Pack Expo 2009: Students compete to find best palletizing solution

PMMI U, the educational arm of Pack Expo organizer PMMI, introduced the first-ever PMMI U Student Design Contest, which pits teams from six PMMI partner schools against each other, searching for the best palletizing solution.


PMMI U, the educational arm of Pack Expo organizer PMMI, introduced the first-ever PMMI U Student Design Contest, which pits teams from six PMMI partner schools against each other, searching for the best solution to a real-world packaging issue. The students are to find a palletizing solution that will be fastest and least expensive in initial costs and annually amortized costs.

To accomplish their goals, student teams have begun researching palletizers on and will meet with exhibitors on site to flesh out options and reach a conclusion.

"The contest serves several goals: It's hands-on, practical experience researching solutions that fit project specifications," says Maria Ferrante, PMMI senior director of training & development. "It will also teach the students how to use a trade show - specifically Pack Expo - to formulate purchasing recommendations."

A third benefit, Ferrante notes, is how the contest literally introduces the students to the industry.

"It's not that much different from the actual purchasing process. The teams have to select and present a solution that will get the job done faster, at the lowest cost, with the smallest footprint," she says. "To do that, they're working together, and they're meeting their future peers."

The students' deadline is the second day of Pack Expo Las Vegas - Tuesday, Oct. 6 - at noon. Each team will submit a proposal and make a presentation to a five-person panel of packaging machinery suppliers and end users. Winning teams will receive scholarships provided by the PMMI Education & Training Foundation.

Ferrante says, "Regardless of who receives an award, each participant will come away with extremely valuable experience."

Teams come from PMMI Partner Schools:Cal Poly, Clemson University, Dunwoody College of Technology, Purdue University at Calumet, Rutgers University, and University of Florida.

- Edited by Mark T. Hoske, editor in chief, Control Engineering,

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