A novel floating/swivel platen approach is proposed in this paper for primary package top-load evaluations. Different from the conventional fixed platen top-load practice, this approach, which frees the translational (floating) and rotational (swivel) degrees of the platens and designates them separately to the bottom and top platens, allows tests or simulations to predict the lateral instability of primary packages. The lateral instability of primary packages becomes increasingly crucial to the tray-based unit load stability with growing cost-saving efforts and design innovations from brand owners, design agencies and packaging suppliers. This study, through both lab testing and virtual computer simulation, has demonstrated that the proposed floating/swivel platen approach accurately captures the package top-load reduction induced by the package lateral instability, while the conventional fixed platen top-load practice dangerously over-predicts the package top-load by a factor of as high as 3.6, due to the suppression of the lateral instability by the fixed platens. Such an over- prediction could lead to unexpected damage to the primary packages and/or unit load collapse during storage and transportation. The proposed floating/swivel platen top-load approach is recommended for light-weighting and design innovation in the early package development stage.
Billade N.S., Yuan J.Z., Haynes, C.A., and Knochenmuss, D.R., “Floating/Swivel Top-load Testing and Simulation- A Novel Approach for Evaluating Unit Load Stability at the Early Stage of Primary Package Development”, Society of Plastics Engineers, ANTEC 2013 Conference & Tradeshow, April 23, 2013, Cincinnati, Ohio.