Planes, Trains and Trucks
If you want to design packaging, you better know how it will stand up to being transported in planes, trains and trucks. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.
[SOUND OF VIBRATION TABLE]
Horvath: The noise is a vibration table. We have capabilities to simulate any type of transportation equipment: railcars, airplanes, tractor trailers, and we can simulate the up and down movement of those trailers with this device.
Laszlo Horvath is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sustainable Biomaterials at Virginia Tech.
Horvath: So the noise that you are hearing is the table moving. What this table does – it moves up and down, simulating the exact movement of the trailer. If you would go on a highway, you could see that the trailer’s bouncing a little bit, and this is exactly what this table simulates. We put packages on the top of the table. What we would like to simulate that when the package is traveling on the highway and the trailer moves, then the internal components of that package – maybe a motherboard of a computer – can be in resonance and then can break. And we would like to know whether it breaks or not to be able to redesign it correctly.
Horvath: [SOUND OF VIBRATION TABLE – SIMULATING RAILCAR
LH Currently, we are running a railcar simulation. It is less hazardous than the trailer simulation – over the road truck simulation, because the rails tend to be smoother than roads, but you still hear a frequent bump. Like when you’re traveling on a rail, it’s always this [imitates sound of railcar]. Normally, truck transport is the most hazardous, than rail, and then, airplane is the least hazardous vibration.
Every type of transportation is different, and that’s one of the most important things for companies that when they are optimizing their packaging system for truck(s), and then they find out that rail transportation is much cheaper, they switch to rail. But every type of hazard – vibration, shock, compression – is different for a railcar. If you don’t know how packages will behave in these transportation modes, then you have massive failures.
I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.