CHEPStretch stream­lines pal­let wrap­ping for USL Med­i­cal

DEMM Engineering & Manufacturing - - PLASTICS -

CHEP’s au­to­mated pal­let wrap­ping sys­tem has helped USL Med­i­cal re­duce costs, pro­vide more con­sis­tent re­sults and be kin­der to the en­vi­ron­ment.

USL Med­i­cal sup­plies a wide range of health­care prod­ucts to Dis­trict Health Boards, hos­pi­tals, aged care fa­cil­i­ties, GP surg­eries and phar­ma­cies around New Zealand. Due to the range and vol­ume of ma­te­ri­als that are de­liv­ered to each lo­ca­tion, USL Med­i­cal loads boxes of con­sum­able items such as gloves, sy­ringes and bot­tled so­lu­tions onto pal­lets and wraps them in prepa­ra­tion for trans­porta­tion. As the com­pany has grown and the prod­uct of­fer­ing has ex­panded, the vol­ume of bulk de­liv­er­ies to cus­tomers has in­creased sig­nif­i­cantly.

USL Med­i­cal loads pal­lets ac­cord­ing to cus­tomer or­ders; there­fore, the pal­lets are vari­able in shape and size. Some may be heavy cu­bic loads and oth­ers may com­prise mixed prod­ucts of var­i­ous box con­fig­u­ra­tions. Pre­vi­ously, as each pal­let was built they had been hand wrapped with film be­fore trans­porta­tion.

Mr Karl Peter­son, USL Med­i­cal’s Dis­tri­bu­tion Cen­tre Manager says, “The old man­ual process re­sulted in highly vari­able re­sults and was labour in­ten­sive. There was also the con­cern of oc­cu­pa­tional health and safety is­sues due to the lift­ing and bend­ing re­quired by staff to com­plete the task.”

The man­ual process pro­duced an in­con­sis­tent re­sult, with some pal­lets over­wrapped and oth­ers with too lit­tle wrap or in­suf­fi­cient ten­sion to ap­pro­pri­ately con­tain the load. This in­con­sis­tency had cost im­pli­ca­tions. Firstly, re­lat­ing to the po­ten­tial dam­age or move­ment of prod­ucts when un­der wrapped. Se­condly, over­wrap­ping raised en­vi­ron­men­tal con­cerns for both USL Med­i­cal and its cus­tomers, be­cause the wrap ul­ti­mately ends up as land­fill.

Fol­low­ing in­stal­la­tion of a CHEPStretch sys­tem the benefits were im­me­di­ately ob­vi­ous as the pre­sen­ta­tion of prod­uct be­came con­sis­tent and pro­fes­sional. The pal­leti­sa­tion pro­cesses has also been stream­lined, pro­vid­ing a bet­ter f low of ac­tiv­ity.

“It’s made a huge dif­fer­ence to our busi­ness, not only fi­nan­cially but also in terms of im­prov­ing our ef­fi­ciency, be­ing kin­der to our staff and re­duc­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact,” says Mr Peter­son. “We know ex­actly what our costs are and CHEP man­ages our sup­ply of film as well as main­tain­ing the equip­ment.

“Be­ing able to cal­i­brate the wrap ten­sion to suit our re­quire­ments has im­proved load se­cu­rity. I was im­pressed by the abil­ity to es­tab­lish dif­fer­ent wrap set­tings ac­cord­ing to the load type, shape and weight,” added Mr Peter­son.

The CHEPStretch sys­tem wraps one pal­let, up to 2.5 me­tres in height, ev­ery 1.5 to 2 min­utes. It also uses a power pre-stretch method al­low­ing film to be stretched at over 200 per cent, pro­vid­ing a con­sis­tent wrap force and re­duc­ing the amount of film re­quired to wrap a pal­let.

CHEP New Zealand in­stalls the CHEPStretch sys­tems and cal­i­brates the equip­ment set­tings ac­cord­ing to the prod­ucts, op­er­at­ing en­vi­ron­ment and method of trans­porta­tion. Ma­chines are hired out on stan­dard three-year term, re­quir­ing no cap­i­tal out­lay by cus­tomers. The CHEPStretch sys­tems are vol­ume driven with the cost di­rectly linked to the num­ber of pal­lets wrapped.

CHEP ac­count man­agers over­see the CHEPStretch sys­tems cur­rently in op­er­a­tion across New Zealand and are able to pro­vide same day re­plen­ish­ment of film and co­or­di­nate regular ser­vice and main­te­nance through their ser­vice part­ner De­matic.

A num­ber of CHEPStretch ma­chines are on hand at any time, pro­vid­ing new clients with an ex­tremely quick time­frame for equip­ment to be in­stalled and be­come fully op­er­a­tional.

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