Stretchwrap Seals in Safety

Sep 17, 2003

OREGON - To ship "thousands and thousands" of concrete block or paver loads each year safely and in good condition, Oregon-based Willamette Graystone Inc. adopted Orion Packaging Systems' MA 55 stretchwrapper. According to Willamette President Don Jones Jr., "We were handwrapping pallets of blocks, using steel bands and stretchwrap, but the results weren't satisfactory." Noting that "blocks are heavy and can shift if not secured tightly to their pallets," he recognized that this method of product handling presents a potentially dangerous situation.

Investigation of various solutions to the problem led to the MA 55 unit. Banding and shrinkwrapping were ruled out in favor of stretchwrapping, found to be more economical and more effective in securing concrete products to pallets for shipping. Orion Northwest Territorial Manager Rob Shoemaker visited the Willamette Graystone operation to assess the requirements of the facility. "Remember, this can be a harsh environment for machinery," he explains. "That does not change the fact that they want a machine that is durable and will do the job every time."

A fully automatic rotary tower system that uses a conveyor to deliver pallets to the wrapper, the MA 55 is capable of wrapping up to 48-in.-wide 8 48-in.-long 8 80-in.-high loads weighing as much as 4,000 lb. Wrap is applied at the rate of 16 revolutions per minute.

Equipped with Orion's InstaThread prestretch film delivery system, the MA 55 allows Willamette Graystone to apply high-performance films at up to 425 percent of stretch levels, reducing film costs by more than 30 percent compared to hand wrapping. Two employees previously required to handwrap pallets are free to perform other tasks.

Providing high-performance features at the end of the line, the MA-55 is able to handle heavy loads easily and quickly, Orion representatives note, because it is built of high-quality structural steel and I-beam framing. And, since the component parts are nonproprietary, customers are able to save money and time, avoiding the frustration of waiting for parts to arrive.

In addition to construction and performance features, the MA 55 offers safety benefits. Fences line the stretchwrapper on either side, while an infrared beam ensures that the machine shuts off if anyone walks inside the processing area of the unit.

"It's more efficient to wrap the pallets with a machine, but the biggest news for me is we now are shipping out better stabilized loads," Jones says. "We don't have to worry about safety in handling the blocks."

As well, Willamette Graystone's clients like the extra security provided by tight stretchwrapping. "Home centers that sell our product can stack the pallets high with a forklift and not have to worry about the load shifting and falling over," Jones affirms. Orion stretchwrappers are now used in the company's Eugene, East Portland, and Bend, Ore., plants.

"We welcome the challenge of adapting our system to any industry," notes Orion President Mack Greene. "The work with Willamette Graystone provided an opportunity to demonstrate the value of the MA 55 for an efficient wrap that would hold," he adds.

- Orion Packaging Systems, Memphis, Tenn., 800/333-6556

About Orion Packaging

Make sure every load is safe and secure during its journey to market with Orion, the leader in heavy-duty industrial stretch wrapping technology. Orion is an industry-leading manufacturer of automatic and semi-automatic stretch wrapping equipment, including rotary turntables, rotary towers, and horizontal wrapping systems. As part of the ProMach End of Line business line, Orion helps our packaging customers protect and grow the reputation and trust of their consumers. ProMach is performance, and the proof is in every package. Learn more about Orion at www.OrionPackaging.com and more about ProMach at ProMachBuilt.com.

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