CHEPStretch streamlines pallet wrapping for USL Medical
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.