Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!


CHEP Launches Lab to Test Product Handling Equipment

Lab will feature testing machinery to simulate distribution and supply chain conditions to measure pallet damage and performance
February 07, 2011

CHEP, the pallet pooling solution provider, opened the doors to a new material-handling simulator in Orlando. The simulator is the world’s first testing facility for pallets and customer unit-loads that can measure handling impacts throughout the entire distribution life cycle. The lab features testing machinery that simulates distribution and supply chain conditions to measure pallet damage and performance. CHEP developed the 63,000 square foot facility to reduce the assessment period and cost for evaluating new shipping platform designs.

Primary benefits of the simulator for CHEP include: a reduction in the need for lengthy material-handling field trials; dramatically lower costs from a 90% reduction in the number of shipping platforms needed for each test; and enhanced analysis from state-of-the-art measuring equipment. CHEP executives expect the lab will enable better decision-making for CHEP and ultimately CHEP customers by allowing quick comparisons of pallet durability and performance improvements against a control group representing current pallet platforms.

CHEP’s Vice President of Quality and Customer Value, Skip Miller, said: “The material-handling simulator is a natural progression of CHEP’s efforts to meet the growing product movement and storage needs of our customers while making the entire supply chain more efficient and productive. We look forward to significant advances in the area of shipping platform design and functionality from the facility.”

The simulator will employ about 20 support professionals and is located minutes from the headquarters of CHEP Americas and the CHEP Innovation Center in Orlando, FL. It expands the range of testing available at the Innovation Center, which remains open and dedicated to testing product and ingredient unit-loads and other packaging for customers.

Equipment at the material-handling simulator includes:
• a robotic vision system that generates high-resolution images to assess pallet damage, durability and life-cycle;   
• five impact sleds that simulate forklift-truck contact from one to eight miles per hour; and
• a storage and retrieval system station that simulates all typical racking configurations. 

The simulator feeds information from these devices into a system that records all measurements into a database. The facility also includes forklift and pallet jack stations to test manually the impact of racking, stacking, bulldozing and pinwheeling pallets.

About the Author

Modern Materials Handling Staff

Subscribe to Modern Materials Handling magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Find out what the world’s most innovative companies are doing to improve productivity in their plants and distribution centers.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

Despite advances in process automation, vital business processes consisting of data-driven tasks such as collecting, reviewing, and inputting information still exist in most organizations. These tasks are mundane, repetitive and... okay, boring.

Pressure-senstitive labeling machinery company expands Accraply's products and markets.

The new tire handling systems group will offer a variety of services including design engineering, project management, site supervision, controls, software, automated storage and retrieval, and custom manufacturing solutions specific to the tire industry.

New facility to house more than 300 engineers, project managers, sales, customer service and administrative staff.

Material handling parts distributor acquires Mid-Atlantic industrial safety distributor.



© Copyright 2016 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA