An Oxford-based company priding itself on being “lightning” fast is hoping to see its product enter the educational and packaging landscapes with that very same speed.
Lightning Technologies, which produces “smart” shipping pallets with the aim of making the transport of food, medicine and technology safer, recently donated a combined $50,000 with GARD Pallet to Virginia Tech University to teach packaging engineering students through the use of smart pallets.
Lightning Technologies is also pointing its efforts closer to home by working with Oxford High School, Oakland Community College, Oakland University and Mott Community College.
“What (we’re) trying to do for those students getting ready to leave high school – you know college isn’t always an option for everyone – is to get them into a vocational type of training around (something like) robotics, where someone is more mechanically inclined and they want to do that hands-on (work) but still be in a technically oriented activity,” said Lightning Technologies Chief Financial Officer, Todd VanBynen.
Lightning Technologies took a staple in many industries, the wooden pallet, and, in the words of company Vice President Jim Pohlman, “disrupted” the way it was used. Lightning Technologies takes cardboard, wood and Styrofoam pallets and coats them with its trademarked Exobond. This makes them waterproof, sanitizer-friendly and able to bear far more weight than things like cardboard and Styrofoam ever could on their own.
These pallets are also keen on temperature and location, enabling companies to track shipments with temperature, speed and miles traveled in mind. This has made the pallets increasingly popular with food, technology and pharmaceutical companies because they have the ability to alert companies if temperature or damage could have caused something to spoil.
Lightning Technologies hopes to use its Exobond method to change the face of shipping. Executives at the company feel their pallets are stronger, cleaner and greener than the average wooden pallet and are needed in the industry.
Because the company has a suspicion that its pallets will become increasingly important in this digital age, the company is working with engineering and robotics programs at the aforementioned local institutions of learning and is looking to hire a hefty number of people from the community, which may total to as many as 100 employees.
“We’re really looking to hire a lot of people locally here,” said Lightning Technologies Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Jeffrey Owen.