Helping a major soft drink manufacturer save £169,000 a year & reduce plastic waste by 65%

A soft drinks manufacturer was generating huge amounts of plastic waste and experiencing high labour costs due to an inefficient pallet wrapping system.

By working with Hazel 4D to conduct film trials and testing they were able to pinpoint the problems and find cost-effective solutions that drove drive valuable improvements.

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The problem

Three turntable wrapping machines had been poorly set up with inefficient programs, resulting in frequent film snappages. Operators were having to compensate for these snappages by overwrapping by hand whilst the turntable machine was in motion!!  This doubled the amount of film used per pallet whilst also increasing labour costs and leading to H&S issues.

A backlog of pallets from the wrapping machines led to many being wrapped by “hand only”, a labour intensive exercise with a far longer wrap time of around 3 minutes per pallet.

The loads were also being wrapped too low onto the pallets, which was resulting in the film being pierced or split by forklift trucks, thus creating significant weak spots in the pallet wrap.

The customer was actively reducing the grade of material in their primary and secondary packaging, which had also had a detrimental effect on the overall stability of the pallets.  Better wrapping programs were required to compensate for this.


Machine 1 : hand film reinforcement

The ‘holding force data’ reading below was taken from pallets wrapped with the additional hand wrap that the operators had been told to apply.

Since this change has been implemented the stability issues had been greatly reduced, but excessive amounts of film and additional labour was being used. There was also a real risk of inconsistency between operators, as some would put more or less hand film on the pallets than others.

Machine 2

The holding force reading below was taken from pallets on which the additional hand wrap hadn’t been applied.

This shows a very weak area at approx 100cm height, allowing for significant product shift during transit. At other points in the cycle an excessive amount of film is being applied.

Our solution

Through extensive trials, Hazel 4D were able to demonstrate a significant improvement in load containment force (stability) and a far more consistent wrapping sequence. This was a result of switching to high performance Extremus NANO15 film, reconfiguring the wrapping program and making some minor mechanical upgrades to one of the machines.

Images to the right show the pallet wrapped with Hazel 4D’s Extremus MFNANO15 film and the testing results.

The difference it made

  • Significantly improved load stability
  • Reduced weight of plastic used by 65%
  • Over 2 minutes of operator time saved per pallet wrapped

  • Almost double the number of pallets wrapped per roll of film, saving on machine downtime and plastic wastage
  • Reduced costs (and plastic tax) by 59% per pallet wrapped
  • Annual cost saving of approx £169,000
We started working with Hazel 4D at one of our co-packing facilities and we very much appreciated their support. They were able to quickly highlight the weak points in some of our pallet formats and they not only recommended alternative materials to use but also advised on stretch wrap program set up. Their intervention helped to reduce material usage and to eliminate returned loads from customers.

Soft Drink Manufacturer

Further trials

Comparison of amount of film used from 3 different pallets

Left – 746g – Machine 1, customers original pallet and film with hand film reinforcement

Centre – 475g – Machine 2, customers original pallet and film

Right – 260g – Results after Hazel 4D’s improvements and MFNANO15 film

This image shows the results from further trials carried out on other products using the same wrap program with operators and FLT drivers commenting that the pallets were a lot more stable.

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Our team of experts includes technical consultants, packaging technologists, project managers and procurement specialists. Many of them have been with Hazel 4D for over 20 years.

To see their smiling faces, visit our meet the team page or get in touch to arrange a site visit.

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