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Stretch Film: How Downgauging Can Save You Money

Stretch Film - How Downgauging can save you money


You’ve probably heard the word “downgauging” stretch film before but what does it mean? And why does it matter? Below, we’ll dive into what downgauging really means, how it works, and why it matters to our customers.

In short, Downgauging is doing more with less. It’s all about maximizing efficiency without compromising quality. The best way to approach downgauging is explaining the unique differences between each and every operation and how that applies to cost and performance.

The “Skinny” on Downgauging

Downgauging is the process of replacing a thick traditional film (70 – 90 gauge) with a higher performance, thinner gauge film. This process allows us to save money (typically 15 – 30% savings) on every pallet wrapped because we’re using less film.  By reducing the amount of film we are also increasing sustainability and reducing our carbon footprint which is a key component here at WCP Solutions.

The ABC’s of Load Sizes

When selecting the right stretch film, it’s important to accurately determine the load size. There are three primary load sizes:

  1. Uniform – This would include precisely uniform boxes or other materials. Traditionally, these are the easiest loads to wrap because they offer standardized sizing and processes.
  2. Semi-Uniform – This would include fairly uniform materials that have a few inconsistencies. There may be several film puncture points and more film selection is required.
  3. No Uniformity – This would include no uniformity and has a variety of puncture points. These are the hardest and most time-consuming loads because each load is different and requires unique wrapping.

It’s also important to identify the right type of Equipment (turntable, automatic, in line, manufacturer, age of equipment) and Film Gauge. By understanding each of the variables, we can build a custom downgauging process for each of our customers that fits their specific needs.

The Benefits of Downgauging

There are many benefits to utilizing the downgauging process which is why we employ downgauging here at WCP Solutions. This flexible packaging solution enables us to custom-fit pallet loads for our customers’ unique needs. Below are a few of the benefits we’ve found when using downgauging.

  • Cost Savings – Save up to 30% or more!
  • Less Weight / Material – Makes it less resource-intensive to wrap pallets.
  • Increase in Performance – High cling, puncture, and tear-resistance.
  • Reduce Carbon Footprint – Results in less waste.

In addition to the benefits, we also want to make sure that we aren’t sacrificing quality. According to
Plastics Technology, “At 2 mil, consumers cannot distinguish a 5% decrease in gauge”. By working with our customers and understanding the tolerance levels, we can use downgauging to leverage the benefits without negatively impacting the consumer experience.


Ready to Talk?

Let’s chat about your next project. Our WCP Solutions packaging experts will perform a Stretch Film Audit to determine the right film for your specific application to optimize the three main variables of cost, performance, and yield.

Through a series of quick and standard tests, our WCP Solutions team can offer you mathematical and scientific data to provide accurate information about your unique operation and how it applies to your cost and performance for stretch film usage.

Learn more about WCP here.

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