Select Page
IAPRI Spotlight on Atlantic’s TruMotion Testing System

IAPRI Spotlight on Atlantic’s TruMotion Testing System

Atlantic Packaging’s TruMotion Transportation Simulator was a topic of discussion among researchers in the International Association of Packaging Research Institute’s (IAPRI) December 2017 newsletter. IAPRI is an organization of professionals dedicated to promoting and advancing research and education in packaging.

The article is titled “Multi-axis testing gets a new spring in its step.”  In the U.S., the standard vibration testing system for packaging is a single-degree-of-freedom (SDOF) system that measures the impact of one-dimensional forces on a package in a simulated route.

Multiple-degree-of-freedom (MDOF) testing systems, or multi-axis systems, are extremely rare, especially in a packaging setting. The TruMotion system at Atlantic Packaging, built by Lansmont, is the first publicly accessible multi-axis vibration testing system for commercial packaging applications.

Engineers from Atlantic and Lansmont Examine the TruMotion Multi-Axis Testing System

Outside the U.S., a few notable multi-axis systems have been in use for several years in the packaging industry, including a smaller, three-degree-of-freedom (3DOF) testing system at ITENE in Spain. Safe Load Testing Technologies has two more multi-axis testing systems installed in Asia and Europe. Safe Load CEO Alberto Tellecha has a high opinion of the system’s value, saying “It is very useful both for design and optimizing packaging; not only to test and validate a design, but also to get a deeper knowledge of the risk occurring in the supply chain.”

One of the most significant benefits of multi-axis systems are the wide table areas. Lansmont engineer, Eric Joneson, explains “While some systems are designed to handle a single pallet, we realized that being able to accommodate two pallet loads and monitor the interactions between them can be just as important.”

Obstacles and Perceived Barriers

Companies who have invested in single-axis testing systems have done so because of costs and other perceived risks related to investing in new multi-axis testing systems.

But most of the cost differential with a multi-axis system is due to the fact that they are still very new, and there are no defined standards and procedures to streamline the testing process. Each test requires individual preparation and development.

However, as more data and test results from the TruMotion system accumulates, Atlantic will be instrumental in developing the standards and procedures needed in this space.

Atlantic’s Research Pioneers

Kyle Dunno, Atlantic’s Director of Transport Packaging, and his team along with leadership at Atlantic are confident that the TruMotion multi-axis testing system will provide data-driven packaging solutions well worth the investment.

Lansmont’s Eric Joneson with Atlantic’s Kyle Dunno

There has been industry support for multi-axis systems for years, but as Dunno states “a lack of available systems meant it was hard for anyone to actually validate…that it does make a difference, and there are benefits.” At Atlantic, we’re excited about the opportunity to bring validation to this level of testing through data, research, and applied solutions.

Dunno isn’t the only one who believes in the benefit of multi-axis system testing in the packaging industry. At the International Safe Transit Association (ISTA), VP – Technical Eric Hiser says, “It takes us one step closer to what’s happening in the real world. It’s another tool allowing for pack optimization and for the reduction of both waste and damage.”

Packaging in the Modern Age

With significant changes in packaging design to improve sustainability –  for example thinner, more flexible, and recyclable packaging – adjustments in stretch wrapping applications are critical in order to minimize load failure. Damaged product from load failure is counter-productive to the waste problem that sustainable packaging is designed to reduce.

Pallet loads are packed with less secondary and structural materials, relying more than ever on the stretch wrapping to prevent load failure.

Multi-axis testing systems have the capability to test the effects of vibration on packaging in multiple dimensions, producing data that informs how we customize stretch wrapping application for new, more sustainable packaging designs.

The specific benefits of multi-axis system testing will soon be apparent, and Atlantic is proud to be at the forefront of this research. Dunno and other Atlantic engineers will be presenting updates about the TruMotion system and the Packaging Research Center at the 2018 GMA Leadership Forum, as well as the 2018 ISTA TransPack Forum.

Learn More about the TruMotion Transportation Simulator

EUMOS Symposium, Vienna 2017

EUMOS Symposium, Vienna 2017

Austria is a small country known for its progressive people. It’s the home of Amadeus Mozart, Marie Antoinette, Sigmund Freud, and Arnold Schwarzenegger (as well as snow globes and the world’s only surviving Baroque zoo). Austria’s capital Vienna is consistently ranked as one of the world’s top-five most livable cities for its safety, social services, economic opportunities, public transportation, and urban forested areas.

Vienna is notable as a hub of progress in the packaging industry as well–it’s the birthplace of the EUMOS Symposium for Load Securing, Transport Packaging, and Safe Logistics.

EUMOS (European Safe Logistics Association)

EUMOS is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving safety standards in European transport policy. Representatives at the 2017 Symposium hailed from more than 17 countries, and included police, manufacturers, logistics companies, truck drivers, engineers, and more.

These diverse representatives came together to provided a comprehensive perspective on global challenges in the packaging industry today.

Kyle Dunno traveled to Vienna to represent Atlantic at the Symposium.  Kyle heads up testing operations at Atlantic’s Packaging Solution Center.  He previously managed Clemson University’s Transport Packaging Laboratory and earned his PhD. in Food Technology with research focusing on evaluating the effects of transportation hazards on package performance and food product shelf life.

When Atlantic decided to invest in the TruMotion Transportation Simulator and the Braking & Impact Test Sled for a more thorough and accurate analysis of transport hazards, we knew Kyle was the ideal person to head up these operations.  We are lucky to have him on board and representing us on the world stage.

Kyle Dunno, 3rd from right

A Global Problem: Setting Standards

Kyle’s presence and contribution to the Symposium was timely as representatives gathered to discuss a new EU Packaging Standard that’s currently being drafted.

The standard is about unit load stability and rigidity in packaging. The EU is in the process of updating standards across all member countries to establish a minimum requirement for package containment and shipping. Packages that travel across international borders will be held to consistent standards. The big question is how to define metrics and set these minimums.

Kyle’s presentation was titled “Defining the Distribution Channel to Eliminate Unit Load Failure” and he spoke about Atlantic’s approach to establishing and maintaining standards for safe packaging.

This comprehensive approach includes an on-site audit, analysis & testing, package optimization, and long-term monitoring (learn more about this approach).

Impact and Takeaways

By far, the biggest impact that this approach had at the EUMOS Symposium was to introduce the practical applications of testing to establish packaging standards, and long-term monitoring to accurately maintain those standards.

Atlantic is unique in its resources for testing and analysis as well as in its patented system for monitoring and notifications.  These resources are critical to the conversation happening today among the members of EUMOS as they work towards improved safety and efficiency in moving goods throughout Europe.

Our presence at the 2017 Symposium was an amazing and important opportunity to collaborate and discuss global challenges in packaging with international industry leaders who are setting the course for standardization.

Learn More about Atlantic’s Approach to Setting Standards in Packaging