Strapping and banding are commonly used as packaging means, why?
To close a pack, for example strapping a lid onto a carton of some kind, or keeping folding flaps closed
Adding a degree of security to a pack by making it more difficult to open and providing visible evidence of pilferage where straps have been removed
Binding multiple packs together
Increasing pack stability, for example, bundles of newspapers which need to be restrained for stacking and handling
Strapping Machines can generally be divided into two categories:
These machines can apply either a vertical or a horizontal strap around a pack or pallet. In some cases, packs or pallets are strapped vertically as well as horizontally.
Machines to strap individual packs are available in semi-automatic, automatic or automated versions. They generally run Polypropylene strap from 5mm to 12mm. Semi-Automatics are stand-alone machines and the operator feeds the strap manually into the machine and operates the start button to strap the pack. In the case of Automatic and Automated machines, the package is placed inside an arch and the strap is then fed around an arch and applied to the pack automatically. With Automatic machines, the operator places the package inside the arch, whereas with Automated machines the pack is indexed into the arch by a conveyor.
Pallet Strapping machines, which could be stand-alone or integrated into a packaging line feed the strap around an arch and apply it to the pack automatically. They generally run Polypropylene strap (PP) from 5mm to 12mm or Polyester Strap (PET) from 9mm to 16mm.
Manual and Battery Operated Hand Tools are also available for low volume usage.
Nowadays most strap is produced using PP or PET (both of which are both recyclable), however this has only been the case from the 1990’s. Before plastic strap became available from the 1960’s onwards, Woven Strap or Steel strap were the main materials used to strap packs or pallets.
Woven Strap is generally made from polyester or rayon yarns woven together and bonded in a hot melt process, and is sometimes referred to as corded strapping. Woven strap is usually applied by hand using buckles to tension it to the pack, and is mainly used where lighter tension is required.
As well as being available in different widths and gauges, plastic strap is available with different breaking strengths according to whether a lighter or a heavier tension is required. When selecting the right strap, it is important to know the dimensions and weight of the pack and how it will be stored and transported.
Some companies purchase pre-printed strap either to enhance company branding or to comply with traceability regulations. Alternatively it is possible to print in-line directly onto the strap meaning that dates and batch codes can easily and quickly be entered into the printer.