The Comprehensive Guide to Industrial Strapping

Explore the world of industrial strapping.

Comprehensive Guide to Industrial Strapping

Whether you're in manufacturing, distribution, or supply chain management, understanding the nuances of strapping technologies and techniques is essential for maintaining efficiency, safety, and cost-effectiveness. Join us as we dive into the wide world of industrial strapping and discover the strapping secrets manufacturers depend on. We’ll explore the top strapping technologies, from trusty steel to flexible plastics and polyesters. We’ll also dive into the best practices for choosing and operating strapping equipment to maximize efficiency. Whether you're new to strapping or want the latest innovations, this comprehensive guide has all the strapping intel you need. Let’s get started!

An Overview of Industrial Strapping Technology

Industrial strapping is the method of binding items together for shipping and storage using durable straps. There are a few types of strapping used for different applications:

Steel Strapping

This is the strongest and most durable option, made of high-tensile steel. It's ideal for heavy-duty loads and long-term storage. Steel strapping requires special tools to apply and remove, but it can last for many years.

Polypropylene (PP) Strapping

PP strapping is a popular lightweight plastic strapping used for many packaging applications. It's more flexible and easier to use than steel but not quite as strong. PP strapping works well for stabilizing medium-sized loads for shipping and is more affordable than steel.

Polyester Strapping

Polyester strapping offers high strength for its weight and works in a wide range of temperatures. It's resistant to weather, chemicals, and UV damage. Polyester strapping is a good all-purpose option used in many industries. It provides good load stability at a lower cost than steel.

Strapping is applied either automatically with strapping machines or manually using strapping tools. Automatic strapping machines increase efficiency and productivity, while manual tools are more affordable and portable. Proper tensioning and sealing are important to ensure loads remain secure.

With so many strapping materials and tools now available, it's easy to find an industrial strapping solution to suit your needs. From heavy steel strapping to lightweight polypropylene, strapping technology has come a long way in providing cost-effective ways to unitize, contain, and stabilize all types of loads. Strapping helps companies improve safety, cut costs, and optimize packaging operations.

Key Types of Strapping Materials: Steel, Plastic, Polyester

Steel strapping is one of the most common and durable materials used for industrial strapping. Made of high-tensile steel, it provides maximum strength for heavy loads and is resistant to weather, moisture, and high temperatures. However, steel strapping requires special tools to apply and can damage packaging. It is best for pallet loads, bundles, and securing heavy equipment.

Plastic strapping, like polypropylene, is more affordable, easier to use, and gentler on packages. It comes in a variety of widths and thicknesses for different load weights. Plastic strapping works well for light to medium duty applications but can break down faster than steel, especially in harsh environments. For many operations, plastic strapping offers an economical and user-friendly solution.

Polyester strapping combines the best of both worlds. It's nearly as strong as steel but more pliable and packaging-friendly like plastics. Polyester strapping provides excellent performance for a range of applications from paper reams to lumber and retains tension well in hot and cold conditions. It requires an initial investment in tools but can save money over time versus steel strapping.

The type of strapping you choose depends on factors like load weight, package type, environment, tooling needs, and budget. Steel works best for maximum strength, plastics for affordability and ease of use, and polyester for versatility. By evaluating the specifics of your operation, you can determine which material is the most suitable and cost-effective solution for your industrial strapping needs. With options for every need and budget, there’s no need to compromise on performance or efficiency.

Applications of Strapping in Packaging and Palletizing

Strapping is essential for securing and stabilizing loads for shipping and storage. Its versatility lends itself to many applications across industries.


Strapping is commonly used to secure items to pallets for transport and storage. Steel or plastic strapping is wrapped around the items and pallet to keep the load intact. Strapping pallets provides stability so items don't shift during transit. For heavy loads, steel strapping is typically used. Lighter loads can use plastic strapping. Either manual or automatic strapping tools can be used for palletizing, depending on the volume.

Product Packaging

Strapping is also useful for closing and reinforcing product packaging like boxes, crates, and bundles. Polypropylene or polyester strapping works well for most packaging needs. The strapping is wrapped around the package and secured to itself using a buckle or heat seal. This helps keep the packaging securely closed during shipping and handling. Plastic strapping for packaging can be applied manually or using an automatic strapping machine.

Bundling Items

Long, irregularly-shaped items like lumber, pipes, and beams are often bundled together for easier handling and transport. Strapping, typically steel or polyester, is wrapped around the items to keep them tightly bundled. Bundling items makes them more stable and secure for loading, unloading, and storage.

Load Securing

For large or heavy loads that can shift during transit, strapping provides an easy solution for securing the load to the transport vehicle. The strapping, usually steel, is attached to anchor points in the vehicle and wrapped over and around the load. Ratchet strapping or tensioning tools are then used to tighten the strapping and securely fasten the load in place. Load securing with strapping helps prevent shifting that could damage the load or cause accidents.

In summary, strapping has many useful applications for packaging, palletizing, bundling, and securing items for shipping and storage. The versatility and durability of strapping materials like steel, plastic, and polyester allow them to meet the needs of many different industries and applications. With the right technique and equipment, strapping provides an efficient, cost-effective solution for stabilizing and reinforcing all types of loads.

Choosing the Right Strapping Equipment: Automatic vs. Manual

When it comes to industrial strapping, you have two main options for equipment: automatic strapping machines or manual strapping tools. Both have their advantages, so determining the right choice for your needs depends on several factors.

Production Volume

If you frequently strap large volumes of products or heavy materials, an automatic strapping machine is probably your best bet. These machines can strap loads at a rate of up to 65 straps per minute, minimizing the time spent on this part of the packaging process. For lower volumes or intermittent strapping needs, manual tools will work just fine and at a lower upfront cost.

Load Size and Weight

For heavy or awkwardly-shaped loads that require especially durable strapping, an automatic machine is ideal. They can apply straps with greater tension to securely stabilize even challenging loads. Manual tools may struggle with extremely heavy loads or may require additional passes to fully secure the load. However, for most standard loads under 100 lbs, a manual tool will work great.


Automatic strapping machines typically represent a significantly higher upfront investment. While they may save on costs over the long run due to increased efficiency, the initial purchase price can easily exceed $10,000. Manual tools are very affordable in comparison, often under $500, making them ideal if budget is a concern. Some strapping suppliers offer tool rental or financing options to help minimize costs.


Proper training and safety precautions should always be followed for any strapping operation. However, automatic machines do pose some additional risks due to their speed and tensioning power. Loose clothing, jewelry, and long hair should be secured, and designated safety zones established around the machines. Manual tools have a lower risk of injury when used properly by trained operators.

In the end, both automatic strapping machines and manual strapping tools have an important role to play in industrial packaging. By evaluating your specific needs, priorities and resources, you can determine which solution is right for your business. With the proper equipment and training, you'll be securely strapping loads in no time!

Best Practices for Safe and Efficient Strapping

To get the most out of your industrial strapping, it’s important to follow some best practices. When done properly, strapping can significantly improve packaging efficiency, reduce product damage, and lower costs.###Use the Right Strapping for the Job

Choose a strapping type based on the items you need to secure. Steel strapping works well for heavy loads, while polypropylene is good for light to medium packages. Polyester strapping is versatile and can handle a range of weights. The wrong strapping won’t properly stabilize the load and risks breakage.

Tension the Straps Correctly

Straps that are too loose won’t secure the load, while straps that are too tight can damage the items. Use a tensioning tool to apply firm and even pressure. As a general rule, you should be able to slide your hand between the strap and the package with slight resistance. Check the tension again once the load is moved to ensure it remains secure.

Seal and Trim the Straps

Heat-seal or crimp the straps to create strong seals that won’t come apart during transit. Trim off any excess strap that extends beyond the seal—loose ends can get caught or tear the packaging. ###Use Edge Protectors

Place edge protectors, such as corner boards, between the straps and any sharp edges of the load. This helps prevent the straps from catching, tearing or breaking. Edge protectors are especially important when strapping loads with steel bands.

Follow Safety Procedures

Wear proper protective gear like heavy-duty work gloves, safety glasses, and steel-toed shoes. Be very careful when handling and applying steel strapping, as the cut ends can be extremely sharp. Never over-tension polypropylene strapping, as it can break suddenly and cause injury. Ensure all strapping equipment is in good working order and follow the operating instructions closely.

By following these best practices for your industrial strapping, you’ll achieve secure loads, improved productivity, cost savings, and a safer work environment. Consistency is key, so train all employees on proper strapping techniques. If you have any doubts or need guidance, don’t hesitate to contact your strapping supplier. They can provide recommendations for your specific application and equipment.

Innovations in Strapping: Improving Packaging and Efficiency

Strapping technology has come a long way since its first use in the early 1900s. Today, innovative strapping solutions are improving efficiency, safety and sustainability across many industries.

Stronger, Lighter Materials

Traditional steel strapping is heavy, difficult to manipulate and can damage products. New high-performance plastics like polypropylene and polyester are strong yet lightweight, flexible and cushion products during transit. These plastics can also be recycled, reducing waste. Some plastics incorporate reinforced fibers for extra strength without the weight of steel.

Automated Tools

Manual strapping requires intensive labor and time. Automated strapping tools and machines can strap loads in seconds with the push of a button. Automatic strapping machines use powered rollers and strapping heads to quickly strap, cut and seal straps around loads. For large operations, automated inline strapping systems can strap products directly on the production line without interrupting the flow.

Tension Control

Applying too much tension can crush products while too little won’t secure the load. New strapping tools allow adjustable tension control for precise tightening. Tension indicators provide visual feedback so operators can achieve the optimal tension for each product. This protects items from damage while ensuring maximum security during transit.

Safety Mechanisms

Older strapping equipment posed risks like exposed gears, sharp edges and strap snapping. Modern tools prioritize safety with features like:

  • Fully enclosed mechanisms that eliminate pinch points.
    •Rounded edges and corners.
    •Strap retaining elements that prevent loose strap ends from whipping.
    •Braking systems that stop straps from unrolling uncontrolled. •Emergency stop buttons.

Innovations in industrial strapping are enabling businesses to improve packaging efficiency, reduce costs and ensure the safe delivery of goods. By harnessing these new technologies and materials, companies can gain a competitive advantage through faster production, lower waste and happier customers.

Comparing Steel and Plastic Strapping for Heavy Loads

Steel Strapping

Steel strapping has long been an industry standard for securing heavy loads and pallets. Made of high-tensile steel, it's extremely durable and weather-resistant. Steel strapping works well for stabilizing dense, irregularly shaped items and can handle the immense pressures of heavy industrial shipping.

However, steel strapping requires special tools for application and removal. It can also damage packaged goods if not properly padded. The material itself is difficult to recycle and more expensive than plastic alternatives. For many applications though, steel strapping reigns supreme in terms of strength and security.

Plastic Strapping

Plastic strapping, including polypropylene and polyester, provides an economical and versatile strapping solution for many businesses. Plastic straps are lightweight, flexible, and easier to use than steel strapping. They can be tensioned and sealed using basic manual or pneumatic tools.

Plastic strapping comes in a variety of widths to suit different load weights. Polypropylene strapping works well for light- to medium-duty applications like unitizing boxes on pallets, while reinforced polyester strapping can handle 5000-lb loads. However, plastics are less durable and weather-resistant than steel and may not stand up to harsh environmental conditions. They also require more wraps to secure the same load.

For most packaging operations, either steel or plastic strapping can work well. The choice comes down to factors like load weight, shipment destination, cost, and recycling requirements. Steel strapping provides maximum strength and security but at a higher cost, while plastics offer more flexibility and ease of use for lighter loads. By assessing your specific needs, you can determine the optimal strapping solution for safe, efficient load stabilization and containment.

FAQs About Automatic Strapping Machines

Automatic strapping machines can revolutionize your packaging operations by speeding up the strapping process and reducing labor costs. However, these advanced tools do require an investment in time to learn how to use them properly. Here are some common questions about automatic strapping machines and how to get the most out of them:

How does an automatic strapping machine work? These machines automate the entire strapping process from start to finish. They dispense strapping material, pull it around the package, seal and cut the straps, and tension them to the proper tightness. All you need to do is place the package on the machine and push a button.

What types of straps do automatic strapping machines use? Most machines are compatible with a variety of strapping materials including steel, polypropylene and polyester. Steel and polyester straps are best for heavy-duty applications, while polypropylene works well for light to medium packages. Choose a machine that can handle your desired strapping material and application.

How difficult are automatic strapping machines to operate? These machines are designed to be user-friendly and require minimal training to operate. However, for the best results it’s a good idea to read the instruction manual to understand proper set-up, safety precautions, maintenance, and troubleshooting. With regular use, operating an automatic strapping machine will become second nature.

What is the average cost of an automatic strapping machine? Prices can range from under $5,000 up to $50,000 or more for large industrial models. The exact cost will depend on the machine’s size, speed, strapping material compatibility, and available features. For most small to mid-sized operations, a capable automatic strapping machine can be purchased for between $10,000 to $30,000.

With some time invested upfront to learn proper techniques, automatic strapping machines can significantly boost your packaging productivity and efficiency. These advanced tools take the effort and guesswork out of manual strapping for fast, consistent results. By understanding how these machines work and which options suit your needs, you’ll be strapping like a pro in no time.

Why to Choose Cyklop's Strapping Solutions

When it comes to industrial strapping, Cyklop is an industry leader providing high-quality solutions for businesses of all sizes. For over 40 years, Cyklop has engineered innovative strapping systems and materials to meet the growing demands of manufacturing and shipping. Whether you need steel, polypropylene or polyester strapping, Cyklop has durable options to securely bundle your products.

Cyklop is known for their top-of-the-line automatic strapping machines that can handle up to 60 straps per minute. These heavy-duty machines are built to withstand the rigors of high-volume packaging facilities and are designed for efficiency. Their easy-to-use touchscreen controls allow for quick adjustments to suit the needs of any product. For smaller operations, Cyklop also offers a range of manual strapping tools that provide an affordable, user-friendly solution for applying straps.

Beyond machinery, Cyklop produces high-performance strapping materials manufactured to the highest quality standards. Their steel strapping comes in different widths and thicknesses to handle light, medium and heavy-duty applications. They also provide plastic polypropylene and polyester strapping that is resistant to weather, chemicals, and extreme temperatures — ideal for both indoor and outdoor use.

With innovative technology, premium products, and expert customer service, Cyklop aims to streamline your packaging process and reduce costs. Their strapping systems are trusted by companies in industries like lumber, steel, printing, and transportation. If you're looking for a strapping solutions provider that can meet the demands of your business today and scale for future growth, Cyklop is the ideal partner for the job. They have the experience, resources and dedication to help take your packaging operations to the next level.


You made it! By now, you should have a comprehensive understanding of industrial strapping and how to leverage it to optimize your production and shipping operations. From innovative strapping technologies to heavy-duty tools and equipment, you're equipped with the know-how to take your packaging and load securing to the next level. Whether it's choosing the ideal strapping material for your products or implementing automated solutions to boost efficiency, the path forward is clear. Now it's time to put this intel into action. Work closely with your team to identify areas ripe for strapping upgrades and create a plan to make those improvements stick. With the right solutions and techniques in place, you'll be well on your way to faster, safer and more cost-effective shipping that stands up to even the toughest supply chain challenges. The future of efficient, high-performing industrial strapping starts today!