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

By ·

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.


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!

Latest Whitepaper
Your Guide to Voice for the Warehouse
Is voice a good fit for my operation? How would voice work in my warehouse? With the help of the Vitech Guide to Voice, you can find all the answers to your voice questions in one place.
Download Today!
From the October 2017 Modern Materials Handling Issue
An early adopter, Rochester Drug Cooperative is using robotic piece-picking technology to complement picking of slow-moving items. System report for Rochester Drug Cooperative, Robotic picking and inventory management, Innovative distribution center robotics solutions , IAM Robotics case study
Injecting agility into WMS implementation
The Big Picture: Business as Unusual
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
The State of the DC Voice Market
A lot has changed in the last 10 years, especially in voice technology. This webinar will cover the state of the voice market, review two leading voice solutions and help you gain a better understanding of the options and capabilities available today.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
Rochester Drug Cooperative: Robots ready for work
It’s still early stages, but Rochester Drug Cooperative is proving that mobile robotic piece...
Manufacturing Day: 2,716 events from Hawaii to Alaska to Puerto Rico
Events to be scheduled throughout the month, so the remaining 249,185 manufacturing firms in the...

System Report: Pouch sorter powers Stage’s fulfillment needs
How a hometown department store chain transformed its e-fulfillment processes with pouch sortation...
Cubing and Weighing Equipment: Measure Up
The use of cubing and weighing equipment is growing beyond dimensional weight applications.