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Reliable Strapping Systems: An Indispensable Element of Supply Chain and Logistics Systems

Among other things, 2020 will be remembered as the year terms “supply chain” and “logistics” became household words. Early on, the challenge was getting adequate PPE supplies to everyone, from medical treatment facilities to the general public. By year-end, 2020 dealt with getting vaccines produced and delivered to injection centers. Whether the bottlenecks had to do with planning, production, distribution, transportation, or delivery, we all came to understand that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.

Plastic strapping systems play an often unseen but essential role in companies’ logistics systems from many economic sectors, securing products for shipment with speed and reliability, economically and sustainably.

Strapping solutions to aid Pandemic vaccination distribution

EAM-Mosca has been directly involved in several critical logistics systems during the Covid-19 crisis as an essential end-of-line system supplier.

A critical product in the coronavirus vaccine distribution has, and will continue to be dry ice. As a long-standing strapping system and strap supplier to a nationwide, multi-location producer of dry ice, EAM-Mosca has continued to provide customized solutions to package the heavy blocks of specially wrapped dry ice.

The solution was multiple operator-controlled ROMP6-SoniXs strapping machines with a customized height and reinforced table. The dry ice is then strapped and placed in insulated containers for transport to user sites. The need to quickly move the product from production equipment to the insulated containers, and the importance of timely delivery to vaccine distributors, both speak to the need for reliability that is EAM-Mosca’s calling card.

For PPE production, another critical component of slowing the spread of the Covid-19 virus, a specialty plastics fabricator used EAM-Mosca’s USI-SoniXs side seal strapping system to secure pallet loads of product for shipment.

Meeting Pharmaceutical and Convenience Store Demands

Pharmaceutical and convenience store distribution has always been essential but especially critical during the pandemic. They both use plastic totes secured with plastic strapping to ship controlled substances and high-value items to retail stores every day. Orders are entered during the daytime hours, picked and packed into the night, and shipped for delivery the next morning. Meeting schedules day in and day out requires a well-honed system that includes everything from having the right stock to timely shipping and delivery.

A prominent pharmaceutical distributor contacted EAM-Mosca when night supervisors were plagued by poor strapping system performance and spending their entire shifts at the strapping station to fix strapping system malfunctions and tote securement problems. A ROMP6R-SoniXs fully automatic high-speed bundler was installed at one of their centers to solve this issue. Several years later, with over a hundred strappers at dozens of distribution centers, their lines now average over twenty totes per minute, strapped reliably and securely, every day. The supervisors are free to move through the facility as needed, knowing they can count on the strapping systems to do their part in meeting the demanding schedules.

This story rings true in convenience stores as well. From small regional systems in the Eastern US to the largest networks in Mexico, and from operator cycled ROMP6-Sonixs bundlers to fully automatic high-speed ROMP6B-Sonixs machines, Mosca equipment and strapping provide the speed, reliability, and cost-effectiveness that successful supply chains count on.

Reliable performance for Logistics

While supply chain and logistics definitions can be fluid, supply chain is generally regarded as the overall business system from product conception to customer delivery. In contrast, logistics is the subset of responsibilities that deal with actual product handling and transport. Many companies now outsource parts of the logistics function to firms that specialize in those aspects of the process.

When a Midwestern logistics facility serving a global fashion retailer was struggling with a combination of strapper reliability and package security issues, their Systems Director contacted EAM-Mosca for a consult. The result was a proposal for ROMP6B-SoniXs high-speed strappers, plus a redesign of the adjacent conveyor system and automated controls to better manage the carton closing and package position functions on their six packing lines. While the EAM-Mosca proposal was 40% higher than competitor strapper replacement quotes, the company chose the more holistic EAM- Mosca proposal which appeared to address the root causes of the productivity and package quality issues.

The Systems Director, not someone given to elaborate praise, summarized the results a year into the change: “The EAM-Mosca proposal was insightful, and the performance of the system has lived up to their claims, so far. I appreciate their continuing attention to train and retrain our operators and technicians on machine care. We are hopeful proper care will help achieve the productive life that will ultimately determine the success of the investment.”

EAM-Mosca views the performance-driven system collaboration involved in this application to be central to their business success. Now, in the third year of the relationship, the company is not about to disappoint this customer partner.

OEM and Integrator Collaborations for convenient system solutions

Because the logistics function is a chain of several different but interdependent disciplines, many companies work with specialists in the packaging and handling fields to acquire best practices in those areas and integrate them into their broader systems. EAM-Mosca works with a variety of such providers in many different markets.

An example is in the beverage and food container segments, including PET bottles, aluminum cans, steel food cans, and other rigid packaging products. The USI-SoniXs side seal strapping system excels in these applications. The machine can feed straps through a pallet void, under the load, or both. The strapping head can index from conveyor edge up to 18 inches toward the side of the load to accommodate variations in position, and the SoniXs strapping head has high tension capability with precise electronic control for accurate and consistent strap tension. Many aspects of this machine can be customized to meet specific application requirements.

While this solution is often sold through OEMs who provide conveyor and load positioning control, EAM-Mosca also offers the capability to meet conveyor and control needs in the area directly affecting the strapping function.

E-commerce boom requires high-production systems

Finally, consider the corrugated container business. As retail purchases have moved from in-store shopping to on-line buying, parcel shipment has grown dramatically, and box consumption has followed. Box makers have had to respond to nearly instant demand growth. Thousands of machines in hundreds of box plants, bundling stacks of flat boxes and unitizing multi-bundle unit loads for shipment, EAM-Mosca has also responded. This includes shipping new equipment and working in the field to keep existing systems running at peak reliability.

While system engineering, production, and field performance issues are not new, keeping production up to meet high demand and keeping field technical services personnel safely on the road to support critical customer needs has been a unique challenge.

By carefully following CDC guidelines and the commitment of both production and field personnel, EAM-Mosca has maintained a high level of product delivery and field support, keeping logistics companies who depend on Mosca systems performing during this critical period.

Truly a Chain…

There are many elements to Supply Chains and Logistics Systems. A failure in any element can cause disruption. The role of strapping systems is invisible to most of us, but it is an essential link in the packaging and transportation chain.

EAM-Mosca is focused on providing reliable, performance-driven products, engineering systems to fit applications and supporting them with parts and service to enable its partners to achieve the productivity they expect over the life of their investments. It has been and always will be about performance at the customer level, which is why so many companies build Mosca strapping systems into their logistics infrastructure.

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