
It’s natural for the machine to become worn down, which is why it needs regular maintenance checks.
Common signs a pallet wrapping machine needs maintenance
If you know to look out for these problems, you can fix them before they become more severe or damage your goods. The first one has to do with shrink wrap tension. If you’ve noticed that the film is suddenly too loose on the load, it may be resolved by adjusting the control panel's tension. If the film is wrapped too tightly across the load, decrease the tension until you’re happy with the result.
If you notice the pallet wrapping machine is not wrapping the entirety of the load, look at the automatic height adjuster. Leaving the top or the bottom free may lead to the pallet falling over, so it’s worth getting this realigned, so it wraps the whole load. One common issue occurs when the shade of the load is dark. The height adjuster often cannot pick it up, so you will need to change the adjuster's sensitivity to fix this.
What about the shrink wrap you are using? If you aren’t using the proper wrap for the machine, you could be experiencing unnecessary malfunctions. It may be getting caught in the rollers, for example. Sort out your supply, and your pallet wrapper will work like a pro again.
Regular pallet wrapper maintenance will:
- extend the lifespan of the machine
- ensure consistent performance
- minimize downtime
- reduce the risk of product returns and damages
How to maintain your pallet wrapping machine
Keep it clean
Keeping your pallet wrapper clean and free from debris is the number one step.
Avoid film buildup
With pallet wrappers, there is a risk of the film getting wrapped around rotating mechanisms. When the buildup isn't tackled, it will begin to prevent free rotation and cause strain on the bearing. The long term effects are motor strain, blown fuses and a shorter lifespan for your expensive investment. To avoid this, check rotating mechanisms regularly and clear any debris or film buildup.
Keep sensors clean
The photo-reflective sensors are sealed and not in plain view. They do need to be cleaned for the pallet wrapper to function correctly, however. Keeping the system clean will cut down on equipment failure and production delays.
Maintain drive systems
Pallet wrapping machines have chains or belts. Chains need to be properly lubricated for smooth operation. Belts should be cleaned and inspected regularly to ensure there is no dirt as it can cause drive slippage. This causes incorrect wrapping. Also, check the belt for fraying or signs of damage.
Lubricate grease points
The wrapper’s grease points include bearings, bushings and moving parts. A lack of lubrication can cause components to bind and heat up. Ensure correct lubrication of grease points to keep your equipment running smoothly.
Keep rollers clean
Rollers pre-stretch film, but with use, the rubber becomes coated with dust and particles. When they get dirty, they lose the ability to sufficiently prestretch the film. You won’t get the containment you expect. Dirt on the rollers also reduces tackiness which will lead to an increase in film usage. To keep them clean, rollers can be sprayed with an industrial alcohol and scrubbed down using a brush.
If you rely on a pallet wrapping machine in your business, carry out these steps to ensure extended life and reliable performance. Make sure a qualified technician carries out maintenance at least once a year too.