CPULD Director Laszlo Horvath was invited to speak at the Annual Leadership Conference of the National Wooden Pallet and Container Association (NWPCA) in early March.

NWPCA, a globally recognized voice for the wood packaging industry, is the largest association of packaging professionals in the world. NWPCA works every day to increase their members’ expertise while meeting the needs of its members and promoting the industry. NWPCA has a long history of working collaboratively with Virginia Tech and has been sponsoring research projects designed to provide fundamental information for the upcoming version of its Pallet Design System (PDS) software.

Horvath’s presentation focused on a new module of the Pallet Design System software, which now includes data about how the stiffness of a wooden pallet affects the strength of corrugated boxes. This module was added to PDS after CPULD’s graduate students completed research projects about this topic, which were sponsored by NWPCA’s Pallet Foundation. In short, the PDS software can now help users design stiffer pallets, which, in turn, allows them to use less expensive corrugated boxes while achieving the same, if not better, end strength of their unit loads at a cost savings.

The 2020 NWPCA Annual Leadership Conference hosted 646 industry professionals from all over the world. New pallet manufacturers, recyclers, pallet pooling companies, lumber providers, equipment providers, universities, and end users from worldwide retail companies gathered in Naples, Florida, March 4-6. It was a great opportunity for CPULD to share the results of its latest research project with the leaders of the pallet industry.