Any company wishing to sell its products through Amazon and willing to improve its shipping performance would have to pass certain tests and comply with a series of requirements in regard to packaging. This is known as the Amazon ISTA test, and its goal is to prevent damage to the goods and optimize deliveries.
The purpose of the Amazon ISTA test is the development of a standard or testing protocol to test a package’s capability of withstanding the forces endured within Amazon’s supply chain. These protocols have been established by ISTA (International Safe Transit Association), an organization that is dedicated to the design of protocols for supply chain simulation.
ISTA puts several types of tests at the companies’ disposal, which means each company may select the one that they consider more suitable to test their product and supply chain. These protocols include different series, with the most important being:
- 1 Series: these are the simplest protocols that the packaging may be subjected to. They do not include environmental issues, and are generally employed to get a first impression or to compare between different brands.
- 2 Series: this is mid-range between 1 series and 3 series, where performance is studied under specific atmospheric conditions or random vibrations depending on the type of transport.
- 3 Series: This is the most widespread, since it simulates different types of transports and conditions.
- 6 Series: this is a series that is specifically developed for an ISTA member. The Amazon ISTA test is included in this series, as well as others for companies such as Fedex or Samsclub.
- 7 Series: this protocol focuses on a package’s conditioning in relation to temperature and humidity.
Benefits of the ISTA testing in relation to other procedures
The ISTA standards are simple and well-explained procedures, which nowadays turns them into the most widespread in relation to all other packaging testing processes. Both the Amazon ISTA test and all other procedures subject the packaging to different tests with the purpose of determining its endurance under various circumstances. These are some of the tests that the cargo is subjected to:
- Free fall
- Environmental conditioning
- Rotational fall
Furthermore, some of the standards include different sequences depending on whether the package is flat or elongated and its purpose. For example, the ISTA 2C protocol is valid for testing furniture packaging.
Safe Load solutions for the performance of the Amazon ISTA test
A specific company may ask any of its suppliers to pass a specific ISTA protocol (which is what recently happened with Amazon); this means that these suppliers will need to have machines that simulate the various conditions outlined by the protocol. At Safe Load we have several machines that are suitable for the ISTA standards. These are some of them:
This machine simulates drops and rotational impacts that may affect the cargos during the distribution process. innDrop can simulate flat, edge and corner falls. This tool can reproduce a fall from up to 2 meters high, withstand a maximum load of 1200 kg (2,646 lb.), and in addition, it has hydraulic shock absorbers and a pneumatic actuator that guarantees a perfect fall.
This tool has been designed to perform the vertical vibrations caused by several means of transportation such as a train, a plane or a ship, among others. This system can be installed inside a climate chamber, which allows for the performance of tests under real environmental conditions as well. innWave vertical vibration stands out, among other things, for having a servo-hydraulic vibration system and for the dynamic force of the vertical actuator of up to 45 kN.
Simulates the horizontal impacts caused by several means of transportation, which affect the safety and stability of the load. This machine also allows testing horizontal accelerations and decelerations that take place in these vehicles. innShock is available as an electric or a hydraulic machine, possesses an impact platform of up to 1400 x 1800 mm (55” x 71”) and accommodates a maximum load of up to 2000 kg (4,400 lb.).
This machine is designed to measure the protective capabilities of freights when they suffer a horizontal pressure and vertical motions during storage. innClamp is an electric machine that allows for the testing of packages of 400 to 2000 mm (15 ¾” to 78 ¾”) in size. Additionally, it offers a constant-frequency movement when applying compression and is controlled by a touchscreen.
In addition to the separate machines, at Safe Load we also have a pack known as innAmazon which is composed of all the necessary machines to accomplish the Amazon ISTA test. The Amazon Lab equipment family is made up of 5 systems that can reproduce the procedures of the ISTA 6-Amazon.com-SIOC and ISTA 6-Amazon.com-OB tests outlined in the ISTA standards. This includes the following machines:
All of these machines allow for simulating the ISTA testing, but also other existing procedures. All existing standards have been taken into account when designing this equipment, always with a focus on the most stringent. Thanks to these tools, any company can attain a fully optimized packaging for its supply chain, thereby saving costs in packaging material and losses during transportation.
If you wish to obtain more information about Safe Load equipment, download for free our ebook Calculate the ROI of investing in packaging testing machines and learn how much you can save with your own transport simulation equipment.