CPULD News, Spring 2020
Jorge Masis came to Virginia Tech as an undergraduate student intern while completing his bachelor’s degree at the Institute of Technology, Industrial Production Engineering School, in Costa Rica. His graduation project was developed to help the Corrugated Materials Testing Lab of CPULD. The purpose of this project was to develop a series of improvements involving the lab’s resources, structure, personnel, and management systems that would eventually allow the lab to opt for accreditation under the International Standards Organization’s standard 17025:2017.
Quesenberry credits a presentation in his freshman seminar class with sparking his interest in the field of packaging. After hearing the lecture, he started doing research into the world of packaging and ended up choosing the field because of the job prospects. He pointed out that “as long as people are on earth, products have to get to them somehow… and safely! It interests me because designing decisions are very impactful up and down the supply chain.”
Packaged products are primarily shipped as unit loads that consist of products packaged in corrugated boxes restrained to a platform, commonly a pallet. Paying particular attention to the design of the unit load components is necessary to safely ship products while still maintaining low packaging costs and sustainability initiatives.
Pallets are abundant throughout the supply chain, with 2.6 billion pallets in circulation in the United States. More than 93% of goods worldwide are transported in the form of a palletized unit load. Plastics are the second most commonly used material to manufacture these shipping platforms. More than 33% of the companies surveyed by Modern Materials Handling Magazine reported using plastic pallets.
Fork tine tests are meant to measure a pallet’s strength and deflection while it is being supported on fork tines. Testing standards require that, when determining strength, the load is applied until the pallet has breakage or has excessive deformation. For this test, pallet deflection is commonly measured using string potentiometers or LVDTs.
Pallets are an integral part of the supply chain for all types of products all over the world, as they allow products to be shipped in bulk and transported in standardized containers. Many different shapes of products are placed onto pallets, including corrugated boxes, bags, barrels, and pails. These products each distribute their load onto the pallet slightly differently, which affects the bending of the pallet.
McMurray started his college career in the Pamplin College of Business. He enjoyed learning how companies function and create revenue but wanted something different from the normal business curriculum. He chose to change his major to packaging systems and design and is still working on a minor in business. He decided on this pairing because it will allow him to apply his business background to the production of sustainable packaging solutions.
Contact Our Team:
Quotes for new testing projects, distribution packaging projects, unit load design projects, membership with the center, new research projects.
Ongoing testing operations, lab management, scheduling unit load and pallet lab deliveries, questions about lab management and work schedules.
Primary packaging design and packaging materials testing, scheduling deliveries of primary packaging materials, new research into primary packaging.