8 Orbital Wrapper Applications for Improved Efficiency & Safety

Handle It's FA 200 Automatic Orbital Wrapper is ideal for wrapping bulky items like cabinets.

Horizontal orbital stretch wrappers vastly increase the speed and efficiency with which objects can be wrapped in film to protect them during shipping or storage and offer clear benefits in terms of safety and cost savings.

Below we take a look at some of the vast range of applications for which a new generation of automatic, semi-automatic, and C-style orbital wrappers are suited. We’ll also break down the benefits as well as any potential drawbacks of using orbital stretch wrappers for your operation.

Clear Advantage: Smart Orbital Wrappers Applications

Orbital wrappers (also known as ring wrappers, horizontal wrappers, or ringers) are machines that wrap almost any material, usually in clear protective stretch films. These packaging workhorses allow products to be wrapped securely and consistently for shipping or storage.

Designed to handle objects horizontally (as opposed to stretch wrap or pallet wrapper machines which wrap objects standing upright), orbital wrappers are ideal for bundling long, narrow, or irregularly shaped objects. However, they’re also used to group, bundle, and wrap products that range from small to very large.

By automating the process of passing flexible packaging materials under heavy or awkward objects, orbital wrappers offer manufacturers and distributors big gains in efficiency and safety as well as saving time, money, and materials.

Types of Orbital Wrappers

Depending on the application or the level of automation required, users may choose one of three popular “ringer” designs.

Semi-automatic horizontal orbital wrappers: Allow products to be bundled with some manual intervention making it easier and safer to wrap large objects horizontally.

Automatic horizontal orbital wrappers: Used for bundling products quickly and efficiently with no manual intervention in high-capacity applications.

C-Style Round Products Orbital Wrappers: These semi-automatic horizontal orbital wrappers are used for bundling round or “pass-through” products like tires, rolls of wire, tubing, and door or window frames.

Check out this video to see a Handle It® FA 125 Automatic Orbital Wrapper in action:

Now let’s take a closer look at how these machines add value in the form of speed, safety, consistency, efficiency, and reliable return on investment for many handling applications.

8 Value-Adding Orbital Wrapper Applications

Orbital horizontal wrappers have hundreds of applications across manufacturing, warehousing, and distribution operations. Here are some of the most popular use cases:

1. Industrial Manufacturing and Fabrication

Horizontal wrapping technology helps to protect metal extrusions, pipes, tubing, and industrial components during storage and shipping, making both long objects and rolls of flexible products easier and safer to handle. Orbital wrappers are also used to bundle bulk construction products like drywall, lumber, and metal panels.

2. Logistics and Distribution

Orbital wrapping is widely used to bundle boxed items into batches and to secure these bundles to pallets for easy storage, handling, and transport. It can often be used as an easier and safer alternative to the cumbersome plastic strapping used to secure larger loads to pallets.

3. Furniture and Woodworking

The ability to wrap both irregularly shaped objects and “open” products like door and window frames makes horizontal wrapping the go-to choice for protecting finished wooden products. It also allows cardboard to be included in the wrapping to protect vulnerable edges more efficiently than bulky foam sheets or hard-to-recycle polystyrene beads.

4. Building Materials and Hardware

Similarly, horizontal wrapping makes it easier to bundle rolls of insulation, flooring materials, and large hardware items with less manual labor, thereby reducing costs and potential safety issues. It can even be used for bundling loose materials like tiles, bricks, or pavers into custom-sized orders for distribution, offering potentially huge savings on LTL (less than truckload) orders.

5. Automotive, Aerospace, and Military

By allowing a wide range of automotive parts and aerospace components to be wrapped quickly and efficiently for transit, horizontal wrapping technology helps protect sensitive parts from scratches and minor impact damage.

C-style orbital wrappers are particularly useful for bundling tires, reducing the minimum size required for shipping, and eliminating the strenuous labor involved in handling and wrapping tires by hand. Read our customer case study here.

6. Consumer Goods and Electronics

A faster, cheaper, and more energy-efficient alternative to heat-shrink wraps, horizontal stretch film wrapping can be applied faster to appliances and electronics. It also provides more protection, especially for packages of individual components inside display boxes.

7. Textiles and Roll-Based Goods

Horizontal orbital wrapping is especially popular for shipping, protecting, and displaying rolled textiles like carpets and fabric. It keeps products dry and wrinkle-free while allowing customers to see patterns and designs without opening the packaging.

Full-scale automatic orbital wrappers also make it dramatically easier and less labor-intensive to handle large carpets and mats without adding further to their shipping weight or dimensions.

8. Specialty Products and Custom Applications

Orbital wrapping has also found uses in all sorts of custom and specialty applications where unique items or products of various sizes need to be protected—from airport baggage handling to high-end art moving services. Wherever it’s used, orbital wrapping allows delicate objects to be wrapped faster, easier, and with less material than by hand.

The following chart may help you identify the best type of orbital wrapper for your application:

ApplicationRecommended WrapperNotes
Industrial Manufacturing and FabricationSemi-AutomaticIdeal for a variety of sizes and shapes and long or bulky industrial components.
Logistics and DistributionAutomaticEfficient for high-volume wrapping of uniform items like boxed or palletized products.
Furniture and WoodworkingSemi-AutomaticGreat for irregularly shaped items or use with other materials like cardboard.
Building Materials and HardwareSemi-AutomaticGood for handling diverse shapes and sizes, from rolls of insulation to large items.
Automotive, Aerospace, and MilitaryC-Style, Semi-automaticEssential for round items like tires and for protecting any sensitive parts during transit.
Consumer Goods and ElectronicsAutomaticBest for high-speed wrapping of electronics and appliances for protection and efficiency.
Textiles and Roll-Based GoodsAutomaticIdeal for at-scale, repetitive wrapping of rolled goods, for protection and visibility.
Specialty Products and Custom ApplicationsSemi-Automatic or C-StyleSemi-automatic for varied shapes and sizes; C-Style for round or pass-through items.

Pros of Orbital Wrappers

Now let’s break down the specific ways an orbital wrapper can add value to your operation with clear benefits over manual handling or traditional vertical wrapping methods. These include:

  1. Speed and productivity: With speeds of up to 180 RPM, orbital wrappers work far faster than hand-wrapping for increased productivity in high-capacity applications.
  2. Consistent, repeatable quality: Orbital wrappers deliver even uniform wrapping for every package, ensuring product consistency, effective protection, and reduced waste.
  3. Safety: Orbital wrappers lower the chance of lost time incidents and repetitive injuries by reducing awkward and hazardous handling tasks. Features like fully enclosed cutting rings and shielded cutting blades help to ensure safety.
  4. Better use of resources: Automated wrapping allows you to achieve more with fewer staffers. Unlike humans, wrappers use film consistently and overlap evenly, reducing the need for protective foam and other materials. All that adds up to bottom-line savings.
  5. Better protection: Quality film wrapping provides cost-effective protection for products during handling, transport, and storage, especially when combined with cardboard.
  6. Integration and Automation: Orbital wrappers make it easier to get loads onto pallets for warehouse handling. Fully automated units integrate seamlessly into your workflow with variable speeds, conveyor compatibility, and sophisticated programmable controls.
  7. Flexibility and Portability: Larger orbital wrappers allow you to handle a wide variety of package sizes. Some units manufactured by Handle It® feature dual film rolls for rapid switches between wrapping materials. Smaller Handle It® orbital wrapper units are portable, allowing them to be moved easily to wherever they are needed next.
  8. Cost-Effectiveness: Automated orbital wrappers make your return on investment clear through increased capacity, reduced downtime, predictable savings on labor and materials, and minimized product damage and returns.

Cons of Orbital Wrappers

That said, horizontal orbital wrappers are a specialized solution and are not ideal for every application. Specific areas where orbital wrappers might not be the best choice include:

  1. A wide range of product sizes: A single orbital wrapper might not be ideal if you handle a very wide range of product sizes. If horizontal wrapping is essential, you might require several units of different sizes to handle your product mix efficiently.
  2. Tall or irregular products: Orbital wrappers can handle a lot, but objects larger than 98” are probably too big. Even the best orbital wrappers might struggle to cover very irregular objects, especially the leading and tail edges.
  3. Very heavy objects: Standard stretch film is very strong for its weight, but it might not be suitable for very heavy objects, especially where these need to be attached to a pallet. In these cases, it’s safer to use traditional woven plastic or even steel strapping.
  4. Wrapped pallets: Horizontally wrapped pallets might not be ideal for warehouse handling. The plastic under the pallet is likely to become damaged, even when used with jacks and forklifts. For extensive warehouse handling, dedicated pallet wrappers might be the better choice.

Handle It® Has Your Orbital Wrapper Needs Covered

Handle It® orbital wrappers boost productivity and reduce labor costs in your packaging process. Their state-of-the-art design and robust performance are indispensable assets for ensuring the secure and efficient wrapping of round and non-standard-size products.

Handle It® offers automatic, semi-automatic, and C-style orbital wrappers suitable for a wide range of industrial warehousing, storage, and distribution applications. All Handle It® orbital wrappers are:

  • Designed and manufactured in Europe
  • Final assembly, testing, and programming in Milwaukee, WI
  • ISO 9000 Certification
  • CE compliant

All Handle It® products utilize only the highest-quality components, delivered with some of the shortest lead times in the industry. We test and pre-program every machine prior to shipment and back up our equipment with a three-year warranty.

Contact us today for a quote or click below to learn more about class-leading horizontal orbital wrap equipment.

8 Benefits of Orbital Wrappers You Should Know


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