National Tube Form, Inc. — Stretch-Wrap Machine Speeds Tube Assembly Shipment
National Tube Form Inc., Fort Wayne, Ind., manufactures tube and pipe assemblies from steel, stainless steel, brass, copper, aluminum, alloy steel, INCONEL® alloy, and Hastelloy®. Parts can be round, square, or rectangular, either hollow or solid, and are customized with beading, dimpling, flaring, notching, painting, plating, polishing, tapering, and threading.
The company ships about 10,000 tube assemblies per day, and 90 percent of its shipments are palletized. Because customers often order parts of several sizes and shapes, employees assemble loads through a pick-and-pack method.
All tube and pipe assemblies are boxed to prevent damage and are placed on pallets with lengths varying from 48 to 72 in. Many of the boxes are long and some are odd-shaped.
On the company's busiest days, it ships about 50 pallets. With its previous method, one employee required at least four hours to prepare those pallets for shipping by manually skidding, banding, and wrapping the loads. In addition, hand-wrapping caused a lot of back strain.
One of NTF’s owners saw a manual 87-in. Yellow Jacket 110® orbital lock-down stretch-wrap machine in action at a tradeshow and arranged to have one sent to her facility for a trial. After about two loads, Tracie Yarian, shipping/receiving and warehouse supervisor at NTF, said, "We want this."
The machine secures any load, including odd-shaped ones. it wraps pallet sizes of 52 in. square and 5 ft. long at speeds up to 30 revolutions per minute.
The operator places a roll of stretch-wrap on the machine's spool. A forklift driver then positions the palletized load inside the machine's cylinder, which is open on both sides. Leaving the pallet on the forklift, the driver then ties the stretch-wrap to the bottom of the pallet.
The machine starts with the push of a button, and the spool orbits the load on a track, applying stretch-wrap from under the pallet to the boxes above. An employee manually maneuvers the cylinder horizontally to ensure that the load is completely wrapped and secured to the pallet. The stretch-wrap then is cut, and the forklift removes the wrapped load. Most loads are wrapped in less than a minute.
The orbital lock-down technology eliminates the need for banding. Preparation time has been reduced so that one employee now can prepare 50 pallets for shipping in about one hour instead of four. The process also has reduced the physical strain to workers.
INCONEL is a registered trademark of the Special Metals group of companies. Hastelloy is a registered trademark of Haynes International.
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Yellow Jacket 110® might improve your operations. Call 800-387-5001