Research for Improved Healthcare Product Distribution Packaging

The Healthcare Packaging Consortium (HPC), established at Christian Brothers University in 2010, is conducting research to improve healthcare packaging. They’ve focused their initial research efforts on product distribution, specifically looking at the distribution channel between Distribution Centers (DC) and retail locations.

DC’s often break down unitized loads of healthcare products so they can ship individual items out to retail locations as needed. Individual packs of assorted products are combined at the DC into totes (plastic or corrugated) to fill an order. The totes are then routed out to retail stores for final delivery. To better understand the dynamic environment inside the tote, HPC utilized a SAVER 3M30 Plus to record impacts and vibrations during simulated tote shipments.

Plastic tote with SAVER system and products inside.

HPC developed some simple solutions for reducing the impact damage potential during a tote shipment. By using a data acquisition system to record impact acceleration during drop testing, HPC generated the data they needed to compare the performance of different cushioning materials. This data will be shared and promoted as the basis of improved testing methodologies for healthcare product DC-to-Store distribution.

To learn more about the ongoing research at Christian Brothers University, the publication Plastic Tote Drop Impact Study is available at the IoPP Journal of Packaging.