Banding Machine or Strapping Machine: Which Is Right for You?
What is a Banding Machine?
Banding machines provide a way to bundle and showcase products, and protect delicate, high-end materials. The banding machine applies a wide, gentle material like paper or a ribbon to keep a strong hold on products without causing damage.
How Does a Banding Machine Work?
A banding machine wraps the banding material -- it wraps paper, or plastic film around each product or bundle of products, then cuts the band automatically.
The resulting packaging is easy to remove without tools, and allows for integration of creative graphics, branding and decoration.
See our Ultrasonic Banding Machine in action:
What is a Strapping Machine?
Strapping machines also provide a way to bundle and secure products, and are often chosen when a high tensile strength material is required. Strapping machines are typically used in applications where the product being strapped is not sensitive to the abrasive nature of the strap or the high force applied by the strapping machine.
How Does a Strapping Machine Work?
Similar to a banding machine, strapping machines bind material around the products or secure products to a skid/pallet for transport. They replace the need for manual strapping tools, such as tensioners, crimpers, and cutters. The tension and strap strength are set by the operator.
Banding vs. Strapping Machines
Both banding and strapping machines allow for various widths and material choices for the binding.
Common materials in banding include paper, polypropylene, high density polyethylene (HDPE), transparent, anti-bacterial and biodegradable options. For strapping, they include polyester, polypropylene, and steel.
Both banding and strapping machines use either ultrasonic technology or heat to seal materials. With banding, the resulting packaging can be opened easily by hand, without tools. Strapped products usually require the aid of a cutting tool for removal.
Banding As an Alternative to Strapping
Banding is in many -- but not all -- cases a better alternative to strapping.
Top advantages of banding are that the tensioning process is more accurate, which is gentler on the product. Banding also allows for high-quality printing, a wider variety of binding materials, and easier opening.
Still, strapping has its advantages: when expected tensile forces of the packaging exceed 30 kg, strapping is the solution that can best provide the necessary stability.
The following are some of the main reasons manufacturers select banding over strapping as their primary source of bundling:
Reduced likelihood of damage. If too much force is applied, it results in irreversible damage, such as ripped edges and corners. Ultrasonic banding technology allows a machine to accurately sense when the banding material touches the product -- in fully automated applications, the machine aligns the product on all sides before banding the bundle, creating the tightest possible bundle without any damage.
Room for branding & creativity. Bands allow for color printing on both sides, which means they can take on the role of an information and advertising medium for packaging. They can also be printed with dynamic information, e.g. batch numbers, product codes, QR codes, sell-by dates, and more.
Automatic vs. Semi Automatic Banding Machines
Banding machines are available in both automatic or semi-automatic configurations. Both can be loaded manually or from an upstream production line.
Automatic Banding Machines
Automatic banding machines are high performance, which means they’re designed around handling high volume production lines. They’re completely automated, and bundle/label a package, sealing it, and cut the bands to size without the need for manual product handling.
Semi Automatic Banding Machines
Semi-automatic banding machines are lower cost and designed to handle lower volume to medium volume applications. While they automatically tension, seal, and cut the band in one motion, the operator must feed the product in manually.
Industries That Benefit from Banding Machines
- Consumer Goods
How Banding Machines Are Used in the Print Industry
Print industry manufacturers and vendors use banding machines, which require little-to-no manual labor, to package high-end printed materials -- from photos containing invaluable memories to detailed pharmaceutical inserts -- while ensuring they remain damage-free.
Commercial printing companies trust Felins paper packaging machines to keep printed material secure and undamaged. We offer semi-automatic solutions for smaller operations, or fully-automated systems that use in-line control and sequential shutdown for in-line integration of products. These fully-automated banding systems can count, stack, and band or wrap your print applications from cards and envelopes to photos and brochures.
How Banding Machines Are Used in E-Commerce
E-commerce was gaining momentum even before we were encouraged to stay home due to the COVID-19 pandemic -- and as the world opens back up, consumers are saying they’ll continue to primarily shop online. This boom is affecting every facet of the e-commerce industry, and Felins can provide the methods to streamline your e-commerce packaging needs.
How Banding Machines Are Used in Food Packaging
Felins offers several varieties of industrial food packaging machines and many processing solutions for companies looking for an eco-friendly way to automatically label, sleeve, and/or multipack food products.
We also offer tying equipment to automatically truss rotisserie chickens, reducing your labor requirements and the repetitive injury occurrences associated with hand trussing.
Instead of using adhesives to secure labels or sleeves to your product, we apply them with tension and use an ultrasonic weld to secure everything in place.
Our machinery uses similar technology as our labeling solution to create adhesive-free sleeving. Machines apply the labels in the same manner, but with paperboard instead of plastic film. Once applied, you don’t have to worry about the sleeve sliding off or using a glue dot to hold the sleeve in place.
Our labels and sleeves are designed to work well on any kind of tray, skin pack, hot dog and sausage pack, and a variety of other products.
Multipacks & Club Packs
The same tensioning process that we use for our premium labeling and automatic sleeving works great for creating multipacks and club packs. Our ability to precisely and gently apply the label or sleeve allows us to securely hold a group of products together without the use of adhesives.
We have fully automated solutions which can stack or group your products, or you can manually create a stack and then apply the label or band.
Advantages of Using a Banding Machine
We design our banding solutions to handle a wide variety of material options, including recyclable paper and plastic, transparent films, and compostable materials.
Our banding and packaging machines secure printed products with zero damage, creating an appealing, user-friendly presentation and unboxing experience. We constantly add fresh material choices to choose from, including custom and pre-printed options.
With minimal material you can package products expertly, while including marketing graphics on the band. Our ultrasonic cold welding technology, unique to our machines, creates an adhesive-free seal that does not stick to your product -- meaning it won’t attract dirt or debris during transportation or handling.
From paper bundling machines to packaging equipment, we're committed to improving your bundle integrity while optimizing productivity and minimizing operational costs.
Higher Levels of Productivity
Both our semi-automated and fully-automated machinery drastically reduce operator labor time and minimize room for error. Our Variable Data Printers provide inline, live printing for variable, time-sensitive data, helping you track your products through your manufacturing and distribution process.
Banding reduces rework and eliminates tedious, manual applications.
Cuts Back on Damaged Products
No more overruns of high quality printed corrugated products to compensate for strapping damage.
The use of banding is inherently a sustainable packaging alternative because of the minimal amount of material being used. Customers can select banding made from sustainable material that can be recycled or even composted.
By demanding fewer repetitive motions from operators, automated and semi-automated banding machines reduce worker fatigue, which often leads to injuries, strain, and/or pain.
How to Choose a Banding Machine
Felins experts are ready to help you choose the right machine for your facility, industry, and products. We’ll consider factors such as:
- Size, shape, and weight of the product being packaged
- Number of products being banded per day
- Amount of material required to band the load
- Environmental conditions of the product’s destination
- Branding requirements
Guide to Choosing the Right Banding Material
From initial inquiry through post-installation service and support, we provide each customer with a complete solution. That includes the proper service, parts and, of course, consumable materials that run best in our machines.
Felins offers a robust selection of commercial and sustainable packaging materials for each of our product lines, because we take pride in being a full-service packaging partner. From transparent to fully customized pre-printed films, we’re confident you’ll find a perfect solution from our variety of material options.
We also work diligently to ensure we have all materials in stock so you can feel confident your packaging materials will be available when you need them.
Not sure what you’re looking for? As seasoned experts in the material selection process, we’re happy to help you find the sustainable packaging material that works perfectly for your application. Together, we'll be sure your product looks great -- and catches customers’ eyes.
Types of Banding Material
- High-quality pre-printed graphics
- Easily removable materials – no cutting tools required
- Materials compatible with inline printers
- Biodegradable materials
- FDA-approved materials
- High strength
- Brown (kraft)
Frequently Asked Questions About Banding Machines
How much does a banding machine cost?
We aim to provide each customer with the exact solution they need, not just an off-the-shelf packaging machine. When combined with the unique nature of our business, it can be difficult to publish exact pricing. We offer everything from material at $5/roll to fully customized automation systems for upwards of six figures.
Our packaging consultants can usually provide you with an estimate after just a few qualifying questions.
Felins also offers financing options in the form of rentals or leases (see below for details).
Can I rent or lease a banding machine?
We know your packaging line can change quickly, requiring new equipment to be integrated faster than your bottom line would like. That's why we keep a rental fleet of banding machines in stock.
Packaging equipment rentals are great for short term or project-based companies and can be set up for weekly or monthly payments. Packaging equipment leasing is also available and great for 2-3 year projects or long-term. You get the benefit of having the packaging machinery right away, while spreading out your payments over time.
Other common reasons for renting include:
- NEW TECHNOLOGY. If you’re interested in getting started with banding but not ready to commit to purchasing a new machine, a rental allows you to try before you buy.
- BUSY SEASON. If your existing machines struggle to keep up during the busy season, renting one or more machines can help you stay on top of your production requirements without permanently adding equipment to your floor.
- PRODUCT TESTING. Developing and introducing a new product is an exciting (and stressful!) process. You'll probably want to test any and all options for product packaging and branding - and banding is no exception.
Our flexible financial solutions are designed to meet the needs of any customer. When you contact us for a quote, we’ll walk you through your options in detail.
How does a banding machine increase productivity?
Both our semi-automated and fully-automated machinery drastically reduce operator labor time and room for error -- reducing rework and manual applications, and cutting back on damaged products. Plus, our Variable Data Printers provide inline, live printing for variable, time-sensitive data.
How do I train my employees to use a banding machine?
Felins is proud to bolster your investment with the proper operator or maintenance training -- at your facility or ours. Our highly trained Service Engineers enjoy the training process and have a passion for showing both operators and technicians how to use and maintain our equipment.
We customize these sessions for your machine and industry, and our skilled Service Engineers give an in-depth hands-on training session. At the end of the session, your operators will know how to get the most efficient work from the machines and how to troubleshoot issues and when to call maintenance.
A typical course includes:
- Full machine/system capabilities overview
- Course materials and workbooks
- Operation instruction
- Safety instruction
- Troubleshooting instruction
- Simple jam evaluation
- Materials differentiation
- Suggested maintenance schedule
- When to call maintenance
An in-depth look at the machine’s or system’s workings helps maintenance personnel understand how and why the machines operate as they do. Keeping your machines running efficiently gives you a competitive advantage. At the end of this session, your maintenance staff will be able to fully maintain the machines, program them, and troubleshoot issues.
Our typical course includes:
- Course materials and workbooks
- Understanding the machine
- Disassemble and re-construct the machines and systems
- Tips and techniques on better maintaining the equipment
- Safety instruction and compliance
- Troubleshooting techniques
- When to call the Felins’ technical hot-line
How do I know a banding machine will work with my product?
Banding machines are a great fit for products in a wide variety of industries. If you have any questions, contact us and our team will be happy to work with you to determine if banding is the best choice for your product. Other packaging materials include tying, shrink wrapping, and strapping.
Felins also offers free product testing with your products:
- Reach out to our team to coordinate sending in your products
- We will then test your product on our packaging machinery
- You will receive a link to a high definition video of your product being processed as well as high quality photos of the bundled result
- We will send back your bundled products (if applicable) to you so that you can see and feel the test sample result
- Our team will continue to work with you to ensure the right packaging solution for your application
What sets Felins banding machines apart?
In 1921, Fred E. Lins invented an efficient way to tie sausage links, and leveraged his invention to start a revolutionary new packaging company. Fred’s neverending drive for continuous improvement and efficiency is what still motivates us today, and what sets our machines apart from other companies’. Our bundling solutions use less packaging material and space than traditional packaging methods and help reduce labor costs.
Sustainability is our passion. We're inspired to create innovative alternatives because every packaging decision should help, not hurt, our planet. Our passion for creating these sustainable packaging solutions gives our customers a competitive advantage.