Increasingly attention is being paid to the packaging optimization, not only by companies that serve wholesalers, but also by companies engaged in e-commerce and for whom it is important that the product arrives in perfect condition to the final client. During the distribution cycle, it is very common for packages to suffer different types of shocks that may affect their content and integrity. With the aim of preventing these damages, there are transport simulation solutions in the market, such as impact testing machines, whose mission is to carry out impact tests that help companies optimize their packaging.
As well as protecting the products, product packaging optimization aims to improve the image of the brand, to reduce environmental impact, and to reduce costs at various levels:
- Material savings since the right and necessary packaging is used. Above all, it is saved in those cases where overpacking is erroneous due to not having the theoretical and experimental means and knowledge to optimize the packaging.
- Avoid the extra costs as a result of the losses and / or returns of products because of the damages caused during the distribution cycle.
- Simplification of operations by reducing the number of transactions related to guarantees and returns.
- Fuel savings and logistics simplification by minimizing the number of trips.
The function of packaging is to protect its contents and even if the packaging looks damaged the product may be in perfect condition. However, the final user is usually wary of accepting a package that is damaged or hit. For this reason, there is a tendency on the part of companies to use more packaging than necessary (overpacking).
In order to reduce the amount of materials used, and besides giving the customer certainty that their product will always arrive in perfect condition, it is highly recommended to carry out tests with the greatest rigor.
Besides, all that will not only have a positive effect on the company in the economic sphere, but is also beneficial for the environment and, therefore, for society as a whole.
Reasons why your business needs an impact testing machine
Through the design of their packaging, organizations and companies can minimize the damage to their products during the distribution cycle and optimize the use of their resources.
An impact testing machine allows to simulate in laboratory conditions the accelerations and impacts that affect the stability and safety of the loads that occur during handling and transportation operations. With an impact machine tests can be reproduced again and again to compare different packaging configurations. It is the correct way to compare between designs that use different types of cardboard, different cushioning materials, filling materials, etc. Repeatability in the essays is fundamental.
Although packaging optimization can be approximated by theoretical means, it will always require packaging testing validation. An impact testing machine is the necessary tool to validate packaging designs.
The design department can develop various solutions for transport packaging (forms, materials, product layout) and the testing department can perform impacts until the most suitable protective package for the company’s needs is found by both departments.
The investment in an impact machine is justified in companies manufacturing enough turnover to benefit from the associated savings of optimal packaging.
Huge quantities of material are used in packaging. This implies costs for the manufacturer while for the final consumer it means waste, so reducing it has a direct impact on costs.
It is also a justified investment for certified laboratories that will be able to offer their services to third companies this way, as well as research laboratories or packaging specialists.
What is a shock system for packaging
An impact system (shock system) is a mechanical system that allows to generate an impact and to repeat it with consistency. There are several ways to achieve an impact on a load. The test load can be mounted and speed up on a platform, so that the load hits a surface. That surface can belong to the same platform or be part of an external structure.
Another option is to fix the test load and make it receive an impact from a moving mass.
For low speed impacts, the most common way is to put the test load on a platform that travels at a certain speed and hits an external surface that will be large enough and rigid. For this type of tests Safe Load TT recommends an inclined impact machine.
Safe Load TT’s packaging shock systems: features and technology
At Safe Load Testing Technologies, we have developed two fundamental types of impact testing machines:
Inclined impact test machine.
The inclined impact tester consists of a structure with an inclined plane of 10 °, a structure with an impact surface, a cart and a hooking and tripping system for the cart. A damping system prevents the cart from bouncing after the impact of the load. The impact speed is achieved by releasing the cart at a certain distance from the impact surface. The cart takes speed due to the force of gravity. The entire system is electric and has an intuitive and tactile control interface.
This machine allows to repeat launches with the same speed or to increase the launch speed progressively. The impact surface has a drill matrix that can hold different objects to simulate realistic impacts such as corners, bollards, protections, etc. The biggest limitation of this machine could be that the impact speed depends on the distance from which the cart is released and, therefore, conditions the final size of the machine.
Horizontal impact test machine.
The horizontal impact tester consists of a horizontal structure with linear guides, a carriage, a transmission system to move the cart and a system to control the shape of the impact (trapezoidal, sinusoidal …) mounted on a seismic mass. The load is mounted on a car that will impact against a seismic mass. It will be the load that will hit the cart, the same way a real load would impact inside the box of a truck. The means to provide speed to the cart can be hydraulic or electric and to control the impact a high-pressure hydraulic system of advanced technology is used.
The inclined impact test machine is much more suitable for companies that want to validate their designs or pass a quality control, as well as for certified laboratories that want to carry out tests to third parties. The horizontal impact test machine is a much more advanced machine aimed at research laboratories with a lot of experience in the design of packaging.
Continue reading: Success story Grifal improves its laboratory with Safe Load TT
Regulations that include an impact testing system
Below is a list of the testing procedures for which an impact machine is required.
- ASTM D4169-16 Standard practice for performance testing of shipping containers and systems.
- ISTA Procedures 1A, B, C, D, E, G, H; 2A, B, C; 3B, E, H; K; 4 Series; 6-SAMSCLUB, 6-AMAZON.COM.
- EN 15552: 2008 Packaging: Complete, filled transport packages and unit loads. Performance testing schedules for common distribution chains.
- ASTM D4169-16: Standard practices for performance testing of shipping containers and systems.
Therefore, Impact testing machines are a good tool for finding customized packaging solutions. The optimization of packaging is available to all types of companies, large and small, from those that serve wholesalers to those that are dedicated to direct sales by e-commerce.
If your company wants to maintain their advantage in an increasingly competitive market, optimize the packaging to save costs and have less impact on the environment, get in touch with us and our team of experts will advise on the impact test machine that you need.