PKG Masters

Join the fun with PKG Master as we celebrate great people from around the Transport Packaging world!
A bit of history, a bit of the backstory, and lots of fun.

Damage Boundary - the Big Bang Theory from Dale Root on Vimeo.

How do you measure “fragile”?

This was the fundamental question posed by Dr. James Goff, Director of the Michigan State University School of Packaging in the late 1960’s. If the “fragile” nature of a product could be measured - then packagers could design protection from the shocks and drops of transport to ensure safe delivery.

DBT was ground zero for creating the mindset within the transport packaging world that the product and package need to work together. To design or “engineer” a package – you first need a measure for strength for the product, then some insight into the environment to which it will be exposed – and this leads to a logical way to design, test, and evaluate. An effective package would just "make up the difference" between the product's ruggedness (fragility) and the rigors of the distribution environment.

So - really - when you think about it…
For all the modern distribution environment measurements, pkg testing, pkg design and simulations that we do today in the transport packaging world, they all trace their origins back to the summer of 1969 and a bunch of kids having fun in the MSU dynamics lab. ;-}

This is the real story of Damage Boundary and the folks that made it happen.

Dr. James Goff, Frank Bresk, Bill Kipp, Dr. Robert Newton
Stephen Pierce, Bill Armstrong, Ed Church, Doug McCall, Herb Schueneman
Dennis Young

Herb Schueneman - Career Evolution from Dale Root on Vimeo.

PKG Master Herb Schueneman - Real Life History

Herb walks us through his back story and describes how a struggle with calculus eventually leads him to the MSU School of Packaging. Upon graduation, he became a rising star within Western Electric and later Clorox as he saved these companies millions.

Herb eventually hung out his own shingle with the formation of WESTPAK, and today WESTPAK is recognized as expert in the field of product and package testing. Herb is known for his ability to approach technical challenges in unique ways. He has a strong desire to develop and reward people, creating an environment that allows them to grow and expand their technical expertise.

PKG Master - Herb Schueneman - Farm Life from Dale Root on Vimeo.

Herb Schueneman, founder and chairman of WESTPAK, recounts his transition from urban living to the farm. At the age of nine his family moved to the country, and with no prior experience dove headfirst into a world of soil, crops, and hard labor. Through this journey, Herb found the rewards of dedicated effort, the art of leadership, and the power of persistence.

PKG Master - Herb Schueneman - San Jose State University Packaging Program from Dale Root on Vimeo.

Herb Schueneman, founder and chairman of WESTPAK, discusses his love of teaching with the San Jose State University Packaging Program. Herb has been involved with the SJSU Packaging Program since its inception, both teaching and eventually stepping in to the role of director to lead the program. Herb was well known by his students for his strong desire for them to learn the right way of doing things. He had no hesitation to stop a student presentation that was heading off in a less than good direction so that students could learn skills to benefit their entire life. Students responded by developing the “Virtual Herb”, something that could provide the same valuable feedback when he was unable to attend in person.

Bill Armstrong - Damage Boundary - Fragility Assessment Alternatives from Dale Root on Vimeo.

PKG Master Bill Armstrong - Real Life History
Who cares if it takes 37 or 42 G's to break a taco shell - does it always have to be so precise? Here is Bill's take on how to move forward, even when you don't necessarily have all the desired information.

Bill Armstrong - Damage Boundary - Instrumentation from Dale Root on Vimeo.

PGK Master Bill Armstrong - Real Life History
Bill describes the instrumentation advances that were occurring in parallel with DBT development, including the transition from analog oscilloscopes with Polaroid cameras to storage scopes, and then to computer based digital acquisition systems.

Bill Armstrong - Career Evolution from Dale Root on Vimeo.

PKG Master Bill Armstrong - Real Life History
Bill walks us through his backstory and how the GI bill and a car accident redirected his college days to connect him with the Packaging Industry. Before retiring in 2007, Bill was highly successful in the packaging industry with wide-ranging experience. He has worked with a number of organizations including Monterey Research Labs, Sealed Air, Tenneco Chemicals, Package Engineering Magazine. These days Bill enjoys a good cup of coffee and a great cigar and often calls this the highlight of his day.

Bill Armstrong - Damage Boundary - the New Technology from Dale Root on Vimeo.

PKG Master Bill Armstrong - Real Life History
Bill Armstrong takes us along for the ride as Damage Boundary moves from the "New Technology" to "Mature". At the inception of DBT there was a new generation in packaging that was taking over from the old guard, and they were pushing to move things forward just as fast as they could.

PKG Master - Eric Joneson - Show me the Data from Dale Root on Vimeo.

Congratulations to Eric Joneson for being selected as the 2023 ISTA R. David Lebutt Award Recipient. As part of the ISTA standards development process - data is the key to making informed progress. How do you get that data, who provides that data? That is the key question. ISTA has developed an infrastructure to support and promote participation in efforts to develop data that helps to drive the update of existing standards or creation of new standards.

PKG Master - Eric Joneson from Dale Root on Vimeo.

In Part 2 of our conversation with Eric Joneson, Eric talks about his testing roots, becoming involved with the ISTA - International Safe Transit Association standards development process, and the constant search for improvement. Eric points out that sometimes we simply need to learn more to help point us in the right direction.

Congratulations to Eric Joneson for being selected as the 2023 ISTA R. David Lebutt Award Recipient.

Frank Bresk - In Memory from Dale Root on Vimeo.

Lansmont co-founder Frank Bresk passed away January 23, 2023, at the age of 95.

Frank played a key role as the connector between the packaging community and the aerospace/military testing communities during the development of Damage Boundary Theory by Dr. Robert Newton. Frank believed in the technology and was determined to see it succeed. He worked tirelessly to promote dynamic testing to anyone who might benefit. Frank eventually served as chairman of the ASTM subcommittee D10-15 on Product Fragility, as Damage Boundary became widely recognized and supported by industry.

Frank and his wife Frieda imprinted the customer first values and family atmosphere that Lansmont became known for during the early days of the company.

Dennis Young - In Memory from Dale Root on Vimeo.

Packaging industry legend Dennis Young passed away January 20th, 2023, in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

A great thinker, he is often described by packaging industry peers as a genius. Dennis was devoted to the packaging industry and loved to share and impart his knowledge onto other people. He was a natural teacher and master storyteller with a great sense of humor that could make technical subjects seem fun and simple.

He has inspired the lives and careers of so many in the packaging community by simply knowing him, working with him, and being taught by him.

Please share your DEY story in the comments below.