According to the Lantech Company, the pallet stretch wrapper was invented by Pat and Bill Lancaster in 1972. They were looking for a way to keep boxes from falling off pallets during shipping and they came up with the idea of wrapping the pallet loads with stretch film. They built a machine consisting basically of a turntable that rotates the pallet and a vertical film roll that dispenses film around the pallet as it rotates. They displayed the first Lantech Wrapper at the 1973 Pack Expo and it was a huge hit.
In 1975, Lantech introduced a automatic conveyorized pallet wrapper. In 1993, Lantech introduced the Q Series wrapper which became probably the most popular pallet stretch wrapper. In 1999, Lantech introduced the Q-300XT which automatically seals and clamps the film, allowing a forklift driver to deposit a pallet on the turntable and wrap it without leaving his truck.
Some pallet wrappers do not use a turntable but keep the pallet stationary and have an arm that wraps the film around the pallet. This is used for fragile pallet loads that cannot be rotated. They are also capable of higher speeds than turntable wrappers.
There are also “ring” pallet wrappers that wrap the load horizontally, with the film passing under the pallet and wrapping the load to the pallet. This is for loads that need extra security.
Lantech remains a major player in the pallet stretch wrapper business but competitors have appeared, such as Orion, Wulftec, Phoenix and Uline