Date of Award

8-2012

Degree Name

MS in Business and Technology

Department

Industrial Technology

Advisor

Dr. Jay Singh

Abstract

There are three main factors affecting the stability of a palletized load that is unitized by a stretch wrapping mechanism. These factors include the type of unitized load, wrapping configuration and shipping method. The wrapping configuration is determined on the basis of the type of unitized load and shipping method. For this study, the aforementioned components were referred to as the package, the product, and the distribution environment. These components come together to make up a stretch wrapping system. The package corresponds to the stretch wrap film that is packaging the unitized load and pallet. The product corresponds to the goods placed on the pallet to be packaged by the stretch wrapper. The distribution environment corresponds to the hazards that the packaged product will encounter in transit. This study was designed to observe and understand the interactions between each of the components of the stretch wrap system. Prior to stretch wrapping a pallet of product, the film is elongated or pre-stretched. The elastic nature of the stretch wrap forces the film to conform around the palletized load. It is hypothesized that the film force that the stretch wrap applies to the palletized load contributes to improved load containment. Hence, the objective of this study was to determine the existence of a correlation between percentage pre-stretch to change in film force and load containment. For the study, a range of pre-stretched unitized loads were subjected to ISTA 3E distribution testing. Simultaneously the film force was monitored during the period of distribution testing. Subsequent to distribution testing, the load dispersion was quantified. The data obtained from this test suggested that there is no correlation between percentage pre-stretch and change in film force or load containment. The study also compared three methods of calculating pre-stretch: the marking wheel procedure, tapeless measure, and film cut and weigh. It was found that the most consistent method was the marking wheel procedure, followed by the cut and weigh procedure, and the tapeless measure procedure.

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