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Aetna stretch wrapping systems provide flexibility for McKechnie Plastic Components

McKechnie Plastic Components (MPC), part of the Melrose Group, turned to Robopac from Aetna Group when it needed complete pallet wrapping flexibility throughout it site at Stamford Bridge, North Yorkshire.

Aetna has just supplied the latest Rotoplat 507 machine to wrap a range of plastic components made for a wide variety of industries, including automotive, construction, packaging, medical and brewing, as well as several consumer products. It joins three other Aetna machines already purchased.

All items are palletised prior to transportation, so the pallet wrapper has to be both flexible and ultra reliable. A typical output of between 150 – 200 pallets/day is required over a two shift pattern, 7 days per week. Programmes can control several features, such as tension, amount of wrap and pre-stretch. These can be locked into the control panel memory and recalled at the touch of a button, speeding up the process, eliminating operator error and ensuring repeatability.

"Our products can range from quite small, irregular shaped items to big, heavy parts for the construction industry," explained logistics manager for MPC, Russ Cox. "Having pre-programmable wrappers, which can store a variety of information to cover these variances, has improved the whole palletising process for us. And we can do double or even triple wraps to account for weight and instability."

Following a recommendation from its’ packaging film supplier, MPC trialled one of Aetna’s Rotoplat machines and, as Mr Cox explained, " Quickly we found that the power pre-stretch was saving us up to 60 per cent on film usage and the reliability of the wrappers has helped avoid bottlenecks in the warehouse."

An added bonus on the large Stamford Bridge site is the ease with which the Rotoplats can be moved around quickly to deal with different wrapping jobs, using just a simple forklift. "They are very rugged in construction," continued Mr Cox, "so will take plenty of lifting to different locations and still plug in and start wrapping again straight away."

The 507 machines feature a chain and sprocket system which ensures consistent and reliable turntable performance during rotation. The diamond pattern on the turntable avoids slippage while the pre-stretch facility has a ratio between zero and 250 per cent. The tower incorporates an anti-fall device for the spool carriage.

The operator can control rotation speed, upward and downward spool carriage speed and pre-stretch from the easy to use panel. The load always stops in the same position it occupied prior to wrapping which, according to Aetna, greatly improves times and costs of the process.

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