Among the various tests that cargo should be subjected to in order to be transported safely and reliably, vibration tests are some of the most important, since they can be used to reproduce the vibrations experienced by the goods during the distribution cycle, and as a result, optimize the package resistance as much as possible. When performing these types of tests, it is paramount to have a vibration monitoring equipment – data recorder with the purpose of reproducing the conditions experienced by the cargo during transportation and therefore predict possible damages.


Vibration test for packaging: what is it?

The purpose of packaging vibration tests is to reproduce in a laboratory the vibrations that take place during the transportation of a load, and as a result, know how they affect the goods. Therefore, performing these tests is highly important for any company that needs to transport its products across the world.

Additionally, vibration tests have many advantages, such as:

  • Avoidance of expenditures caused by product shrinkage.
  • Package optimization to prevent damages and losses.
  • Improving the image before the customer.
  • Compliance with standards and existing regulations.

In order to perform packaging vibration tests it is necessary to have two different machines:

  1. Vibration monitoring equipment to record the various distribution routes and subsequently reproduce the real transportation conditions in a laboratory.
  2. A vibration simulation machine such as, for example, a vertical or vertical + pitch & roll system with which to reproduce the vibrations experienced by the cargo during transportation.

With these machines, in addition to attaining a much more reliable and safe packaging, you can comply with existing packaging standards required by many companies such as Amazon.

“The goal of packaging vibration tests is to reproduce in a laboratory the vibrations that take place during transportation”

The goal of packaging vibration tests is to reproduce in a laboratory the vibrations that take place during transportation


Which are the vibration tests?

As we have already seen in the previous item, vibration tests are governed by a series of standards, which include the following:

  • ASTM D999 – 08 (2015) Standard Test Methods for Vibration Testing of Shipping Containers: these methods cover vibration tests for completely filled shipping containers. These tests may be used to evaluate the performance of a container, both in terms of resistance and of the protection it provides to the content when subjected to vibrations such as those experienced during transportation. These procedures are adequate to test containers of any shape, material, type, internal packaging design, closing mechanism and size and weight.
  • ISO 13355 Complete, filled transport packages and unit loads – Vibration tests at fixed low frequency: specifies a method to carry out a random vertical vibration test on a full package and single loads applying a random vibration. This document also provides methods to evaluate the performance of a package in regard to the resistance or protection it provides to its content when subjected to vertical vibrations.
  • ISO 2247 Packaging – Complete, filled transport packages and unit loads – Vibration tests at fixed low frequency: This standard is used to measure the vibration of the containers themselves and its tests are designed to measure the ability of a package or cargo unit to withstand a distribution system that includes packaging low-frequency vibration hazards or repeat shocks.
  • ASTM D4728 Standard Test Method for Random Vibration Testing of Shipping Containers: this standard focuses on vibration stresses and comprises random vibration tests for completely filled shipping units. These tests have the purpose of mimicking the real damage, or lack thereof, experienced in real life, since these containers experience complex dynamic stresses during transportation. In light of this, random vibration tests must be based on representative field data and the real shipping effects observed in the field can be useful for comparison.

You may be interested: Which are the best packaging methods for my product?

Why do I need my own vibration monitoring equipment for packaging?

Even though there are laboratories you can turn to for the performance of these types of tests, the best mid and long-term option is to have an in-house vibration simulation machine. This will let you perform all necessary tests, in addition to no longer depend on third parties with all that that implies (timeframes, costs, etc.).

In addition to having an in-house testing system, you can recover the investment in the long run since, in addition to all of the advantages it offers the company, this service can be provided to other companies, thereby obtaining revenues.

“The best mid and long-term option is to have an in-house vibration monitoring machine”

The best mid and long-term option is to have an in-house vibration monitoring machine


Safe Load: experts in vibration testing machines for packaging

At Safe Load TT we have testing machines that can be used to perform the vibration tests:

  • The vertical vibration machine: this machine has one degree of freedom, allowing for the performance of vibration tests without being completely faithful to what happens under real conditions. However, this system can be used for performing comparative analyses or tests as per current ISTA, ASTM and other protocols.
  • The vertical vibration + pitch & roll system: this machine can be used to simulate both vertical vibrations and rotational pitch & roll motions that take place during transportation. This system was patented in 2012 and has a pitch & roll module that can be mounted on a pre-existing vibration machine.

Some of the companies that have already put their trust in our vibration systems are Duoplast and Newton Research, which have obtained very good results from their use. Do you need to acquire vibration monitoring equipment or vibration simulation equipment for your company? Contact us. You can also download for free our ebook ‘Calculate the ROI of investing in packaging testing machines’ and learn how much you can save by acquiring your own equipment.