Reusable Packaging News September 2017 - Page 17

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State-of-the-Art Engineering Drives Optimization, New Analysis for Recycled Pallets, Fasteners

Building on a 33-year history of innovation, the Pallet Design System™ (PDS) development team of software and structural engineers applied new, state-of-the-art, engineering and analysis techniques not previously used in the pallet industry. ANSYS™ simulation and 3-D modeling software were used as a tool to test and verify structural engineering models. The extensive modeling and testing ensure PDS users have access to the most advanced and accurate technology available for the design of wood pallets.

The robust engineering enables a much more refined analysis that allows for higher levels of pallet design optimization, additional analysis capabilities, and paves the way for future development of PDS. Additionally, PDS 5.3 provides automated calculations of stacking patterns for containers on a pallet, or custom positioning of individual containers and a new strapping slot analysis for deck boards and stringers. The lateral collapse resistance analysis is also more detailed than previous versions.

“Our latest research and development has led to enhanced structural models for this release of PDS,” commented Kristen DeLack, PE, PDS Structural Engineer. “With these advancements, PDS now reports when the connection strength is the “critical member” that limits the strength of the pallet,” added DeLack.

For those who remanufacture pallets, the release of PDS 5.3 also enables users to analyze recycled pallets with notched stringers (except RAL and 4 Corner support conditions). “This was a very popular request among current PDS users that our team worked hard to develop this past year,” said Dr. Brad Gething, NWPCA Director of Science & Technology Integration.

The release of version 5.3 also coincides with the recent NWPCA announcement of the development of new user interface and print-out report materials in four additional languages: Spanish, French, Italian and German, to be completed in two phases by summer 2018.

The NWPCA is dedicating significant resources as part of the implementation of its strategic plan to ensure that PDS remains cutting-edge technology and further solidifies PDS as the global standard for unit load pallet design. Shane Thompson, NWPCA’s Board Chair added, “Expect to see more from the PDS development team for 2018. NWPCA and The Pallet Foundation investments, totaling nearly $1.5 million over the next two years, will advance our industry and benefit each of our companies, as we make PDS the international language for pallet design.”