National Wooden Pallet and Container Assn. releases Pallet Design System (PDS) v6.8 with enhanced customization options for block pallets; software also offers unit load analysis for plastic pails in conjunction with the pallet

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December 20, 2023 (press release) –

PDS v6.8 Enhances Customization Options for Block Pallets, Plastic Pail Unit Load Analysis and Safety Factor

December 20, 2023 - Alexandria, VA - NWPCA announces the release of Pallet Design System (PDS) v6.8. This new release brings a wave of enhanced customization options for Block Pallets. Now, individual blocks can be seamlessly adjusted, either inset or outset relative to stringer boards and deck boards. This eagerly awaited feature requested from Europe is a game-changer for custom pallet manufacturers everywhere, empowering them to optimize designs like never before.

The PDS 6.8 release also represents a milestone in the development of system-level unit load design tools provided by PDS. Research sponsored by the Pallet Foundation has led to a breakthrough in the understanding how plastic pails buckle when subjected to stacking loads on flexible wooden pallets. Plastic pails can now be analyzed in conjunction with the pallet to determine how highly the loads are concentrated on individual pails and the resulting safety factor against buckling failure.

This release marks the completion of a comprehensive suite of system-level unit load design and analysis tools. Unit loads consisting of Boxes, Sheet Goods, Drums, and Plastic Pails can all be analyzed as a complete structural system with the pallet.

Other changes with the new release allow pallets supporting bulk bags to be designed with increased stability when stacked multiple unit loads high. Blocks can also be strategically repositioned to better support equipment, steel drums, or other rigid cargo, offering unparalleled flexibility. In addition to these enhancements, the PDS development team has its sights set on incorporating threaded fasteners into the software. Picture this: carriage bolts, lag screws, and self-drilling screws seamlessly integrated into your designs.

The ability to specify exact fastener positions and showcase them on design drawings will usher in the ability to design and analyze heavy skids. Of course, we haven't forgotten about nail positioning – an essential tool for aiding nailing machines during setup. PDS Principal Engineer & Business Advisor, Kristen DeLack, PE, is anticipating self-drilling screws' testing in 2024. "If we can find a way to generalize their performance for both stiffness and strength, we will be able to handle the entire spectrum of proprietary screw designs without needing to explicitly program them all into PDS," she remarked. Stay tuned for more innovations in 2024.

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