KVE has a long history in the packaging industry. Please ask our experts If you do not find an answer to your question here. They are also ready to advise you on choosing the most economical solution for your packaging situation.
Further to the previous answer the number of packages to be strapped and their size have bearing on whether to choose hand tools or a standard machine. Also when we do have many parcels in a short period of time to strap e.g. in the afternoon before they will be handed over to the postal service then a standard machine might be an advantage versus a hand tool.
Today, steel strapping is mainly used under rigid conditions and/or for heavy duty applications. Plastic strap made of PP (Polypropylene) is used for lighter applications and lighter packs. Plastic strap made of PET (Polyester) is used for more heavy applications and is, in some cases, a replacement product for steel strap. Automated machines and hand tools for welding (joining) plastic strap together are normally smaller and lighter then for equivalent steel strap.
Steel strap has approximately double the weight of a corresponding PET material. Plastic does not become rusty, is generally easier to apply than steel and has greater elongation. Steel has also become more and more expensive in recent times.
Depending on the product, horizontally or vertically oriented straps, or sometimes straps in both orientations need to be applied. The strap orientation is especially important when considering automation due to the significant difference between the automatic machines used for each orientation. The strap itself is not affected whether it is applied vertically or horizontally.
When only a few straps per day are applied or when the environment (e.g. outside in the forest) is harsh then seals and manually operated hand tools are still a veritable and economical solution. A seal system can also be a good back up to other more advanced methods. For heavy applications like e.g. in the timber industry often seals and steel strap is the only reasonable solution.
Both processes are used to secure unstable loads. An applied shrink stretch film around the product gives protection against dust, influence of weather and theft. Shrinking normally requires more expensive stationary heat equipment for applying a shrink hood. Stretching on the other side is the application of an expandable film wrapped around a product. Often it makes sense to combine strapping and stretching for most economical packaging purpose.
When product presentation is critical it is often advisable to use edge protectors to eliminate damage from other packaging. Edge protectors are made from various materials and in many different shapes, so ask your packaging specialist for the best solution for your product.
Plastic trap is very environmental friendly. It’s often made from recycled material and can be disposed easily as well. It’s not dangerous and does not contain “bad” chemicals at all. Steel is also widely available and the used material can be collected and reused again for producing new metal products.