Cheap Strapping Tools Cost a Fortune!We were recently called to an international Company that was double strapping 400 cartons a day using five imported combination strapping tools that had cost approximately £110 each. When asked why this equipment had been purchased the reply was "They were cheap' and appear to do the job. Imagine the shock then when it was proved that the cheap solution was actually costing them approx £19,000 per annum more each year than adopting the correct solution.
The arithmetic was easy!
Based on an assumption that it took 1.5 minutes to strap each carton with the handtools and that the operators were being paid £8.00 per hour (Marginally above the minimum wage) it followed that 1.5 minutes x 400 cartons/day x 5 days per week x 50 weeks per year added up to approx £20,000 per year for the labour to apply the straps - every year!
When it was initially proposed that a semi automatic strapping machine costing in the region of £650 be used the initial reaction was that this was expensive.... until it was pointed out that these strapping machines can apply straps at the rate of one strap every 2.5 seconds, and that theoretically 4oo cartons could be strapped in 33 minutes., and doing the same arithmetic as for handtools the annual labour cost to apply the straps to the cartons would be approx £1100 - a saving of £18,900 p.a with a piece of strapping equipment that would pay for itself in less than one month.....So much for 'Cheap' then!
The strapping tools used standard semi open clips that allow strap to slip through when a load within the range 60 -100Kgs was applied and yet the strapping in use had a break strength of 300 kgs, so the user was paying for a good qualityy strapping but failing to utilise the strength, overlooking the point that the strap is only as strong as the weakest link - the joint - when applied to a pack or pallet. Although we could have recommended stronger methods of joining strapping in this instance strapping tools were not the answer, but the important point was the user was applying it mistakenly believing it a good secure pack and cost effective.
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