ITW Muller found a better way to wrap pallets of blocks, pavers and bricks.
``We marry the film and the machine,'' national sales manager Arnie Reyes said of the new Octopus 303 BP, a block-and-paver wrapping machine. Reyes showed the new machine during an Oct. 6 interview and demonstration at ITW Muller's Arlington Heights office. Officials unveiled the Octopus in February at the MPCX precast/masonry expo in Denver.
In recent months, an ITW Muller plant in Kirkland, Quebec, has produced and delivered 10 of the automatic rotary-ring machines for wrapping an ITW linear low density polyethylene film around heavily loaded pallets. The metallocene and additive-enhanced blown stretch film is made in Douglasville, Ga.
The new block-and-paver film ``has a superior load retention vs. other tensile strength films,'' Reyes said.
A division of a major Midwest hardware chain has already installed the first BP machine at an Illinois manufacturing plant and three more at a production facility in Ohio, he said.
An Octopus 303 BP is capable of wrapping 50-60 loads per hour and lists for $54,900 with an optional heavy-duty conveyor costing another $20,000.
The machine has a tail-tuck closure device instead of a heat-seal application that can come undone in a warm outdoor storage yard or during open-truck transportation. The closure device tucks the tail under two webs of stretch film.
After the demonstration, Reyes slit and removed the application of stretch film and logo wrap. Total weight: 7 ounces.
``We are combining prestretched with unstretched [film] to provide marketing appeal,'' said Jack Shirrell, vice president of film technology for ITW industrial packaging systems.
Reyes anticipates future applications in wrapping mulch and incorporating security, branding and inventory control features. Those in the security community ``want opaque or colored high-load retention'' film that will provide evidence of tampering, Reyes said.
Shirrell sees value in this application at a time when the plastics industry is struggling to sway public opinion. ``We could not replace stretch film with something that grows on trees.''
In this film market segment, ITW competes primarily with AEP Industries Inc. of South Hackensack, N.J., the stretch film division of Lyndhurst, N.J.-based Sigma Plastics Group and Paragon Films Inc. of Broken Arrow, Okla.
ITW Muller, a unit of Illinois Tool Works Inc.'s packaging division, will run the equipment at the Pack Expo show Nov. 9-13 in Chicago.