Many people purchasing stretch film are not aware of the stretch film conversion process, which is perfectly fine. There are many products we purchase and have no idea how they are made. We wanted to share information about the stretch film conversion process to help potential stretch film buyers in their purchase.
The actual manufacturing process of stretch film is called extrusion. A couple of years ago we wrote a blog post about the stretch film extrusion process. The extrusion process requires the melting and forming of the stretch film resin. The end product is most commonly a master roll. The large master roll is then converted to a variety of stretch film sizes.
The process of conversion is what we are going to focus on. Being aware of this process assists stretch film buyers in a variety of ways which are explained below.
Stretch Film Conversion Requires the unwinding of a Master Roll
The large master roll created during the extrusion process must be unwound to convert the stretch film. The master roll can vary in size and width.
How does this help a buyer? The conversion process takes time. If a specific size is not in stock, there is often a 2-5 day lead time for film conversion.
Stretch Film Converting Machines Feature Electronic Length Counters
An electronic length counter enables converters to adjust roll lengths according to film thickness. The thicker stretch film often has shorter rolls than thinner film. This helps to keep the overall roll weight comparable.
How does this help a buyer? The electronic roll counters are extremely accurate to ensure customers get the desired length of the film.
Stretch Film Conversion Limits are Often Constrained By Available Core Sizes
Stretch film converting machines often allow the converter to reduce the master roll to any size desired. One of the key limitations in conversion sizes is the size of the core. The core is the cardboard on the inside of the roll of stretch film. Cores are often made by a variety of cardboard corrugators and sent to stretch film converters.
How does this help a buyer? A stretch film converter is often limited to the size of rolls based on the core sizes available. Requesting an oddball width such as a 2.75 inch wide stretch film roll would require the production of a core size in that width. This is often not possible and too costly to do so. This is why we are often limited to standard sized widths.
Stretch Film Converting Can Also Produce Pre-Stretch Stretch Film
Another popular product produced with stretch film conversion is Pre-stretch stretch film. During the conversion process of a pre-stretch stretch film, stretch film is pulled from the master roll and stretched up to 90% of available stretchability and placed on a smaller roll.
How does this help a buyer? Pre-stretch stretch film is a great option for companies to look into. Because the film is stretched prior to being placed on a roll, workers have to exert less energy when applying the film. Another great advantage is it is much cheaper than a standard stretch film. Being aware of the pre-stretch converting possibilities can potentially save companies thousands of dollars in stretch film costs.
Stretch Film Conversion is Responsible for the Rise of Coreless Stretch Film
Coreless stretch film is growing in popularity for a variety of reasons. Stretch film converters pre-stretch film from a master roll without the use of a core in the machine. Eliminating the cost of the core helps to reduce overall stretch film costs. Eliminating a stretch film core also reduces product lost due to damaged cores.
How does this help a buyer? Coreless stretch film is a great option to consider if wrapping lighter pallets. Aside from the two reasons above, shipping weights on coreless stretch film rolls are substantially less as well.
The stretch film conversion process plays a very important roll in bringing a variety of finished products to end users. If you need any further assistance with stretch film quotes, questions, or applications feel free to contact us at 1-800-441-5090 or shop online at www.uspackagingandwrapping.com.