- Created: 2018-07-09
Tank head manufacturer improves safety, reduces costs with orbital stretch wrapper
By Joe Albert, vice president of sales and marketing, global wrapping technologies, Signode Industrial Group
From its Fort Worth, Texas, plant, Baker Tankhead Inc. ships almost 15 tons of tank heads, hot-formed tank heads, cones, manways and rolled shells each day. Since 1977, Baker Tankhead has been manufacturing tank heads for various industries and applications.
Manufacturing ASME and standard heads, cones and shells, the company has a long history of delivering quality products to its customers throughout the United States and Mexico. The metal tank heads and cones come in sizes from 8 5/8 in. to more than 16 ft. in diameter, so when it comes time to ship the equipment, securing them to the pallets was a tedious and costly process.
Previously, employees hand-wrapped the pallets using stretch wrap. Depending on the size of the order, it would take as many as three employees to maneuver one roll of wrap around the cones and corners of the pallet to secure the load. The potential for injury, and the cost associated with each worker’s time, got the management team at Baker Tankhead looking for a better solution.
With less time devoted to wrapping pallets, Baker Tankhead workers have ample time additional manufacturing and operational activities.
Baker Tankhead now uses the Yellow Jacket orbital stretch wrapper from Muller LCS to secure the varying pallet configurations for shipping. It’s made a difference for the company in faster, more secure palletizing and a safer workplace for its employees.
“The Yellow Jacket has been a great investment for us,” says John Asfar, technology manager at Baker Tankhead. “The labor and time savings alone gave us a quick return but more importantly the machine has been very reliable.”
The Yellow Jacket’s unique orbital design allows the stretch wrap to securely hold the product to the pallet, regardless of shape or dimensions, and while the pallet is still on the forklift. It also can be operated by a single employee and delivers a uniform tension to keep the heavy metal tanks and cones on the pallet until the customer is ready to place it at the final location. This guarantees the product stays on the pallet no matter where the shipment is going.
Because the stretch wrap is no longer handled manually, employees don’t experience the risks associated with lifting and moving heavy film rolls, including back injuries.
Baker Tankhead manufacturers tank heads for various industries and applications, including tank heads, hot-formed tank heads, cones and manways.
Muller has a long reputation as an innovator in pallet wrapping equipment and stretch wrapping film. The challenges at Baker Tankhead were one of many understood by the original Yellow Jacket engineers, who developed the machine to operate in tight quarters – it has 8 ft. by 9 ft. footprint -- as well as run on standard 110 VAC current to make it easy to install wherever it is needed.
The Yellow Jacket model 87-M, which is the model Baker Tankhead uses, wraps a pallet size of up to 68 in. diagonal, which was an important consideration for the Baker Tankhead team given the unusual sizes of their shipments.
Another important feature for the Baker Tankhead team is the Yellow Jacket’s reliability. Even with 27,000 lbs. of products being shipped from Fort Worth each day, the machine has proven to be as sturdy as the product it protects, wrapping 40 pallets each day and operating six hours in each 24-hour shift.
With less time devoted to wrapping pallets, Baker Tankhead workers have ample time for film reloading and routine maintenance without interrupting the shipping process.
The security, safety and reliability of the Yellow Jacket stretch wrapper gave Baker Tankhead the confidence every manufacturer looks for in the shipping process, which is reliable delivery to the customer’s dock.
Muller is a manufacturer of equipment and material load containment solutions and part of the Signode Industrial Group. Headquartered in Glenview, Ill., the company provides a single source to properly secure pallets.
In addition to the 87-M, a semiautomatic version is available. Other offerings include the high-speed, automatic Octopus stretch wrapper line, along with other equipment such Cobra and Raptor wrappers, provide customers with a wide range of solutions. Muller products are sold around the world under the brands Yellow Jacket, Haloila, Mima, GaleWrap, Lachenmeier and Lock n’ Pop-- all brands are under the Signode Industrial Group.