CPULD News, Summer 2020
An Operational Concept of an Internet-of-Things (IoT) System for the Palletized Distribution Supply Chain - Research project by Nicolas Navarro
Distribution implies that products are interacting with multiple external conditions, including known hazards: shock, vibration, compression, and atmospheric. The role of distribution packaging during the distribution of products along the supply chain is to minimize the negative effects that these hazards pose to the products being transported and help guarantee that the product reaches the customer in an acceptable condition. However, due to the variability of distribution channels, there is a high level of uncertainty associated with which distribution hazards are present during a specific supply chain’s handling and transportation of products. Established pre-shipment testing protocols for packaging are limited in their capacity to accurately simulate the real-world conditions that occur in specific supply chains, which has resulted in suboptimal packaging designs.
Alumnus Page Clayton is from Exmore, Virginia, on the eastern shore. Clayton says he chose Virginia Tech because there was a large offering of interesting majors and he had entered as undecided. He ended up choosing packaging “because it was a mix of many different disciplines and I felt that the industry was very hands-on and allowed you to have an impact.… I enjoyed the feel of the program and the department it was in. In the future, I wanted to be able to make a difference by using more sustainable biomaterials in packaging.”
A learning organization is an entity that is constantly engaging their members with innovative practices, transferring knowledge effectively, and being able to adapt to the unpredictable faster than their competitors. It can be described as one in which the people taking part in it continually expand their capacity to create the results that they want, where creativity is fostered, and where people continually improve their team learning performance. The basic question investigated was “what are the enablers and the inhibitors that affect the learning culture at CPULD?”
This is the second part of a two-semester, undergraduate research project conducted to learn more about the interactions between pails and wooden pallets - funded by the NWPCA. Meredith Brooks & Michael Phelps were selected to conduct this project. Both undergraduates were part of CPULD's Distribution Packaging Internship Program and working as laboratory technicians.
Performance Measurement System Design Project Using Key Performance Indicators for Tracking Employee and Overall CPULD Performance
The primary aim of this team project was to design a Performance Measurement System (PMS) for CPULD using Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and to make their use a regular part of CPULD’s organization and performance validation systems. This continuous improvement project was designed to begin helping CPULD to better quantify its processes, measure its overall performance, and keep track of individual employee performance.
This research has found that better fasteners improve the durability of pallets which saves time and money used to repair the pallet and better protects the product. Fastener withdrawal resistance and fastener shear resistance are major factors in pallet durability. Fastener withdrawal resistance is most affected by wire diameter, the difference between thread diameter and wire diameter, and the number of helices per thread length. And, finally that fastener shear resistance is most affected by the wire diameter.
Brooks says her favorite class has been Principles of Packaging. “It was a very interesting class because it was the first packaging class I took at Virginia Tech. It showed me the diverse industries that packaging plays a role in and the many possibilities that a packaging degree can [offer]. I also had a project where I had to design my first package. It felt like jumping in the deep end since I was using ArtiosCAD and Illustrator for the first time, but at the end, I was super proud of myself.”
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