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Drop testing stands as a pivotal evaluation method within the packaging industry, aimed at ensuring products withstand the physical challenges of shipping, handling, and storage.

This testing simulates various drop scenarios to assess the integrity and protective capabilities of packaging designs. By understanding the fundamentals of drop testing and the equipment involved, companies can significantly reduce product damage rates, thereby increasing consumer satisfaction and reducing costs associated with returns and replacements.

This article explores the key aspects of drop testing specifically applied to packaging testing.

Drop testing fundamentals and equipment: introduction to drop tests

What is a drop test?

A drop test is a controlled test designed to evaluate the resilience and effectiveness of packaging materials and designs in protecting the contents during impacts that mimic real-world handling, shipping, and transportation scenarios.

This test involves dropping the packaged product from specified heights and orientations onto a hard surface to simulate the types of impacts it might encounter during its lifecycle.

Evaluate Durability: Assess the packaging’s ability to withstand impacts from various heights and orientations without compromising the integrity or functionality of the product inside.
Optimize Material Use: Help in choosing the right materials and design strategies that offer the best balance between protection, cost-efficiency, and environmental impact.
Identify Weaknesses: Discover vulnerabilities in the packaging design and materials, which can then be addressed to improve overall protection.
Ensure Compliance: Verify that the packaging meets industry-specific standards and regulations for transport and handling.

Drop testing fundamentals and equipment: Types of testing equipment

The equipment for drop testing in packaging is designed to offer precision, repeatability, and versatility to simulate a wide range of drop scenarios.

Drop testing equipment

Drop Testers:

These are machines specifically designed for conducting controlled drop tests on packaged products. They can typically be adjusted for height to simulate different drop scenarios and can accommodate a range of package sizes.

Instrumented Drop Platforms:

Advanced drop testers may include instrumented platforms that measure the force of the impact. This data is invaluable for understanding the shock absorbed by the packaging and the potential damage to the contents.

Key considerations in drop testing for packaging

  • Drop height and orientation: The test should replicate realistic scenarios, including the height from which packages might fall and the orientation upon impact (e.g., corner, edge, or flat).
  • Package and content weight: The weight of the package and its contents can significantly affect the outcome of drop tests, necessitating adjustments to packaging designs.
  • Material selection: The choice of packaging materials (e.g., cardboard, bubble wrap, foam) is crucial in absorbing impact and protecting the product.

Drop testing fundamentals and equipment: equipment comparisons

Safe Load Testing drop tester

ASTM D4169: standards and procedures
1
Precision drop testers deliver accurate testing for maxim efficiency
2
Precision electric winch
3
Laser sensor to ensure drop heigh precision and repeatability
4
Mobile arms for edge and corner drops
5
Palletized loads can be tested
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Zero drop height
7
Internal insulating material reduce noise

Drop Tester (More than 100 Kg)

To conduct drop tests on substantial items and packages, such as bulk containers, products on pallets, and large packages that weigh up to 100 kilograms, we have developed the models SF-DP250, SF-DP500, and SF-DP1000.

These versions are equipped with a steel drop carriage that moves up and down along a structural steel guide beam, powered by an electric hoist.

DISCOVER DROP TESTERS

Drop Tester (Less than 100 Kg)

Drop Testers from Safe Load Testing Technologies are engineered to provide precise results in every test, ensuring repeatability is assured.

The tester features a release mechanism to ensure that the leaves do not obstruct a free and clear fall, and it avoids imparting vertical, rotational, or lateral forces on the test item, in compliance with ISO and ASTM standards.

The DP100 Drop Tester is available in two heights, 1250 mm, and 2000 mm, to cater to the demands of the market.

DISCOVER DROP TESTERS

Cargo will remain safe and intact during the transportation process.

Mitigate risks and prevent product damage.

Meet industry government or company regulations.

Promote sustainable packaging and product design.

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