Frequently Asked Questions

    Have questions about strapping, stretch wrapping, or custom packaging solutions? Check out these FAQs.

    Yes, many replacement parts are on hand as part of FROMM’s in-house service department. We offer warranty plans on new tools and can accommodate longer term preventative maintenance plans. Contact a sales representative to discuss your requirements.
    Yes, absolutely. Many plant operations have unique packaging requirements, so a custom-built solution is often the ideal option.
    The number of straps per package is determined by many different factors. Considerations include the weight of the package, configuration, and type of product. We also have to consider a few other factors. What forces are acting on the load? Are there sharp edges or the potential to damage product with strap tension? Unfortunately, there isn’t a magic formula to determine the number of straps or the type of strap to use in a particular situation.
    There are three major types of plastic strapping: polyester, polypropylene, and cord strap.  Polypropylene’s primary characteristics are high elongation (stretch), elongation recovery, and product flexibility. However, it has low retained tension. It can also be easily closed with seals, buckles, or welds. It is the main consideration in light-duty applications because it easily stretches around products that can be damaged by other strapping materials. Polyester has less elongation and is more rigid than polypropylene. It takes more force to properly activate this strap and does not work well with buckles. In most circumstances, it is an ideal substitute for traditional steel applications.
    There are several distinguishing factors to differentiate polyester from polypropylene strapping. Polypropylene strapping will easily tear lengthwise while polyester will not easily split. Please note that colour and width are not determining factors as both products can be made in any colour. If you’re still not sure which is which, try putting a small test piece in water. Polyester will sink, while polypropylene will float.
    In most cases, polyester is the proper substitute for steel, often works better, and is less expensive. A sales specialist will have to look at your particular situation but chances are high that a suitable polyester strap will be appropriate for your application. Among other factors, a specialist will look at the weight of the package, application, compressibility, and outside influences, such as the environment of the packaging location.   

    No. Tools for steel are vastly different from tools for polyester. While both steel and polyester can be closed using seals, the tools are different and are not interchangeable. Besides, there are an abundance of tool options with polyester that offer a productivity gain. You will want to explore the tooling options ideal for your application.

    If you want to switch from steel to polyester, you’ll need to invest in the right tools. Making the switch will save your plant more in the long run.

    Since hand-wrapping is time consuming, you only need to wrap a few loads per day to justify the cost of a stretch wrapping machine. Not only will you save money on labour and have consistent packaging, but you also save about 60% by pre-stretching the wrap before it’s applied to the load. With savings like this, it’s easy to see how little wrapping you actually need to do to justify a machine.

    With a rotary arm stretch wrapper the load to be wrapped remains stationary. The arm containing the stretch wrap rotates around the load. A turntable stretch wrapper is the opposite; the load to be wrapped rotates and the stretch wrap is applied as the table is turning. A rotary arm stretch wrapper is designed to handle any load that is heavy, tall, or unstable. The machine allows the load to stay stable on the floor during the wrapping process.

    A turntable stretch wrapper is designed for pallet jack or forklift loads. Since the turntable must rotate, it is limited by the load weight. Other considerations between the two will be ceiling height, available floor space, and budget.

    A friction weld joint is one type of sealing for plastic strapping. It’s created by rapidly vibrating the two ends of the strap. The motion creates enough heat to fuse the ends together. It is used by most pneumatic and battery-operated tools, as well as in the strapping heads of most automated equipment.
    Joint efficiency refers to the strength of the weld that seals a strap’s ends together. A strap is only as strong as its weakest point. The stronger the seal, the higher the joint efficiency. Efficiency is usually expressed as a percentage of the strap’s break strength.
    You should use serrated face seals with polyester strapping. This will give you a stronger seal and help prevent slippage. Always be sure that you’re using the most appropriate seal for your application.

    Joint strength is affected by many factors. The type of tools you use and how those tools are set up and used are of primary importance. For example, metal clips come in different sizes and configurations. Longer serrated seals are more efficient than shorter smooth seals. Additionally, with seals, there is a chance that the seals are not closed sufficiently as it is a manual process relying on the diligence of the operator. Friction or heat welded joints are less susceptible to these problems as long as the tool is set up properly for the strap. Once set up, the tool ensures a proper weld.

    For that reason metal clips are often rated at a 50% seal efficiency while welds are rated at 75% or higher.

    Polypropylene and polyester straps often use the same hand tools. Battery and pneumatic tools are rated by width, thickness, and tension so the tools must be matched to these characteristics of the strap being used. If these characteristics match, it often does not matter if you use polyester or polypropylene; however, you should be sure to ask your manufacturer or consult the manual for your specific tools.