The BLOCKPal pallet’s new design changes the outlook of transferring materials—particularly with regards to sustainability, longevity, and versatility.
David Kalan, VP of Marketing and Business Development for RM2, participated in a Q&A about their new product, the BLOCKPal™ pallet.
Q: What materials is the BLOCKPal pallet made out of and why did you choose this medium?
Kalan: BLOCKPal pallets are formed using a pultrusion manufacturing process that includes fiberglass, and is pound for pound stronger than steel. We fuse lightweight composite materials to create a product that is extremely durable and long lasting, and makes it an ideal consideration for today’s supply chain.
Q: Why do you think this material is a better alternative, compared to wooden pallets?
Kalan: The materials we use make it ultra-strong. Independent testing shows that it will last up to 20 times longer than pallets made from wood. Combine that with the non-porous surface and it is a much better alternative and very cost effective.”
Q: Approximately how many years is the BLOCKPal pallet expected to last?
Kalan: It’s not necessarily the number of years, but the number of trips. Our pallet is designed to last 100 trips—which was confirmed in a report conducted by the Virginia Tech Center for Packaging and Unit Load Design (www.unitload.vt.edu). BLOCKPal is also repairable, and that could add another 50 trips to its life. Of course, in a controlled environment with appropriately trained employees, the pallet can last indefinitely.
Q: Could you talk a little bit more about the composite material of BLOCKPal, and its resistance to moisture, bacteria, chemicals, and pests?
Kalan: It is a proprietary process and we have engineered a surface for BLOCKPal that is non-porous. An independent study conducted by Michigan State University confirms that it is not penetrable, so it is resistant to all the elements we listed.
Q: At PACK Expo, you mentioned the sustainability of the BLOCKPal pallet—specifically that the pallets are repairable, last many years, and save $70,000 gallons of gas. Could you elaborate further on this?
Kalan: On a per-mile basis, the environmental impact is equal to saving 70,000 gallons of fuel annually. There are a vast number of sustainability advantages to using a BLOCKPal pallet that have a direct impact on the environment. There are significant factors related to transportation, reduced global warming potential, pallet replacement benefits, and others. I’d advise anyone interested to visit our web site for a full assessment.
Q: At PACK Expo, you also talked about some of the features of the BLOCKPal pallet, such as it being fire-resistant, has a bigger opening for the fork lift, etc. What would you say are some of the key features that differentiates the BLOCKPal pallet from its competitors or, even, from previous models?
Kalan: It’s available in all standard sizes and is manufactured to withstand maximum weight and wide ranging temperatures. The edge strength exceeds industry standards—the pallet’s racking load is measured at 6,500 lbs., with a static load of 60,000 lbs. and dynamic at 9,800 lbs.
BLOCKPal is incredibly strong and durable, so it won’t give into weight and bow over time. We have documentation to support that it is fire resistant and FM Global certified. It’s also capable of withstanding temperatures between -40° and 176° F. For these and other reasons, we are confident that it can drive efficiency and reduce environmental waste while generating significant cost savings in any warehouse.
Q: Why, would you say, is the BLOCKPal pallet particularly advantageous to pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical manufacturers?
Kalan: There are several reasons. One is the ability to clean the surface of the pallet, which is an important factor to these industries. We purposely made the surface carbon black so it would be easy to see if dirt or anything else was on the pallet. It’s also a very secure product. The surface is non-porous so moisture can’t penetrate it, and you won’t find any popped nails breaking through the surface to allow bacteria to be present.