Selecting the Right Type of Polypropylene Strapping Machine

Are you looking for a polypropylene strapping machine? Your choice can be challenging: should you choose an automatic plastic strapping machine, or a semi-automatic? Perhaps a battery-operated handheld strapping tool is all you need.

There’s a lot to think about when making any investment in your business. So, start by considering the strapping material itself, polypropylene. Why choose this form of plastic strapping?

Plastic straps: reasons to choose polypropylene strapping

Polyester (PET) and polypropylene (PP) are the two primary types of strapping made from plastic resins; both can be recycled. Polypropylene strapping is popular because it offers cost benefits, and is highly versatile.

Reasons to choose PP strapping include:

  • Weight: it’s a soft, lightweight material, and is easy to tension via machines, or via manual application;
  • Cost: it’s a cost-effective strapping material;
  • Versatility: it has a wide variety of uses in packaging, in bundling products together, and in strapping them to pallets;
  • Temperatures: PP can be used in most environments, withstanding any temperature other than extreme temperatures.

However, PP doesn’t retain tension very well, and may tear under pressure. Over time, it’s subject to ultraviolet (UV) degradation, so it’s not suitable for any applications involving outdoor storage.

Wondering how strapping works? Secure tensioning is vital.

How strapping works: choose the correct tension and seal 

When applying polypropylene strapping manually, buckles may be used. Alternatively, choose an all-in-one tool to both tension and seal the strap in a single operation. 

If you’re using buckles, buy the strapping and buckles together, to ensure that you’re using matching sizes.

When it comes to the machine application of PP strapping, if you’re dealing with low volumes, a battery powered strapping tool may be just right. 

Polypropylene: save time with a battery powered plastic strapping tool

Powered by lithium ion batteries, battery powered plastic strapping tools are portable. They’re easily carried and you can use them anywhere in your operations for different widths and grades of both PP and PET strapping. 

These powered tools are much faster than manual applications, applying tension and sealing strap more reliably than can be done solely by hand. They ensure fewer damages and added protection for your products. 

Battery powered tools also offer protection for your staff: they can lower the incidence of repetitive strain injuries, and lost working hours.

Dealing with higher volumes? Your operation may need a semi-automatic strapping machine—they’re available in different sizes and configurations.

Semi-automatic strapping machines: fast, easy to use, and mobile

If packaging is causing bottle necks in your business, it may be time to consider the productivity benefits of a semi-automatic strapping machine. 

These machines require an operator to place the carton on the machine’s bench, and manipulate the strap. Once a package is placed on a machine, the operator pulls the strap around the package. Then he feeds the strap into the machine, which tensions, seals, and cuts the strap. An operator may turn the package or carton to apply additional straps as required. 

Semi-automatic strapping machines are small and mobile, basically a work-bench with its machinery and a reel of strap underneath. You can move these machines anywhere they’re needed.

Loaded with a reel of poly strapping, a semi-automatic machine can perform at the rate of around 15 to 20 straps per minute. It has a preset tension, generally set mid-range. You can raise and lower the tension, depending on the types, shapes, and weights of the products you’re packaging.

You can adjust the machine’s sealing temperature too. However, most machines will be preset at a temperature which suits most grades of plastic strap. Only adjust the temperature if you’re using a higher grade of strapping material, and your seals aren’t holding.

What if you’re dealing with high volumes in your facility? You may need an automatic strapping machine to boost productivity. 

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Automatic strapping machines: safe, secure packaging in seconds

Automatic strapping machines offer mostly hand-free operation, with many advantages, including:

  • Speed: they can produce 60 straps per minute;
  • Consistency, producing the same tension and seal for every package, resulting in fewer errors;
  • Zero materials’ waste, offering considerable savings over time;
  • Fewer operators are required for packaging in your factory or warehouse;
  • Reliability: the machines are manufactured to withstand heavy use.

These machines are often termed “arch” machines, because they have an arch which contains sensors. The sensors determine the size of any package placed underneath the arch. Different arch-size configurations are available.

The arch’s sensors control the machine. All that’s required is for the operator to place a package onto the machine, and press a button or foot pedal. Then the machine completes the strapping process: wrapping, tensioning, sealing, and cutting automatically.

Which type of polypropylene strapping machine will you choose?

Before making a choice, consider getting advice. Many different brands are available, in varying sizes and capabilities. They offer great productivity advantages, and can save overall costs.