NWPCA introduces LoadSync
The National Wooden Pallet & Container Association (http://www.palletcentral.com) introduced the Pallet Design System, or PDS, nearly 30 years ago. A first of its kind, PDS was conceived as a software tool that allowed pallet manufacturers who license the program to design a pallet that meets a customer’s performance requirements.
With the introduction of LoadSync, the NWPCA is taking that concept one step further. Designed for pallet customers, LoadSync is a stand-alone application that integrates with the Pallet Design System. It allows pallet users to input information about their storage and handling facilities as well as the characteristics of the load they want to put on the pallet. The system uses that information to create a file that can be emailed to a pallet manufacturer licensed to use PDS. In turn, the Pallet Design System integrates that material into the design and creates a 3D image that represents the pallet or the entire unit load. LoadSync is free to pallet users, but the link to the download comes from a licensee of PDS.
John McLeod, director of the Pallet Design System, describes LoadSync as a tool that enhances the communication of pallet and unit load design information between wood pallet manufacturers and their customers. “It has always been difficult for pallet manufacturers to get the information about how a pallet is being used from their customers,” says McLeod. “That’s because pallets may be bought by a purchasing agent, but the load is designed by a packaging engineer and they’re used by a warehouse manager. Now that information can be easily input into an application and emailed back and forth between a pallet user and manufacturer.”
The program allows users to specify and draw the entire unit load, including load stabilizers, corrugated boxes, plastic and metal drums, bags, bulk boxes and other transport packaging materials. Users can also manipulate the image to refine the design.
McLeod says LoadSync will be available before the end of the second quarter. Within the year, the program will also be able to model the stresses on containers on the load. “This will be very important to the development of PDS as we continue on that road,” he adds.