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Understanding “Load” and its stability is vital for Load Stability Test System, which assess how goods, secured on pallets or in containers, withstand transportation stresses.

“Load” encompasses various terms like Unit Load and Palletized Load, focusing on how items are organized for transit.

Stability, in packaging terms, means maintaining a balance between rigidity and flexibility to prevent tipping and ensure safety against transportation hazards, emphasizing the need for well-designed packaging systems to protect contents during transport.

Load Stability Test System
The EUMOS 40509:2020 standard employs the term “Load Unit” to describe a specific concept within the framework of transportation and packaging. In this context, a Load Unit is considered an indivisible piece of cargo.

 

This standard describes a dynamic test method to evaluate the rigidity of a load unit, including a detailed description of test conditions, evaluation criteria for elastic and plastic pallet load deformation as well as test certificate specifications. EUMOS 40509 is included into Annex 3 of the EU Directive 2014/47/EU on the technical roadside inspection of the roadworthiness of commercial vehicles circulating in the Union.

This is precisely why maintaining the correct balance between rigidity and flexibility is paramount. The EUMOS 40509:2020 standard takes this into account by defining an acceptable upper limit for both elastic and permanent deformation. This consideration ensures that packaging not only provides the necessary protection but also accommodates the stresses and strains encountered during transportation, thereby upholding the integrity and stability of the load units.

Load Stability Test System: What are the “transportation hazards” they are exposed?

Lateral forces
> Centrifugal acceleration​

A centrifugal force operates outwardly, attempting to propel both the vehicle and the load unit within it away from the curve. This force is influenced by the vehicle’s speed, its mass, and the curvature of the road.

Such centrifugal forces occur as the vehicle navigates through curved paths, like road bends and roundabouts

  • Driving in curves
  • Turning
  • Roundabouts

Longitudinal forces​
> Acceleration​
> Deceleration

When a vehicle speeds up or slows down, it is subjected to longitudinal forces that attempt to move both the vehicle and its internal load unit toward the front or back. This movement is contingent on how forcefully the accelerator or brake pedal is applied, the vehicle’s mass, the traction of the tires, the road’s texture, and the responsiveness of the vehicle’s engine and braking system.

  • Speeding and braking

Multi-axial vibrations​
> Vertical – Heave​
> Rotational Pitch​
> Rotational Roll

When a vehicle goes over bumps or potholes, it undergoes multiaxial vibrations as a result of the uneven road surface.

  • Bumps or pot-holes​

Load Stability Test System: Why the Load Stability is so important?

Accelerating, turning, or braking in vehicles not only threatens the stability of unit loads but can also result in economic losses, damage to reputation, and risks to human life.

The significance of load stability is underscored by three key reasons:

Prevention of Product Loss: Unstable pallets can cause product damage or accidents during handling and transport, leading to waste and financial losses.
Enhancement of Safety Measures: Unsecured cargo poses significant risks during handling and transport, accounting for about 25% of truck-related accidents in the EU due to shifting loads, and in the USA, 25,000 traffic accidents annually are attributed to unsecured loads, resulting in 100 fatalities and 10,000 injuries.

 

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Cost Efficiency: Maintaining pallet stability not only helps in reducing product loss but also in avoiding penalties related to improper loading and cargo stability, thereby enabling businesses to save costs significantly.

Load Stability Test System: Load Stability Standards

ASTM D6179

The ASTM D6179 standard pertains to assessing the integrity and stability of unitized loads, as well as large cases and crates, under conditions of rough handling. A key component of this standard is the Tip Test method, which is specifically designed for evaluating unitized loads. This method involves tilting the test item to a predetermined angle from the vertical, typically in its most critical direction, to simulate conditions it might encounter during handling and transportation.

The process is as follows:

  • The test item is tilted to a specific angle from the vertical position. Unless a different angle is specified for certain conditions or requirements, a tilt angle of 22° is recommended as a standard practice.
  • The purpose of tilting the test item to this angle is to observe whether it begins to tip over, which would indicate a potential risk of instability under similar conditions outside of a controlled testing environment.
  • If the test item shows a tendency to tip over at the specified angle, adjustments must be made either by lowering its center of gravity or by increasing the dimensions of its base. These adjustments aim to enhance the stability of the test item, ensuring that it remains upright and secure when subjected to tilting or other forms of rough handling.

The significance of the ASTM D6179 standard and its Tip Test method lies in their ability to provide a systematic and quantifiable approach to evaluating the stability of unitized loads. By adhering to these guidelines, manufacturers and shippers can take preemptive measures to reduce the risk of damage during transport, thereby ensuring the safety and integrity of their goods.

ASTM D6055

The ASTM D6055 standard provides a rigorous framework for testing the stability and integrity of unitized loads, large cases, and crates, particularly focusing on their ability to withstand handling by mechanical equipment like fork trucks, spade lifts, and clamp trucks. Central to this standard is the Fork Truck Handling method, which involves driving a lift truck equipped with specified fork attachments through an L-shaped course. This course includes floor obstacles and a critical 90-degree turn to realistically simulate operational handling scenarios, challenging the load’s stability under conditions that mimic real-world transport and maneuvering within warehousing environments.

To ensure the test’s relevance and rigor, the ASTM D6055 specifies precise conditions:

  • Driving speed of 1.5 meters per second, which should be reduced to 1 meter per second during the 90-degree turn. These speed parameters are chosen to reflect typical operational speeds while prioritizing the safety of the test and minimizing the risk to the load.
  • The inclusion of floor obstacles and the 90-degree turn are particularly significant, as they test the load’s resilience against sudden directional changes and obstacles that are commonly encountered in material handling environments.

Adherence to the ASTM D6055 standard, through the Fork Truck Handling method, allows organizations to critically assess and improve their packaging and load securing methods. By identifying potential weaknesses and making necessary adjustments, companies can enhance load stability, reduce the risk of damage during transportation and handling, and achieve significant cost savings by minimizing the incidence of damaged goods. This standard serves not only as a benchmark for compliance but as an essential tool for operational optimization and efficiency improvement in logistics, distribution, and manufacturing sectors.

EUMOS 40509:2020

The EUMOS 40509 standard is a crucial regulation within the European Union aimed at enhancing the safety and stability of cargo during transportation. This standard is designed to ensure that goods transported on pallets or as unit loads meet stringent stability and security requirements, thereby reducing the risk of accidents and damage during transit.

It outlines a set of testing methodologies to assess the ability of packaging and securing methods to maintain the integrity of loads under various conditions that mimic real-world transportation scenarios, such as sudden stops, cornering, and changes in speed.

One of the key aspects of EUMOS 40509 is its focus on simulating the dynamic forces experienced during transport. Using standardized test procedures, it evaluates how well-palletized goods and unit loads can withstand these forces without collapsing or shifting in a manner that could endanger vehicle stability, other road users, or the cargo itself. The standard applies to a wide range of transport modes, including road, rail, sea, and air, making it a versatile tool for ensuring cargo safety across different logistics industry sectors.

Adherence to the EUMOS 40509 standard is increasingly seen as a benchmark for companies aiming to demonstrate commitment to best practices in cargo securing and transport safety.

Compliance benefits:

  • Minimize the risk of financial loss due to damaged goods
  • Plays a significant role in protecting the environment and ensuring the safety of all road users.
  • Businesses can significantly contribute to safer and more efficient transport operations, aligning with broader EU efforts to enhance transport safety and sustainability across member states.

ISO 10531

The ISO 10531 standard from the International Organization for Standardization is dedicated to the stability testing of unit loads, employing a unique approach involving a modified inclined plane tester.

This procedure is designed to evaluate the robustness of palletized loads against horizontal impacts, which are typical during transportation. The testing method includes positioning the load on a sled, drawing it up a 4-meter incline, and then releasing it to roll down and impact a rigid backstop, thereby assessing the load’s stability under dynamic conditions.

This approach provides valuable insights into how well unit loads can withstand the rigors of handling and shipping, aiming to minimize damage and improve packaging strategies.

ISTA Horizontal Impact Testing for Unrestrained Loads

The ISTA Horizontal Impact Testing for Unrestrained Loads presents an innovative approach to assessing the stability of unit loads, blending the rigors of standard testing with the flexibility needed to address real-world transportation challenges. This method stands out not just for its adaptability but also for the precision it brings to simulate the impacts these loads face during transit.

Key Features of the ISTA Horizontal Impact Testing:

  • Adjustable Impact Velocities: Depending on the risk level associated with the cargo, the impact velocity can be set at 11 m/s, 0.89 m/s, or 0.74 m/s. This variability ensures that the testing conditions can be tailored to closely replicate the diverse scenarios encountered during transportation.
  • Advanced Testing Equipment: The use of an incline impact tester with a horizontal carriage or a programmable horizontal impact machine, delivering a nominal 10-millisecond duration half-sine pulse, underscores the method’s commitment to replicating real transport dynamics accurately.

Benefits of This Approach:

  • Tailored Testing Environment: By incorporating specific risk levels and precise impact velocity settings, the ISTA method creates a testing environment that mirrors the vast array of conditions loads might face, from routine jostles to significant jolts.
  • Insightful Analysis: Calculating the horizontal shift of the load post-impact and comparing it to predetermined thresholds offers critical insights into the load’s stability. This analysis aids in refining packaging and securing strategies, enhancing overall transport safety.

The ISTA Horizontal Impact Testing for Unrestrained Loads plays a pivotal role in the ongoing efforts to standardize and elevate load stability assessment practices. It not only complements existing standards like ISO 10531 but also empowers stakeholders across the logistics and transportation sectors with a more nuanced tool for ensuring the stability of loads. Ultimately, this contributes significantly to reducing product damage, boosting safety, and improving cost efficiency in the distribution and handling of goods. Through such meticulous testing and analysis, the ISTA method is helping to set new benchmarks for transport safety and efficiency, aligning closely with the industry’s broader objectives.

DIRECTIVE 2014/47/EU

The Directive 2014/47/EU represents a significant stride by the European Parliament and Council towards bolstering the safety and efficiency of commercial vehicle operations across the European Union. This directive meticulously targets the technical roadside inspections of commercial vehicles, ensuring they meet stringent roadworthiness standards, with a keen emphasis on cargo securing and load stability. Its comprehensive framework mandates member states to conduct regular, in-depth inspections to uncover and address any safety deficiencies, directly contributing to the prevention of accidents and safeguarding lives, property, and the environment.

Core Aspects of Directive 2014/47/EU:

  • Uniform Safety Standards: By harmonizing inspection criteria and procedures across the EU, the directive guarantees that commercial vehicles adhere to uniform safety standards, irrespective of their registration country. This facilitates seamless and fair transport operations throughout the union.
  • Inspection Scope and Empowerment: The directive covers a wide range of inspection areas, including the condition of cargo securing equipment and load stability. Inspectors are equipped with the authority to evaluate cargo securing methods against established best practices and legal standards, aiming to mitigate transit hazards effectively.

Environmental and Public Health Contributions:

  • Reducing Accidents and Pollution: Beyond ensuring road safety, Directive 2014/47/EU significantly contributes to environmental sustainability and public health. By curbing accidents due to vehicle or cargo failures, it aids in reducing roadway pollution and spill-related damages.
  • Reflecting EU’s Commitment: The directive underscores the EU’s dedication to promoting high safety, environmental, and efficiency standards in transportation, aligning with its broader transport policy goals for a safer, greener, and more efficient transport network across member states.

Through Directive 2014/47/EU, the European Union sets a precedent for integrating safety, environmental stewardship, and efficiency into the fabric of its transport policies, showcasing a comprehensive approach to managing commercial transport operations that other regions may well aspire to.

DIN 55415:2022-09 (Germany) and SS 17321:2022 (Sweden)

The DIN 55415:2022-09 (Germany) and SS 17321:2022 (Sweden) standards are national efforts by Germany and Sweden to enhance transport stability for unit loads, especially in intermodal transportation. Developed in response to the rejection of draft EN 17321, these standards demonstrate a commitment to improving the safety and efficiency of transporting goods. They provide comprehensive testing methodologies to evaluate unit loads under dynamic and static conditions typical in modern transport systems, including acceleration, deceleration, and resistance to deformation and displacement. These methodologies encompass dynamic laboratory tests, real driving conditions assessments, and static inclination tests to ensure goods are securely transported across various modes of transport.

Implementing these standards aims to reduce risks associated with transport instability, such as cargo damage and vehicle accidents, thus enhancing the safety of goods in transit and improving transportation sector efficiency. Ultimately, DIN 55415:2022-09 and SS 17321:2022 support the competitiveness of the German and Swedish economies by ensuring reliable and effective transportation solutions for businesses, contributing significantly to the resilience and reliability of global supply chains.

Load Stability Test System: Comparisons between equipments

For horizontal dynamic tests

For static inclination and tip tests

For incline and horizontal programable shock tests

For measuring the elastic and permanent deformation during tests

innSlide – Functionality and Versatility

The innSlide equipment is specifically designed for dynamic testing, excelling in simulating horizontal accelerations and decelerations. Its versatility enables comprehensive testing by EUMOS 40509 standards, focusing on simulating the horizontal dynamic forces that unit loads experience during transport.

This includes mimicking the accelerations and decelerations that occur, providing an essential tool for ensuring the safety and integrity of loads while in transit.

The Horizontal Stability Testers is designed is in line with major international standards such as EUMOS 40509, DIN 55415, SS 17321, and U.S. FMCSA load safety requirements. Among its capabilities is the ability to adjust the stroke length according to the company’s needs.

  • This equipment, coupled with the patented Boomerang method, is unrivaled in the market, offering the unique capability to perform dynamic laboratory tests at 0.8 g with a 1000 ms dwell time and a reduced stroke.
  • Stroke of less than 5.8 m for 0.8 g and 1000 ms. A similar equipment of competence in the market needs a stroke of 20.2 m to be able to carry out this test of the DIN standard.
  • Stroke of less than 3.7 m for 0.5 g and 1000 ms. A similar equipment of competence in the market needs a stroke of 12.7 m to be able to carry out this test of the DIN standard.
  • This  module is offered as an optional addition and enhances the capabilities of the machine.

The innSlide Boomerang world’s most compact acceleration tester, its small size is the main difference from the Horizontal Stability Tester system.

  • This equipment is in line with major international standards such as EUMOS 40509, SS 17321, and U.S. FMCSA load safety requirements.
  • With its innovative patented test method is capable of obtaining the same results and acceleration profile demanded by the standards in much less than a third of stroke of a Horizontal Stability Tester system.

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Hybrid Load Stability Tester is capable to fulfil the DIN 55415, carrying out with the small size of the machine the dynamic test with 300 ms dwell duration and inmediately afterwards the tilt test to fulfil the requirement because not getting 1000 ms dwell duration as demanded by the DIN 55415.

Competitors: Other machines in the market may offer similar dynamic testing capabilities but might lack the specialized focus on horizontal stability testing, making the innSlide family particularly valuable for companies prioritizing this aspect.

innShock – Capacity and Speed

The innShock equipment by Safe Load Testing Technologies is designed for high-impact testing, with a notable load capacity of up to 2000 kg and impact velocities of up to 4 m/s. It’s engineered to simulate the rigorous conditions packages face during transportation, ensuring their integrity and safety. This makes innShock a crucial tool for those in need of comprehensive packaging testing solutions​​​​.

With the Inclined Impact Tester it is possible to test the protective capacity of the packaging when faced with shocks and impacts during the distribution cycle. Impact test is one of the main tests to be carried out in order to achieve optimized packaging and secure goods for transport.

Highly versatile inclined impact tester with specifications including impact velocity of up to 2.5 m/s, testing load capacity of up to 2,000 kg, smooth displacement, hydraulic dumpers, and a 10⁰ inclined plane. User-friendly design with a touchscreen controller and compliance with international protocols. Optional inclusion of innVision ST for unit load deformation measurement and reporting, along with additional options like hazards and speed sensor.

The Horizontal Impact Tester allows to control of the shocks to analyze the behavior of the load, generating economic savings for companies.

Powerful impact tester with a max load capacity of 2,000 kg, up to 4 m/s impact speed, independent impact controller, shock isolation, automatic test report generation, and intuitive controller. Optional inclusion of innVision ST system for unit load deformation measurement and reporting. Additional options include temperature and humidity probes.

Competitors: While competing machines may offer impact testing, the range of velocities and load capacities can vary. Machines with lower capacities or speed limitations may not provide as comprehensive a test environment, potentially affecting the accuracy of compliance testing.

innTilt- Technological Advancements

The innTilt machine feature advanced electrical systems for static inclination and tip tests, with a significant emphasis on precision and repeatability. Their maximum inclination of 30º offers detailed insights into load stability under static conditions.

The innTilt family is a useful tool for packaging optimization and can also be used as a quality control tester, as the repeatability is guaranteed.

The TLE Tilt Machine is designed to automatically perform tilt tests and measure the deformation of the load throughout the test thanks to the high-precision sensors it incorporates. The data obtained during the test can be easily exported for analysis.

The solution features an independent and intuitive controller in display format to configure the test parameters and execute it automatically.

Competitors: Competing tilt testers  not offer the same level of precision or rely on manual operations, which could introduce variability into the test results. The technological edge of the innTilt family enhances the reliability of test outcomes.

innVision – Measurement and data

These systems incorporate high-speed cameras and innovative software for real-time measurement of load deformation, setting a high standard for data analysis and report generation.

The innVision ST system is composed by a high-speed camera and software to measure the unit load deformation, the tilting angle or the rebound produced by a free or rotational fall when tested under laboratory condition.

After completing the test, the system generates a report containing all the information related to the deformation experienced by the unit load, reducing analysis times by over 90% when compared to standard manual procedures.

The innVision PRO system includes a high-speed artificial vision camera and software that automatically records and analyzes the deformation experienced by the load when accelerated or decelerated on a horizontal stability tester.

Thanks to its high-speed software, the system registers and analyzes the results in real time, generating an automatic report with photos and videos which shows the deformation of the load unit at each stage of the test.

Competitors: Although high-speed cameras are widely used, the innVision systems stand out through their integration with specialized software designed for load stability testing. This is a key differentiator, as other market solutions often rely on manual analysis or lack specificity for load stability analysis.

Load Stability Test System: Testing requirements for Load Stability Standards

In the complex world of logistics and transportation, ensuring the stability and safety of unit loads during transit is paramount. Various international and national standards, including DIN 55415:2022-09 (Germany), SS 17321:2022 (Sweden), ISO 10531, and the ISTA Horizontal Impact Testing, set rigorous requirements to test the resilience of packaging and securing methods under dynamic conditions. To meet these standards, specialized testing equipment is indispensable.

For DIN 55415:2022-09 (Germany) and SS 17321:2022 (Sweden):

  • Dynamic Laboratory Tests (EUMOS 40509):
    Equipment: The innSlide family for horizontal dynamic tests. This includes the Horizontal Stability Tester system, the Boomerang Horizontal Stability Tester, and the hybrid Boomerang+Tilt Stability Tester. These systems simulate horizontal accelerations and decelerations of unit loads during transport.

For ISO 10531 and ISTA Horizontal Impact Testing for Unrestrained Loads:

  • Incline Impact Tester and Programmable Horizontal Impact Machine:
    Equipment: The innShock family for incline and horizontal programmable shock tests. This includes the Incline Impact Tester and the Programmable Horizontal impact Tester, both designed for test loads up to 2000 kg with impact velocities up to 2.5 m/s for the incline machine and 4 m/s for the programmable horizontal impact machine.

For EN12195 and ASTM D6179 (Static Inclination Test and Tip Test):

  • TL Tilt Tool Tester and Advanced TLE Tilt Tester Machine:
    Equipment: The innTilt family for static inclination and tip tests. These machines are electric and allow for a maximum inclination angle of 30º, testing loads up to 2000 kg.

Load Stability Test System FAQ’S

How to simulate long-duration input forces?

Simulating long-duration input forces involves utilizing testing solutions that replicate real-world distribution conditions. These include dynamic laboratory tests by acceleration/deceleration, dynamic driving tests, static inclination tests, and using equipment like the innSlide family for horizontal dynamic tests, the innTilt family for static inclination and tip tests, and the innShock family for incline and horizontal programmable shock tests. Ensuring the stability of load units against forces such as acceleration, deceleration, and vibrations is critical for transport safety. Testing standards such as EUMOS 40509, ASTM D6179, ISO 10531, U.S. FMCSA load safety requirements and ISTA Horizontal Impact Testing provide guidelines for simulating these conditions effectively.

How to simulate long-duration input forces?

To simulate low-frequency input forces in a laboratory, specialized equipment such as vibration vertical tables are used. These devices can accurately reproduce the desired low-frequency vibration profiles, allowing for the simulation of conditions products or packaging might encounter in real-world scenarios, such as transportation or seismic activities. Vibration tables provide versatility in simulating various vibration profiles by adjusting frequency, amplitude, and direction. This process is vital for identifying material responses, optimizing product designs, and ensuring that products can withstand environmental stresses, thereby improving quality, safety, and compliance with standards.

How to simulate vehicle accelerating input forces

To simulate vehicle accelerating input forces, Safe Load Testing Technologies employs advanced testing equipment capable of accurately replicating the dynamic conditions experienced during vehicle acceleration. The Horizontal Stability Tester system, part of the innSlide family, is designed for simulating horizontal accelerations and decelerations of unit loads during transport. This system aligns with international standards such as EUMOS 40509, DIN 55415, SS 17321, and U.S. FMCSA load safety requirements, featuring adjustable stroke lengths to accommodate various testing needs.

The Boomerang Stability Tester represents a compact and efficient solution for acceleration testing, utilizing a patented method to achieve dynamic laboratory tests at 0.8 g with a 1000 ms dwell time duration. Its design allows for performing tests with less stroke length than comparable equipment, making it particularly suited for simulating vehicle accelerating forces within a smaller footprint.

Additionally, the Boomerang+Tilt Stability Tester, a hybrid system, can conduct dynamic tests with a 300 ms dwell duration followed by tilt tests. This feature meets the requirements of standards like DIN 55415 and EUMOS 40509,   allowing for comprehensive testing of unit loads under dynamic conditions similar to vehicle acceleration.

These testing solutions, equipped with the innVision ST system, which includes a high-speed camera and software, enable detailed observation and analysis of load-deformation under simulated vehicle acceleration. This approach ensures that products and packaging are adequately tested against the forces they will encounter during transportation, enhancing load stability and safety.

How to simulate turning input forces input forces

To simulate turning input forces, which are essentially the centrifugal forces acting outward during a vehicle’s turn along a curved path, specific testing methodologies and equipment are utilized. These forces depend on the vehicle’s speed, mass, and the curvature of the road, significantly affecting the stability of the load unit inside the vehicle.

The testing technologies and equipment, such as the innSlide family for horizontal dynamic tests, the innTilt family for static inclination and tip tests, and the innShock family for incline and horizontal programmable shock tests, are integral to understanding and simulating the dynamic conditions that a load unit undergoes, including those experienced during turning.

The innTilt family, for instance, could be particularly relevant for simulating the effects of turning forces through static inclination tests. By adjusting the inclination, it’s possible to assess the load’s stability and the effectiveness of cargo-securing methods under conditions that mimic the lateral forces experienced during turns.

How to simulate braking input forces input forces

To accurately simulate braking input forces, Safe Load Testing Technologies offers specialized equipment like the Horizontal Stability Tester and the Boomerang Stability Tester.

These machines are designed to replicate the dynamic forces of vehicle deceleration, allowing for the evaluation of cargo-securing methods and packaging stability under braking conditions.

The Horizontal Stability Tester can adjust stroke lengths for various scenarios, while the Boomerang Stability Tester, known for its compact efficiency, simulates deceleration forces with adjustable settings. Utilizing these technologies enables the assessment of how loads respond to braking, ensuring products and packaging are optimized for transport safety and damage minimization.

By employing these testing solutions, researchers and engineers can accurately assess how products and packaging respond to braking forces. This includes observing any potential shifts, deformations, or failures within the load securing system. The aim is to ensure that all materials and designs are optimized to withstand braking forces, thereby enhancing transport safety and minimizing the risk of damage during transit.

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