Packaging program to receive $50,000 cutting table

Ralph Rupert

Ralph Rupert

BLACKSBURG, Va., March 21, 2008 – Virginia Tech's Center for Unit Load Design in the College of Natural Resources' Department of Wood Science and Forest Products will receive a Data Technology cutting table from the International Corrugated Packaging Foundation on April 3, in a dedication ceremony at the department's Brooks Forest Products Center.

The donation and installation of the table with training and software is part of the foundation’s ongoing nationwide initiative to advance corrugated packaging programs at universities and to ensure continued expansion of skilled graduates entering the corrugated packaging industry.

The refurbished cutting table -- the DT11066 sample maker -- is valued at more than $50,000, will be used this spring in the paper and paperboard packaging class to give students the needed expertise in the packaging industry. The students in the load design center will also learn Artios (previously donated by Esko Graphics) – a computer-aided design, or CAD, software used in industry to design packaging. Once students create structures in Artios, a file is then exported to the cutting table for processing.

Ralph Rupert serves as director of the Center for Unit Load Design in Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources. “We were thrilled with the donation of the Data Technology cutting table from [International Corrugated Packaging Foundation], said Rupert. This donation will allow our students the opportunity to follow their design through performance evaluations for a better understanding of the relationship between design and product protection and enable them to gain the expertise needed. Our students and faculty are very encouraged to see the support of [the foundation], and thus the corrugated packaging industry, towards our new packaging program. We were truly touched by Data Tech's thoughtfulness in painting the table Hokie colors.”

The Center for Unit Load Design at Virginia Tech develops information and technologies to maximize the efficiency of unit load material handling systems and to optimize the relationship between the design and performance of unit loads. Given the center’s facilities, they are able to focus on evaluating the mechanical interactions of three components: containers, pallets, and handling equipment; all aspects of unit load and material handling design. The facilitated laboratories at Virginia Tech’s Center for Unit Load Design includes the William H. Sardo Jr. Pallet, Container Research Laboratory and Unit Load Testing Laboratory, which feature a comprehensive packaging testing laboratory and automated material handling equipment typically found in many automated warehouses. The center also includes experts in packaging, palletization, material handling, and unit load design.

PHOTO INFORMATION: Ralph Rupert, director for the Center for Unit Load Design