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Frequently Asked Questions

Orion Packaging Systems offers the widest selection of quality engineered, feature packed stretch wrapping machines on the market today. We manufacture a complete selection of automatic stretch wrapping rotary turntable machines, automatic stretch wrap rotary towers and orbital stretch wrapping systems to fit virtually all stretch wrapping applications. Here are some frequently asked questions to help you with your selection:

Q: What's the difference between semi and fully automatic stretch wrapping machines?

A: Semi-automatic stretch wrapping machines are normally used in low volume applications where no more than 30 loads an hour need to be wrapped. These machines require that the load be brought to the machine either by fork lift (high profile) or by pallet jack (low profile). After the load is placed on the turntable or in the wrapping area, an operator must attach the film to the load, press the start button, then detach and secure the film tail to the load at the end of the wrapping cycle.

An automatic stretch wrapping system does not require an operator, except to load film. Loads are usually transferred to the machine via a powered conveyor. Once in the wrapping area, the machine begins the wrapping cycle automatically. A load height sensing photo eye tells the film carriage how high to wrap. At the end of the cycle, the film tail is automatically cut and either brushed down or heat sealed to the load. The pallet load is then conveyed out of the wrapping area and the machine is ready for the next load. With Orion's HPA, LPA, MPA and CTS Portable Automatic machines, the loads are brought to and removed from the machine by lift truck. The driver starts the cycle with a hanging pendant switch. Automatic systems can process anywhere from 30 to 120 loads per hour.

Q: What's the difference between turntable and rotary tower machines?

A: Turntable stretch wrapping machines wrap by turning a load on its turntable while the film carriage ascends and descends on a fixed mast. Orion makes both high and low profile turntable semiautomatic machines which can handle load weights ranging from 3,500 to 6,000 pounds. Automatic turntable machines generally use conveyor systems to transport loads.

Rotary tower stretch wrapping systems wrap by rotating the film carriage around a load which stands still and does not rotate. Your basic decision to use one type or another depends on your load type, floor space configuration and speed requirements. Generally, rotary tower machines are better for loads that are very heavy, light, fragile or unstable. In many cases, shrink wrap rotary tower machines have a more compact footprint making them ideal when floor space is at a premium. Stretch wrapping rotary machines can usually achieve higher throughput speeds as well because loads need not be rotated at high speeds.

Q: What is powered film prestretch and why is it so important?

A: Powered prestretch refers to the method of 'prestretching' the stretch film prior to load application. The film carriage uses an electric motor to turn two specially surfaced rollers which rotate at different speeds. The stretch film, which is threaded around these rollers, is prestretched making it much stronger and able to contain shifting loads. This process also increases the yield of the film roll making stretch wrapping a very economical way to unitize pallet loads.

At our standard prestretch rate of 260% (available on most models), 1 foot off the supply roll becomes more than 3.6 feet of film wrapped on the load! Orion offers rates of up to 425% for high performance applications. Orion's Insta-Thread and Multi-Stretch film carriages offer extremely reliable operation, a high level of prestretch and convenient film threading.

Q: What about stretch wrapping long loads?

A: Orion's Constellation Series is designed to wrap long loads by passing the product through a horizontally oriented wrapping ring to produce a tightly wrapped bundle. As the product is conveyed through the ring, film is spiralled around the load much like wrapping the handle of a tennis racket. This method of shrink wrapping effectively holds product together while providing a high degree of protection from moisture and dirt. Constellation Series machines are available in both semi- and fully automatic models.

Q: What models are available?

A: Here is a quick breakdown of the model offering from Orion Pallet Packaging Systems. For more details visit our web site at www.orionpackaging.com or contact Orion Packaging at (800) 333-6556.