State-Of-The-Art Engineering Drives Optimization

ALEXANDRIA VA, September 15, 2017 – Building on a 33-year history of innovation, the Pallet Design System™ (PDS) development team of software and structural engineers applied new, state-of-the-art, engineering and analysis techniques not previously used in the pallet industry. ANSYS™ simulation and 3-D modeling software was used as a tool to test and verify structural engineering models. The extensive modeling and testing ensures PDS users have access to the most advanced and accurate technology available for the design of wood pallets.

The robust engineering enables a much more refined analysis that allows for higher levels of pallet design optimization, additional analysis capabilities, and paves the way for future development of PDS. Additionally, PDS 5.3 provides automated calculations of stacking patterns for containers on pallet, or custom positioning of individual containers and a new strapping slot analysis for deckboards and stringers. The lateral collapse resistance analysis is also more detailed than previous versions.

“Our latest research and development has led to enhanced structural models for this release of PDS,” commented Kristen DeLack, PE, PDS Structural Engineer. “With these advancements, PDS now reports when the connection strength is the “critical member” that limits the strength of the pallet,” added DeLack.

For those who remanufacture pallets, the release of PDS 5.3 also enables users to analyze recycled pallets with notched stringers (except RAL and 4 Corner support conditions). “This was a very popular request among current PDS users that our team worked hard to develop this past year,” said Dr. Brad Gething, NWPCA Director of Science & Technology Integration.

The release of version 5.3 also coincides with the recent NWPCA announcement of the development of new user interface and print-out report materials in four additional languages: Spanish, French, Italian and German, to be completed in two phases by summer 2018.

The NWPCA is dedicating significant resources as part of the implementation of our strategic plan to ensure that PDS remains cutting edge technology and further solidifies PDS as the global standard for unit load pallet design. Shane Thompson, 2017 NWPCA’s Board Chair added, “Expect to see more from the PDS development team for 2018. NWPCA and the Pallet Foundation investments, totaling nearly $1.5 million over the next two years, will advance our industry and benefit each of our companies, as we make PDS the international language for pallet design.”

For more information on Pallet Design System™ 5.3, read the detailed product release.


Brad Gething, PhD
Director of Science & Technology Integration
Phone: 703.519.6104 Ext. 215


The National Wooden Pallet & Container Association (NWPCA) is the largest organization of wood packaging professionals in the world, with more than 670 company members in 28 countries who manufacture, repair and distribute pallets and wood packaging in unit-load solutions, or who supply products and services to the industry. For more information on NWPCA, visit www.palletcentral.com.


The Pallet Design System™ software provides fully engineered and safe pallet designs, delivered in a professional manner. Over 430 major pallet manufacturers in 30 countries around the world use PDS to create 3-D designs that are comprehensive, detailed and efficient. In addition to predicting safe load capacity and deflection under load, PDS provides detailed specifications in 2-D and 3-D drawings for virtually any wood pallet design. PDS is a proprietary software of the National Wooden Pallet & Container Association. For more information on PDS, visit www.palletdesignsystem.com.