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PDQ Plastics, Inc.

What's New and What's Not So New

In a recent news release, PDQ Plastics' vice president, Hartson Poland announced that their plastic pallets would be available in three new high visibility colors. In another release, PDQ announced the addition of a "lip" to its 40 x 48 "Super D". In still another "what's new" news release, PDQ announced that its entire line of pallets would now be available in a material that has passed the UL 94 V-2 flame retardancy test. All new and exciting developments, but hardly industry changing events.

We live in a high tech world where items are reported as "what's new" at breakfast and thrown on the junk heap of "old news" by dinner. We have become accustomed to seeing the wizardry of the moment become that day's buggy whip within a very short time. Engineers are having to design tools and equipment of all kinds with this environment of rapid change and development in mind. When considering the intended use of any given tool, whether it is a computer, a hammer or a pallet, the science of giving that tool a useful life span has become part of every engineer's design criteria. What good is a device if its intended use has been eclipsed by another more efficient device, or perhaps by the elimination of its intended use do to the development of a parallel technology? The speed with which "industry changing" innovations are being delivered has become dizzying. How many of them will stick, and how many will actually produce the promised benefits is yet to be seen.

PDQ Plastics, Inc. faced the challenge of developing an industry changing device more than 30 years ago. Leo Nathans, founder of PDQ, was flying home from a sales meeting with a material handling engineer at the GM Tech Center in Warren, Michigan with the engineer's parting words still ringing in his ears. "Leo, if you could make a plastic pallet that would really hold up, now then you would have something." Along with other forms of returnable packaging, the Tech center was engaged in testing plastic pallets, finding them to be either too flimsy or too brittle for the heavy loads and tough handling conditions encountered in the automotive industry.

The PDQ 40 x 48 "Super D" was the result of that engineer's challenge. Designed and manufactured to "really hold up" under the toughest industrial conditions, the GM Tech Center's approval was just the beginning of a 30-plus year history of problem solving and reliability.

Simplicity of design and purpose have kept the pallet by and large immune to the leap-frog nature of technology driven obsolescence. The unit load and the pallet that carries that unit load, remains firmly fixed as the center piece around which this industry revolves. Yes, there have been developments, but The "what's new" developments that we have seen within the last several years regarding pallets have been more of the "tweaking" nature than a revolution. By focusing on simplicity of design and function, PDQ Plastics has had to make very few changes to their pallets. The changes that have been made, like the addition of a lip, or drilling drain holes, are value added options, not changes to compensate for deficiencies. We have been to recycling centers and seen trailer loads of broken "new and improved" plastic pallets imprinted with company names that no longer exist. We have seen the ballyhooed introduction of "new and improved" models from large plastic pallet companies, only to see another new and improved model taking its place within a year or so.

Then what are the revolutionary, or industry changing developments being made today that will affect the pallet user's choice? Enhancements to the ability to track pallets. Computer programs developed specifically to manage pallets as company assets, utilizing the same types of systems used to control inventory. And most importantly, the changing mindset of the pallet user to accept the pallet as an asset, not an expense item. Investing in a pallet that is designed to last for many years under the toughest conditions starts to make more sense when that pallet can be controlled in a closed loop. Although challenging, this goal is being met by more and more forward thinking companies with the help of technological developments that really are new and exciting.

The 40 x 48 "Super D" continues to be the benchmark 9-leg nestable pal let against which all others are measured. Providing the longest service life in the industry remains at the core of PDQ's business philosophy. Yes, by responding to its customers' needs, PDQ has added a list of "new" and valuable options to its pallets over the years. But the bottom line for PDQ Plastics still remains the same. Supply only the most durable pallets available, sell them only into those applications to which they are suited, and provide the best customer service in the industry to back them up.
PDQ Plastics, Inc.
P.O. Box 1001
Bayonne, NJ 07002
Phone: 201-823-0270

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Title Annotation:plastic pallets; General Motors Corp. Technical Center
Publication:Material Handling Product News
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 15, 2000
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