Instrumented Drop Testing (ASTM D6537)

By Bryan Williams posted Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Engineers are curious people by nature. We like figures and charts and graphs. We like data. But when it comes to performing a drop test or some other sort of impact simulation, often we perform those tests without instrumentation. All we learn from that is either the test item survived or it didn't. To optimize a design, we need more information.


Instrumenting a packaged product when simulating shipping and handling impacts provides us that data. This is the information we need to quantify a package’s ability to protect the product. ASTM D4169 is commonly referenced for the drop or impact testing we use to simulate a distribution environment. ASTM also provides guidance for collecting data during these types of tests. ASTM D6537 outlines a process for how to perform instrumented package shock testing.

Lansmont's Test Partner is the perfect solution for collecting, analyzing, reporting and managing shock and impact data. Heck, that's what it's designed for! If you would like to learn more about enhancing your testing with instrumentation, please let us know.

Trends in Distribution Simulation Testing

By Bryan Williams posted Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Lansmont's Eric Joneson is on the Editorial Board of a new online packaging science publication, International Journal of Advanced Packaging Technology. The current issue features an article that Eric authored, titled Trends in Distribution Simulation Testing.

Here is the article abstract:
Packaged-product distribution simulation tests are most effective when the damage assessment made from actual supply chain and after laboratory testing achieves high correlation. In order to create effective distribution tests, clear understanding of the distribution environment must be developed and documented. This can be achieved by “walking the system”; making direct observations from within various distribution channels. Challenges associated with thorough and complete supply chain access limits the overall effectiveness of walking the system. One way to address those challenges is to use non-intrusive portable data recorders that can travel within the global supply chain, measuring critical distribution hazards such as shock, vibration, compression, temperature, humidity and other valuable information. This article details trends associated with the growth of advanced simulation testing based upon measured data from within the supply chain.

If you would like to download the full article, please register on the IJAPT website.


New Material Handling Simulation Technology

By Patrick Blizinski posted Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Field-to-Lab® methodology has always been a guiding principle for the development of Lansmont Testing systems. When fundamental changes are made to the ways in which products are moved and handled, the new environment should be measured to define the changed dynamics. If you don’t know what is happening in the distribution cycle, how can it be properly replicated in a laboratory setting?

000117 We know that variables in distribution cycles – like transportation modes and lanes - are subject to change. Likewise, conditions in warehouses and distribution centers are often modified for optimization, and efficient use of space is always at a premium. For appliance manufacturers, one way to optimize storage space is to use a folded cap carton instead of a pallet. By outfitting a forklift with an attachable accessory called a basiloid, cartons can be “top lifted”, which makes maneuvering the load easier and allows for the aisles in facilities to be narrower. This innovation also saves space above, below, and around the product, creating a more efficient storage and transport solution. Packaging and logistics professionals have asked “How can the dynamic inputs from this unique mechanical handling system be replicated in the laboratory?

000117To answer this question, Lansmont put the Field-to-Lab® methodology to work. The forklift, outfitted with the basiloid fixture, was measured with a SAVER™ 3X90 during its every-day operations. Product was handled and moved around the warehouse, including crossing over thresholds on the loading docks, all while the SAVER™ was along for the ride to characterize the shock and vibration environment. Tens of thousands of events were acquired and after some careful analysis the data was used to generate requirements for a new, custom testing system, the MH-15 Material Handling Test System.

The MH-15 uses a hydraulic actuator much like a vibration testing system does. The actuator is outfitted with standard forklift mast interface, to which the basiloid fixture is mounted. The unique Lansmont controls allow for replication of time-history measurements, as well as random vibration PSD profiles. Not only does the MH-15 replicate the vibration experienced when the product is being transported in the warehouse, it also replicates the stresses associated with the forklifts up/down and tilting dynamics. These unique motions have replicated unique failure modes in the laboratory setting, empowering the package designers to make the necessary modifications to reduce damage.

Isolating the OTC Sensor

By Ben Taylor posted Wednesday, February 05, 2014

The most important shock machine design criteria is the ability to repeatedly subject test items to potentially damaging impacts…without breaking the shock machine itself! We continuously design new shock systems to satisfy increasing performance requirements for our customers. In many cases those performance increases translate to higher impact energy and acceleration levels. While most critical components are isolated from the impact severity, one is mounted to the table and must survive those impacts—the Optical Table Controller (OTC) sensor.

The OTC sensor provides position information used to set machine drop height. For the majority of shock testing applications there is no concern mounting the OTC sensor directly to the table—the potential acceleration amplitude it will experience is not enough to break it. For high performance applications though, it was necessary to re-evaluate how we mount the sensor to the shock table.

000116 To develop an OTC sensor isolation mount, Lansmont engineers utilized instrumented shock testing. The first step was to confirm the fragility level of the OTC sensor itself. We mounted accelerometers to the table and the OTC sensor and performed a series of high energy, high acceleration shock tests until the sensor failed. The initial data showed that the OTC sensor can experience up to twice as much acceleration amplitude as the table input.

The same testing was then repeated with the sensor mounted to an isolation block (shown in orange inset, during instrumented shock testing). The mounting block “cushions” the sensor from the high acceleration amplitudes generated by the table impact—reducing the acceleration response by up to 50% when compared to the table. This equates to a 400% reduction relative to acceleration amplitude that the rigidly mounted sensor experiences!

If you would be interested in more information on this design process or would like to discuss utilizing this type of analysis for critical components in your products, please contact me.

ELViS Finds a New Home in Memphis

By Bryan Williams posted Friday, January 17, 2014

000107ELViS has a new home in Memphis. Elvis Presley, the King of Rock 'n' Roll, lived at the famous Graceland. ELViS, the vibration system, will reside about 10 miles away at Christian Brothers University (CBU) Packaging Lab.

ELViS traveled to Memphis from Michigan State's School of Packaging. CBU wanted to add a larger vibration system to their lab. Since MSU predominantly uses their Model 10000 Vibration System, they offered ELViS to CBU. Adding ELViS to the CBU lab enhances their ability to teach and perform distribution testing. Now things are All Shook Up at CBU!!

ELViS stands for Entry Level Vibration System. It is a self-contained vibration machine that Lansmont manufactured in cooperation with Team Corporation. The unique design incorporates the hydraulic fluid reservoir and pump unit into the base of the vibration tester which reduces the overall footprint of the test system.

Lansmont Assumes ISTA Europe Leadership

By Eric Joneson posted Tuesday, January 14, 2014

000115 Congratulation to Lansmont's Bart Feys, who this past month, was elected as the new Chair of the ISTA European Divisional Board. Bart has participated in ISTA's European activities and events for the past five years, helping to deliver educational and networking events in Valencia, Spain, and Dortmund, Germany.

Bart and the European Board have established their first 2014 ISTA event, working with Schumacher Packaging to co-host a special tour of their technically sophisticated box plant in Ebersdorf, Germany. The tour is free and further information (including event registration) can be found on the ISTA home page.

Bart will be working directly with Javier Zabaleta of ITENE (ISTA Europe Vice Chair) to develop strategically located, valuable 2014 and 2015 ISTA European events.

Contact Bart directly to congratulate him on his new position!

Happy Holidays!

By Lansmont Corporation posted Friday, December 20, 2013


Lansmont to Deliver Load Stability Webinar

By Bryan Williams posted Thursday, December 05, 2013

000112 Tuesday, December 10th, at 2:30 p.m. EST, Eric Joneson will deliver a 45 minute webinar, titled Increasing Awareness and Emphasis of Load Stability and Related Test Methodologies. This webinar will be hosted by the International Safe Transit Association (ISTA) and interested individuals can register by clicking on the following:

ISTA Webinar Link

Eric's presentation will highlight the sources of the environmental hazards that challenge load stability, address some of the regulatory requirements, and provide examples of how laboratory personnel attempt to simulate those dynamics. The presentation will also focus on current efforts to improve standardized load stability test methods in an effort to better predict unitized, packaged-product field performance.


By Bryan Williams posted Monday, December 02, 2013

A factory refurbished HITS is now FOR SALE. The sled carriage is 106 in. long x 55 in. wide with a front bulkhead measuring 60 in. tall x 55 in. wide. The maximum payload is 6,000 lbs. The overall machine footprint is 39 ft. long x 5 ft. wide. The seismic mass weighs 20,000 lbs (actual test system shown below).
000111 Horizontal Impact Test Systems (HITS) simulate the horizontal shock effects of rail switching, truck docking, unit load stability, and other types of horizontal impacts. Our standard HITS models are specifically designed to test in accordance with ASTM D4169 and ASTM D4003 as well as other corporate, industry and government specifications such as ISTA and ISO.

For more information on the HITS, please contact Lansmont Sales.

Lansmont HITS web page.

84th Shock & Vibration Symposium

By Eric Joneson posted Friday, November 15, 2013

Lansmont sponsored the 84th Shock & Vibration Symposium held in Atlanta last week. This annual event is an opportunity for experts in the shock and vibration community to discuss new technology and on-going research.

000110 Lansmont showcased our technical expertise by exhibiting our Testing Equipment and Instruments during the conference. The highlight of our exhibit was the new Test Partner 4 (TP4), our latest generation data acquisition system. The system incorporates a host controller for processing and analyzing data from 8-channel analog card(s) with built-in signal conditioning to support IEPE type sensors or perform event detection. Analog channels can be configured with sample rates up to 2.5MHz providing versatility to acquire data attributed to drop, shock, and impacts, as well as pyro-shock and blast impact events where high frequency energies are present.

000110During the Symposium, Lansmont conducted a tutorial on Damage Boundary Shock Testing. The one hour session focused on practical applications of shock fragility assessment as well as highlighting new shock testing technology that facilitates more efficient and effective product testing methods.

Please contact us if you would like to hear more about the highlights from the Shock & Vibration Symposium. We look forward to participating in the 85th Shock & Vibration Symposium next year!