Robot wrappers have the edge over semi-automatic turntable wrappers on flexibility, but companies looking for speed might be want to consider other wrapping options, writes Lynda Searby.
Robot wrappers have come a long way since the first one was invented by Robopac in Italy in 1982. The early mechanical machines have been succeeded by more sophisticated electronic systems, and selfpropelled robot wrappers have firmly established themselves alongside other semi-automatic stretch wrappers like turntable wrappers and rotary wrappers.
Gordian Strapping, whose range takes in the Motion and E-Motion robot wrappers, estimates that robot wrappers represent 18-20% of the market, with turntable wrappers accounting for 80%. The company says semi-automatic rotary arm wrappers tend to be less popular, accounting for 3-5% of the market. It doesn’t seem likely that this dynamic will alter dramatically in the next few years, although there is evidence to suggest that robot wrappers will make some gains, potentially at the expense of other wrappers. “I wouldn’t say that robots are growing dramatically in popularity. But there are more companies building them than there were 30 years ago. Sales are growing at the same rate as turntable wrappers,” observes Daren Spice, sales and marketing director at Gordian.