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,

No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
A cool solution: Collaboration, chemistry leads to foundry coat product development; See the 2015 Product of the Year Finalists
Raising the standard: What's new with NFPA 70E; A global view of manufacturing; Maintenance data; Fit bearings properly
Sister act: Building on their father's legacy, a new generation moves Bales Metal Surface Solutions forward; Meet the 2015 Engineering Leaders Under 40
Cyber security cost-efficient for industrial control systems; Extracting full value from operational data; Managing cyber security risks
Drilling for Big Data: Managing the flow of information; Big data drilldown series: Challenge and opportunity; OT to IT: Creating a circle of improvement; Industry loses best workers, again
Pipeline vulnerabilities? Securing hydrocarbon transit; Predictive analytics hit the mainstream; Dirty pipelines decrease flow, production—pig your line; Ensuring pipeline physical and cyber security
Upgrading secondary control systems; Keeping enclosures conditioned; Diagnostics increase equipment uptime; Mechatronics simplifies machine design
Designing positive-energy buildings; Ensuring power quality; Complying with NFPA 110; Minimizing arc flash hazards
Building high availability into industrial computers; Of key metrics and myth busting; The truth about five common VFD myths

Annual Salary Survey

After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.

The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.

Read more: 2014 Salary Survey: Confidence rises amid the challenges

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.