In order to facilitate our continuing education goals in these days of social distancing, CPULD is now offering several webinars on various topics that our industry partners should find useful or interesting. The webinars will be presented by Associate Professor Laszlo Horvath, director of CPULD, as well as other specialists in their fields. Most of the webinars will be free to view/participate. Many of the webinars are open to the public, but some are limited to CPULD members.

During the month of April 2020, CPULD partnered with the National Wooden Pallet and Container Association (NWPCA) to bring a series of webinars to the industry. NWPCA is the largest organization of wood packaging professionals in the world, with “more than 670 company members in 28 countries who manufacture, repair and distribute pallets and wood packaging in unit-load solutions, or who supply products and services to the industry.” Its mission is to provide an environment in which members can succeed while promoting the wood pallet and wood packaging industry.

The three webinars in April centered around NWPCA’s software, The Pallet Design System (PDS), and educating attendees on the various ways this software can be used to save their companies time and money. NWPCA often sponsors the CPULD research projects – the results of which are included as updates to the PDS software. Everyone felt that partnering to host this series of webinars fit into both NWPCA’s and CPULD’s missions perfectly. The series included the following webinars:

April 16th: “Introduction to PDS 6.1: Unit Load for Boxes.” This webinar gave participants a brief introduction to unit load structural behavior and how PDS can assist in the design and analysis of unit loads of boxes. Kristen DeLack, NWPCA professional engineer and PDS structural engineer, covered the research that went into this milestone-achieving software and an overview of the technology. She also presented a few case studies showing how the software could be used to benefit the attendees’ companies. Laszlo Horvath presented a high-level overview of the scientific testing and findings from a recent independent study that demonstrated the cost-savings that can be achieved by using system-level design processes.

April 23rd: “Corrugated Boxes 101.” Laszlo Horvath provided an overview of the background of corrugated boxes. He demystified corrugated materials and enabled participants to be more confident when discussing the product with their customers and stakeholders. Kristen DeLack then provided insight into box performance when incorporated into a typical unit load and showed how the PDS software could help.

April 30th: “Design and Analysis of Unit Loads of Boxes.” Kristen DeLack showed how to use PDS to design unit loads of corrugated boxes and highlighted how to make a difference for customers with holistic, system-level design. There was also a hands-on tutorial using PDS to perform case studies.

Through these three webinars, the partnership reached a total of 680 people from around the world. In fact, the webinars drew in participants from 17 different countries! The United States, Canada, Mexico, the UK, and Singapore all had dozens of viewers, while India, Ireland, and Brazil each had around a half dozen participants. Other countries represented include Argentina, Australia, Hungary, Italy, New Zealand, Peru, and the Netherlands.

Countries that had participants in the April webinar series which was hosted in partnership between CPULD and NWPCA.


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