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Steps in package testing

Package Testing

There’s more to shipping goods than just getting them to their final destinations. It’s essential that all products reach consumers as safely as possible, arriving free of damage, contamination, and spillage. Packaging performance and integrity help to ensure customer satisfaction and safety as well as maintaining profitability and preventing losses for your company. You can generate confidence that your packaging will protect your products and minimize shipping risks by using high-quality package testing equipment and procedures.

At Lansmont Corporation, we develop state-of-the-art package testing equipment and instruments that enable engineers to discover product vulnerabilities and make the necessary improvements to optimize their shipping methods. We design our solutions with long-term reliability and ease of use in mind.

What Is Package Testing?

Package testing is the process of challenging packaging materials and finished packages with dynamic laboratory testing inputs to ensure they will deliver their desired and required real-world performance. Distribution testing of packaged products helps deliver the final confidence that the packaging will protect the internal products from the primary hazards they will experience during transport – shock, vibration, and compressive forces.

Package testing measures interactions and effects across packaging levels, content, external forces and end-use. Procedures can generate either qualitative or quantitative test results.

Our Packaging Testing Equipment

Lansmont handheld drop test controller.Lansmont package testing equipment is designed to perform industry standards, such as ASTM, ISTA, ISO, EUMOS and others. Our equipment is compliant with all of the most common ASTM and ISTA package testing procedures.

There are individual standards that specifically reference how to perform drop testing, compression testing, side impact testing and vibration testing. In addition to those standards, there are groups of procedures referred to as distribution simulation tests, which incorporate some strategic combination of testing inputs, with the idea of simulating a typical journey through the supply chain. Some of the most common distribution simulation standards that are performed globally are published by ASTM and ISTA.

Packaging Test Process

Underpackaging may put products at risk for damage and impact a brand’s reputation, while overpackaging can result in excessive costs and environmental waste. By investing in proper package testing equipment, brand owners can ensure their packaging is as functional and cost-efficient (optimized) as possible while providing the required protection from the point of manufacture to end-use.

Shipping Test Methods

There are numerous package testing methods you can implement into your processes to ensure your products are safeguarded against shipping damage, including:

  • Drop testing: Specialized test systems repeatedly release items from varying heights, from different orientations and sometimes onto different surface types to evaluate a package’s ability to protect them in the distribution environment.
  • Vibration testing: Vibration tests for packaging ensure packaged products maintain their integrity and quality when subjected to vibrations that simulate those they may experience when being transported by plane, train, truck or other modes.
  • Compression testing: This package testing procedure measures how well a package or packaged product can withstand the effects of stacking during the storage and transportation processes.
  • Inclined impact testing: This type of testing subjects packaged products to side impacts at controlled impact velocities, simulating the type of impacts that may occur during handling and transport throughout the supply chain.
  • Horizontal impact testing: This testing allows for programmable, controlled impacts that can very specifically simulate the types of shocks packaged products may experience when traveling by railcars, or those types of impacts they may experience during forklift and automated handling processes. This type of testing allows for comparably much more control of the shock/impact characteristics than the Inclined Impact Test Systems.
  • Distribution testing: Distribution testing involves some combination of drop, compression, vibration, shock/impact, and climatic condition. This testing is intended to simulate specific distribution environments by maintaining a controlled, repeatable setting in a laboratory so that packages can be evaluated according to industry standards. The results of comprehensive distribution testing provide a level of predictive confidence associated with how packaged products will perform in the supply chain.
  • Environmental climatic conditioning: The environmental conditioning process subjects packages to various temperature and humidity extremes, in part based upon those conditions they can experience in the actual distribution environment.

Shipping Test Practices

ASTM D-4169Standard Practice for Performance Testing of Shipping Containers and Systems. As stated by ASTM, “This practice provides a uniform basis of evaluating, in a laboratory, the ability of shipping units to withstand the distribution environment. This is accomplished by subjecting them to a test plan consisting of a sequence of anticipated hazard elements encountered in various distribution cycles.”

ASTM D-4169 provides 18 different distribution cycle (DC) simulation procedures, including a number of different transportation scenarios such as motor freight, rail, air parcel, export and even non-commercial government shipments.

ISTA (International Safe Transit Association) groups their test procedures/protocols into what they call Test Series. Testing moves from non-simulation of transport environmental hazards through simulation in general or broad terms and finally to a test developed from a comprehensive collection of field data.

ISTA’s 6 Series include test protocols created by ISTA members to meet their needs and applications. The tests may be completely original or may be modifications or variations of ISTA Procedures or Projects or other published and accepted tests. ISTA reviews and approves these tests, but primary responsibility rests with the originating members.

Amazon has partnered with ISTA to develop two 6 Series test methods to help simulate a journey of a package through Amazon’s fulfillment network. The two 6 Series tests are:

Invest in Package Testing Equipment From Lansmont Today

You can verify that your packaging is optimized to protect your products during distribution by both investing in, and implementing the use of a complete suite of Lansmont’s Package Testing equipment. It’s our mission to help companies meet industry-regulated testing requirements and validate load stability to ensure safe product transport. We’ve spent over 50 years providing customers with top-of-the-line test equipment and engineering services, making us the experts you can trust.

Contact us to get a custom quote today!

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