United Pallet Services, Inc (UPSI), the sales and marketing arm behind the newly patented pointGUARD Pallet Protector, will be presenting a new line of products at PACK EXPO Las Vegas this year. Calling it the CP Line, these four new products will be a one stop solution for companies currently using the standard size 48”x40” wooden pallets in their distribution center or warehouse, but are having issues with forklift induced pallet damage. “We have been and will continue to offer our protective plastic attachments as a separate and standalone product, however will now be offering the complete package,” says Callen Cochran, Business Development Manager for The pointGUARD Pallet Protector. “We are realizing that some customers don’t want the hassle of purchasing our device, shipping it to their pallet provider and then having to have it installed on their pallets. They can order the pallet with The pointGUARD Protector installed and have it shipped directly to their facility for immediate use.”
The pointGUARD itself is a one-piece, recycled plastic shield that was created to reduce costly pallet repair by defending a pallet from forklift damage at high impact areas. Its innovative design is unlike anything currently available.Wooden pallets, the staple of the industry for decades are considered by many to be sustainable, economical, and easy to source. The downside, however, is they are prone to considerable damage from forklifts. Once a pallet is damaged, it can cause product damage during transit as well. Plastic pallets offer better protection to these areas, but are far more expensive. The pointGUARD plastic pallet protector utilizes the greatest benefits of both, the durability of plastic but with a price point more towards the cost of a wood pallet.
“It’s best suited for closed loop or captive pallet environments,” says Wayne Randall, president of United Pallet Services, Inc. He goes on to say that “The pointGUARD was developed in response to a problem that plagued one our largest customers…product damage. This agricultural company in California loses $10-$15 million per year in product loss caused by damaged pallets.” He believes strongly that “a company that is concerned with the bottom line will see immediate financial results with less pallet repair, less product damage, and a great reduction in wood chips or debris breaking away from a wood pallet all the while using a hybrid wood/plastic sustainable product.”UPSI contracted with the Center for Packaging and Unit Load Design at Virginia Tech University to facilitate a Life Cycle Test, which measured the real world impact of pallets using The pointGUARD in a warehouse environment. These pallets outlasted those that were unprotected by 5-times (unprotected pallets lasted 11.3 cycles before failure and protected pallets lasted an astonishing 58.9 cycles).
Application of the durable polypropylene pointGUARD system adds just 5.6 lbs for 48×40″ stringer pallets (LX40S), and 6.6 lbs for comparable block pallets (LX40B). In comparing the performance of the pointGUARD versus other options such as steel pallet end plates, Callen stresses that in addition to protecting the end of the stringer or block, the pointGUARD is protecting the top lead board from being pulled up or breaking. “By doing this, it keeps the product from damage,” he notes. “The product sitting on the edge of a pallet is especially vulnerable. The pointGUARD will spread the pressure of the forklift over more area.”
According to Callen, some of the companies already seeing benefits from the pointGUARD includea rackable in house stringer pallet for storage of computer processing chips, a stackable in house pallet for storage of boxes of cocoa butter, and for a custom 50” stringer pallet for a closed loop float that stores tomato and peach can brites (cans yet to be labeled). “The latter is solely for the purpose of keeping the cans from getting dented during transit around the distribution center,” he explains.
The pointGUARD Pallet Protection Systems, a member of the Reusable Packaging Association, will be located in the RPA Pavilion on the Lower South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center. They will be showcasing all four CP pallet products, the CP4840S, CP4840B, CP4840S-4WAY and the CP4840B-PLY. “PACK EXPO visitors can take a look at these products, determine if it will be a good fit for them, and if so, can put in an order for direct shipment to their facility,” says Darrell Roberson, Vice President of Sales. They also will have the LX40S and LX40B, the attachments designed for a 40” opening on a stringer and block pallet on display as well.