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Getting to the end of the line

10 June 2013

The end of the line is just as important as the beginning of it but many companies do not realise the value of an effective strapping system – environmentally and economically. Mosca’s managing director Gaye Tate explains.

The right type of equipment is essential in being able to provide its users with an extremely effective solution to cost save and streamline production processes. The history of strapping – as with any other modern manufacturing industry – is one of continuous improvement. The latest models are genuinely the best that have ever been available: faster, more reliable, easier to use and more economic. All because of a pedigree of research, refinement and revolution, as innovative new technologies have improved every aspect of the strapping industry.  

It pays – literally – to research the market to see what is being sold. Many manufacturers offer a basic, generic strapping machine that seems at first glance that it can do the job. But for how long?  

A high-quality strapping machine is designed to minimise maintenance for long-term performance and reliability. In fact, today’s top-end strapping machines, if looked after properly, will perform to the highest standard for 10-15 years. Yet those who favour the short-term gain offered by cheaper deals are soon likely to find that there’s a reason for the drop in price. Anecdotal evidence suggests that companies who opt for the bottom end of the market tend to ditch their machines within 2-3 years, out of sheer frustration at the amount of downtime they’ve suffered.

This is a familiar story in the world of end-of-line strapping. Since the strapper is not used in the actual manufacture of a company’s products, it tends to be exactly the piece of kit that left until the last possible minute. Yet strapping is a key link in the production chain, ensuring efficient distribution between producers and end users.  

"Today’s top-end strapping machines, if looked after properly, will perform to the highest standard for 10-15 years."

It is common sense that, when production line managers invest considerably to secure the fastest throughput speeds and the highest levels of reliability, this speed and reliability must be matched all the way along the supply chain. Even the most state-of-the-art production equipment is effectively useless if its end-of-line machinery cannot keep up. Once a bottleneck is created, the only way the problem can be resolved is to stop production – and that is bad for business.

In an age of sustainability commitments and concerns, end of line strapping machinery is not probably always at the forefront of the mind when it comes to being green.

However, saving the planet and saving money can go hand in hand now - what makes commercial sense in terms of enhanced efficiencies and improved performance also makes environmental sense.

At Mosca sustainability has been an important issue and has driven innovation and development. Wear-free direct drives, used on Mosca strapping machines since the 1990s, are now an industry standard. This technology not only reduces the need for service-intensive mechanical components, but also guarantees quiet operation with minimal friction. This means machines are almost entirely free of wear and maintenance.

The replacement of pneumatic and hydraulic drives with electrical systems allows strapping machines to work faster and, consequently, more energy-efficiently. Meanwhile Mosca’s strap production line uses solar energy to make carbon-neutral, recyclable PP and PET strapping from recycled bottles.

Customers need to be sure that the machines they are buying can back up the claims manufacturers make about sustainability. For example, Mosca strapping machines now bear a label reading "GET Inside”. GET stands for Green Efficient Technology.

We must operate as responsible producers, taking responsibility not only for our own products and environment, but also helping our customers and employees work more sustainably. 

And the more we can make machinery buyers understand the thinking behind sustainable high-tech solutions, the better they will understand the tangible value of investing in those products.