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The Impact testing machine, commonly known as impact tester and drop tester, form an essential part in packaging and transportation industry. In a world where goods traverse vast distances and endure various handling conditions, the integrity of packaging is paramount.

Impact testing machines play an important role in assessing how packaging materials and products withstand the rigors of shipping, handling, and unforeseen accidents. From understanding the basics of how these machines operate to the significance of adhering to industry standards, this article delves into the world of impact testing machines, highlighting their key features and the benefits they bring to ensuring the safety and reliability of packaging during transportation.

What is an Impact Testing Machine?

An Impact Testing Machine for transport simulation and packaging optimization is a specialized device designed to evaluate the durability and protective qualities of packaging materials under conditions that simulate real-world transportation stresses. This type of testing is crucial for ensuring that products are adequately protected during shipping and handling, reducing the risk of damage and associated costs.

Impact Testing Machine Key Features

Realistic Simulation: These machines simulate various impact conditions that packages might encounter during transportation, such as drops, shocks, vibrations, and compression forces.

Versatility: They can accommodate different types of packaging materials and designs, from small containers to large pallets.

Controlled Testing Environment: The machines offer precise control over the intensity and type of impacts, allowing for repeatable and standardized testing conditions.

Data Collection: Advanced models are equipped with sensors and software to collect data on how the packaging responds to impacts, providing valuable feedback for optimization.

Types of Tests performed by the Impact Test Machines

Inclined Impact Testing:

Objective: This test simulates the dynamic forces that packaged goods may endure throughout transport and handling operations.

Process: It involves using a carriage that propels the test sample down a ramp at predetermined velocities before impacting a fixed backstop.

Applications: It is used in laboratory settings for product and packaging design, transport simulation, and palletized unit load stability validation​​.

Horizontal Impact Testing:

Objective: The primary goal of horizontal impact testing is to simulate horizontal shocks that affect the safety and stability of the load that occur during the distribution cycle, testing the product’s and package’s ability to withstand these shocks

Process:This testing involves programmable, controlled impacts that specifically simulate shocks packaged products may experience during transport, such as those in railcars or due to forklift and automated handling processes.

It provides a higher degree of control over the shock/impact characteristics compared to inclined impact tests, allowing for a more precise simulation of real-world conditions​​.

Applications: Horizontal impact tests are essential for determining the resistance of packaging against sudden, abrupt shocks and impacts during shipping and handling. The tester allows for controlled shock application to analyze the behavior of the load under these conditions. This type of testing is crucial for ensuring the safety and integrity of goods during transportation, and helps in generating economic savings for companies by reducing product damage and loss​​.

Drop Testing:

Objective: Drop testing assesses a package’s ability to withstand impacts prevalent in the distribution environment, ensuring products travel to customers safely and securely without damage​​.

Process:A drop tester creates freefall and sudden impact conditions at various heights and angles.
The testing involves controlling the height from which the test samples are dropped, thus controlling the impact velocity, which is proportional to impact energy​​.


  • Evaluates a packaging system’s ability to protect products.
  • Determines the best performing packaging types.
  • Influences more sustainable, optimized packaging and product designs.
  • Provides insights for mitigating risks.
  • Prevents product damage, minimizes losses, and assures deliverable product quality.

In sectors like electronics, pharmaceuticals, consumer goods, and food and beverage, where product integrity during shipping is critical, these machines play a vital role. They help in developing packaging solutions that are not only cost-effective and environmentally friendly but also ensure that products are delivered without damage, maintaining brand reputation and customer satisfaction.

At Safe Load, we offer three technologies, depending on the type of impact you want to test and the international certifications you aim to obtain, such as ISTA or ASTM.

Safe Load Testing Technologies avant-garde Impact Testing Machines

Inclined Impact Testing

Technical insights

  • Anti-bounce hydraulic dumpers
  • Articulated pneumatic platform
  • 10º inclined plane
  • Intuitive controller software


  • Versatile Inclined Testing: Allows for precise simulation of inclined impacts, replicating real-world transport scenarios.
  • Accurate Control: Offers precise control over impacts, ensuring reliable and repeatable test results.
  • Robust Data Collection: Equipped with advanced sensors to capture and record impact data, facilitating in-depth analysis.
  • Impact Tests supported: It has been built to carry out the international protocols ASTM D880, ASTM D4003 and ISO 2244, among other shipping test standards.
  • Safety Assurance: Helps assess the durability of packaging and product integrity under impact conditions, enhancing transportation safety.
  • InnVision ST: The solution could optionally include the innVision ST, a high-speed camera and software to measure the unit load deformation, generating a report.

Horizontal Impact Testing

Technical insights

  • Independet impact controller
  • Seismic mass for shock absorption
  • Pneumatic and electric machine
  • Half-sine and trapezoidal shocks


  • Accurate Simulation of Real-World Conditions: Horizontal impact testers are designed to simulate real-world transportation conditions, providing valuable insights into how products will perform under various impact scenarios.
  • Enhanced Product Safety and Reliability: By testing products under controlled impact conditions, manufacturers can identify and address potential weaknesses, thereby enhancing the safety and reliability of their products during transportation.
  • Costs reduction: Such testing equipment can help companies avoid the costs associated with product damage during transportation by identifying issues before products are shipped.
  • Compliance with Industry Standards: Horizontal impact testers enable companies to ensure their products meet industry standards and regulations related to transportation and handling, which is crucial for market acceptance. Some of the impact test supported are ASTM D4169 and
    ISTA Procedures 1A, B, C, E, G, H; 2A, B, C; 3B, E, K; 4 Series; 6-SAMSCLUB, 6-AMAZON.COM.

Drop Impact Testing

Technical insights

  • 2 different designs depending on packaging size and weight
  • Steel impact surface
  • Hydraulic dumpers to reduce noise
  • Flatness accuracy x/- 2 degrees
  • Intuitive touch controller


  • Versatile Design for Different Package Sizes and Weights: The Drop Tester family consists of two different designs, catering to various package sizes and weights. This versatility allows for a wide range of testing scenarios, from small to large products.
  • High Precision and Reliability: The Drop Tester includes a rigid platform to ensure planarity during tests and a mobile platform that meets standards for flatness (within 2 degrees upon impact). This design guarantees the reliability of the results, making it a trustworthy tool for testing.
  • Intuitive Touch Screen Controller: It is equipped with an intuitive touch screen controller, making it easy for users to conduct tests efficiently and effectively without requiring extensive training.
  • Capability to Handle Heavy Loads: The SF-DP1500 and SF-DP500 models can test large products and packages weighing up to 1500 kg and 500 kg, respectively. This feature is particularly beneficial for industries dealing with heavy or bulky items.
  • Compliance with ISO and ASTM Standards: The Drop Tester is designed to simulate various types of drops (flat, edge, corner, and drop on hazards) without impacting vertical, rotational, or sideways forces to the test item, in accordance with ISO and ASTM standards. This compliance ensures that the tests are relevant and recognized in various industries. These standards specify procedures and inputs such as drop height, specimen orientation, and the number of drops.

Benefits of including an Impact Testing Machine in your laboratoty

The impact testing machine, specifically designed by Safe Load Testing Technologies, plays a crucial role in assessing the rigidity and durability of packaging.

Safe Load’s impact testing machines allow for repeated testing as needed, ensuring thorough and comprehensive analysis. These machines simulate conditions akin to real-world transportation, such as drops and collisions, to guarantee that the packaging can endure various stresses.

Adhering to international standards like ASTM and ISTA, our machines provide accurate and reliable data, aiding manufacturers in optimizing their packaging for maximum protection. This not only reduces the risk of damage during transit but also ensures the safety of the product, making Safe Load’s impact testing machines an indispensable tool in the packaging industry.

Furthermore, with the impact testing machines, companies are able to saves money, minimizes losses, and ensures customer satisfaction by verifying that products can withstand harsh distribution conditions.

Other benefits are:

Insight into Packaging Design: They provide valuable insights into optimal packaging design, helping to tailor the packaging to the specific needs of the product​​.
Product Safety: By simulating real-world conditions, these tests help in preventing product damage, thereby ensuring the safety and integrity of the product during transportation​​.
Cost Efficiency: Through these tests, companies can minimize losses and save costs by determining the minimum necessary packaging material for adequate protection​​.
Quality Improvement: Testing allows for improvements in both the product and its packaging, enhancing the overall quality of the deliverable product

Which ASTM and ISTA standards include Impact Testing Machines in their protocols?

There are two main types within impact tests to assess the efficiency of packaging. On one hand, the inclined or horizontal impact test is a test carried out with machines from the innshock family. The shock or impact machines test lateral blows that the goods may experience during their transport, for example, against the inner walls of the truck transporting them.

On the other hand, the free-fall impact test is performed with machines from the innDrop family. The Drop Testers are machines that test the fall of packages and their impact against the ground surface. The impacts from the fall can be performed laterally, axially, or on a corner, showing the rigidity of the packaging in different parts.

Drop Test Supported

  • ISTA 1 A,B,C,D,G,H; 2A,B,C; 3A,B,F,K; 4 Series; 6-FEDEX; 6-SAMSCLUB; 6-AMAZON.COM
  • ASTM D4169, ASTM D7386

Impact Test Supported

  • ISTA 1 A,B,C,D,G,H; 2A,B,C; 3B,H,K; 4 Series; 6-FEDEX; 6-SAMSCLUB; 6-AMAZON.COM
  • ASTM D4003, ASTM D880, ASTM D6344, ASTM D4169

If you have any questions or need further information about our impact testing machines, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Our team at Safe Load Testing Technologies is always ready to assist you in understanding how our machines can enhance the safety and integrity of your packaging.

For more insights and detailed information, feel free to explore the following recommended pages:

Inclined Impact Test for Packaged Goods: Discover the specifics of inclined impact testing and its significance in assessing packaged goods.

The Importance of Impact Testing in Packaging Validation: Learn about the crucial role of impact testing in the validation process of packaging.

ASTM D6344 Concentrated Impact Test: Gain insights into the ASTM D6344 standard and how concentrated impact tests are conducted.

We are here to guide you through the process and help you choose the best testing solutions for your packaging needs.