Packaging and shipping operations have been largely automated in the past decade, however, the need for lashing tools still persists. One of the most important benefits of using lashing tools is the flexibility they offer in terms of their use, as they are portable. This feature is specifically useful for operations with multiple packaging sites as well as for cargo loading, where a compact tool comes in handy. Additionally, the low expense involved in the purchase of such tools is another factor which has kept the market strong. The lashing tools can be of various types, which are explained below.
As the name suggests, the operation has to be performed with hands, which gives rise to the need for an operator to be present at all times to use these tools. Manual tools have been aptly designed with features such as sturdy and lightweight material, mainly steel, to ease the tasks. The material may weigh around 3.5 kilograms and can be handled with relative ease, however, one needs to get used to these. Various configurations of these tools are available, which mainly vary according to the dimensions of the straps in use. One can buy three separate tools for tensioning, sealing and cutting or alternatively, tools with two or all three functions combined into one are also available in the market. Since these tools have a mechanical design, they do not require a battery, Instead, these solely rely upon principles of physics to operate and are suitable for a small-sized operation.
These are hand-held tools and provide all the benefits including portability and relatively lower investment, however, these are usually more expensive than manual tools. These are equipped with an air compressor, which makes them more suitable for performing heavy-duty strapping. This also means that for using these tools, one needs to connect these with an air compressor, which may limit the movement of the operation. The main use of these tools is strapping steel, which is primarily used for its higher strength and durability over any other material. Certain types of loads can only be secured using a steel strap and to use those, a pneumatic tool is the most suitable choice. The body of pneumatic tools is constructed using steel, which makes them durable. Most of the designs have a one-button operation where all an operator needs to do is align the tensioner and push the button. It can be used with a strap with a width of 12-19mm. Like manual tools, these can also be single-purpose tensioners/sealers/cutters or multi-purpose tools.
Battery Operated Tools
These tools are quite popular for cargo-loading operations, due to their lightweight design and portability. These operate on lithium ion batteries that can last for 100-150 cycles per battery. It is advisable to purchase numerous spare batteries along with this tool to prevent any hindrance, which may be caused due to unexpected battery issues. The tensioning speed of battery-operated tools is quite high, which makes them a preferred option in warehouses and cargo-loading stations. The operation is simple with a designated button to accomplish the task. Another attractive feature is a digital screen and customization for setting the tensioning force to a limit that can be as high as 2500 N. Besides this, straps with width between 12 and 25 mm can be used easily with battery powered tools.