September-October 2015

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ust as no two pallet companies are alike, neither are the users of pallets. Each pallet end-user has its own unique set of pallet requirements; each pallet manufacturer has its own way of doing business. Both necessitate clear and thorough communication to ensure their specific needs are met between each other. Keeping up with the customers' constantly changing material handling requirements can be challenging. To simplify and aid in this process, NWPCA offers a free software download that improves the communication of pallet and unit load design information between wood pallet manufacturers and their customers. This software, called LoadSync™, is integrated with The Pallet Design System™ (PDS). In essence, the unit load, lifting hand handling, and service environment specifications have been extracted from PDS. This allows the LoadSync™ user to specify those requirements and then transfer their specifications in a seamless manner to a pallet designer who uses PDS. Within the LoadSync™ program, pallet users easily define their entire pallet and unit load handling requirements through a guided input process. This includes a graphical display of packaging and containers, support conditions and handling equipment. Either a general load type used to represent many different unitized loads, or a particular unit load (including container type and size, stacking pattern and load stabilizers) can be specified. Storage and support conditions such as racks or floor-stacking multiple unit loads, along with handling equipment (forklifts, pallet jacks or slings) can be indicated. Service environment conditions may also be specified. Additional notes or information the pallet user wants to provide can be entered as text. Upon completion of the specification procedure, the user can then save these requirements to a data file that is readable only in LoadSync™ or PDS, which can then be sent to their pallet manufacturer. When the pallet manufacturer opens the requirements file in PDS, a summary of all unit load handling requirements is displayed. PDS then guides the pallet manufacturer through the process of designing an efficient and cost-effective pallet that meets the specified requirements. This ensures the pallet designed will safely support and protect the customer's product. An added feature in designing a pallet with a LoadSync™ requirements file is that the unit load footprint is automatically integrated into the top deck and bottom deck dialogs. The pallet designer can properly locate deckboards for optimal product support with this function. Pallet manufacturers can then communicate the results of the PDS design and analysis just as they do now: visit the pallet user 16 PalletCentral • September-October 2015 J LoadSync: A No-Cost, Collaborative Solution to Unit Load Challenges

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