Testing processes are replications of the hazards that goods are subjected to during the distribution cycle. These tests may be performed in packaging testing labs, or they may be carried out by companies themselves by acquiring the machinery and creating their own packaging lab.
Companies subjecting their packages to these types of tests can:
- Reduce material and supply chain costs.
- Ensure compliance with legal aspects and applicable standards.
- Guarantee sustainability, waste prevention, recyclability and reuse.
- Ensure that the product’s protection is not compromised.
- Improve road safety.
With all of this in mind, packaging materials tests are performed with the purpose of verifying and evaluating the properties (physical, mechanical and performance wise) materials have throughout the entire distribution cycle.
Packaging testing methods: which is the best option?
As previously mentioned, package testing is a process that helps companies detect damages affecting the cargo as a result of shipping & handling. Thanks to these tests, companies are able to optimize the product+packaging system, thereby reducing damages, shrinkage and costs, as well as the environmental footprint. It also helps increase transport safety and, overall, improve the company image.
These tests can be carried out by companies across various sectors, such as consumer goods, automotive, pharmacy, electronics or food & beverage, among others. When performing these testing processes, companies have two options: procuring the services of packaging testing labs, that specialize in performing this type of test, or acquiring the machines and creating their own in-house laboratory.
“Package testing is a process that helps companies detect damages affecting the cargo as a result of shipping & handling”
Even though both alternatives are equally valid, for those companies that need to perform many tests throughout the year, it is more profitable in the mid/long term to have their own testing lab. The main reason is that, in this way, companies can perform unlimited tests whenever they need to.
Other advantages from acquiring the testing machines and building an in-house laboratory are:
- Complying with the requirements of existing standards.
- Cost savings in goods loss, shrinkage or over packaging.
- Saving time in packaging processes and cargo transportation.
- Improve the image displayed by the company to its customers.
- No need to depend on third parties to perform the tests and improve the designs.
- Perform more thorough and comprehensive analyses.
- Reduce packaging expenses.
- Improve logistic efficiency and distribution landscape adaptation.
Furthermore, having their own machines will allow companies to offer that service to other companies, which means that the investment may pay off faster.
What machines do you need to create a packaging material testing laboratory?
In order to perform package testing it is necessary to have special machines that comply with current standards. There are three different types of packaging (primary, secondary and tertiary) and different tests are carried out to test the performance of each of them. The primary and secondary packaging is subjected to container and packaging system tests, while transport simulation tests are carried out to test the tertiary packaging, which are a set of tests that replicate the phenomena undergone by the cargo during shipping or handling.
In palletized product tests, one or another machine will be used based on the risk one wants to evaluate. These are the main ones:
- Vertical vibration: they can be used to measure the vibrations caused during shipping & handling of the cargo, whether by airplane, ship, train or truck.
- Drop impact: they are used to evaluate the packaging fragility and what they do is simulate the accelerations, drops and impacts that take place during transportation.
- Compressometer: replicates the damages that take place in warehouse; in other words, it simulates the stress suffered by product-packaging systems.
At Safe Load we manufacture tailor-made machines the comply with the various standards in existence for packaging testing processes, which, in addition, meet the specific needs of each customer.
One of our main products is the Vertical Vibration + Pitch & Roll machine, which we patented in the year 2012. This system can not only simulate vertical vibrations, but also replicates angular velocities experienced during the goods transportation cycle.
The vertical vibration + pitch & roll system has three degrees of freedom, and it is therefore one of the solutions currently out on the market that closer replicates real conditions.
“In order to perform package testing it is necessary to have special machines that comply with current standards”
We have also developed a Drop Tester, which is a mechanism that simulates drops and rotational impacts that affect packages and products during handling and distribution. This machine can replicate both flat, and edge or corner falls.
Lastly, in order to perform the compression tests we have the Compression Tester, which is used to carry out package compression resistance and yield point tests. In addition, this system may be installed inside an environmental chamber, which allows for testing under real environmental conditions.
Safe Load’s machines: the best option to create packaging testing labs
Safe Load is one of the leading companies in the development of package and cargo unit testing machines. We design and build our own transport simulation solutions, which may be customized to adapt to the specific needs of each customer.
All of our solutions are characterized by their cutting-edge technology, their user-friendliness, their elegant design and for complying with the security standards that guarantee the CE marking. In addition, all machines comply with a wide range of testing standards that include ISTA, ASTM, ISO, EN or EUMOS, with the highest guarantee of reliability and precision, simulating real conditions in every test.
“Safe Load is one of the leading companies in the development of package and cargo unit testing machines”
At Safe Load, in addition to the design and manufacturing of machines, we offer our customers a series of exclusive services that help them take better advantage of the machines. For example, we provide employee training in the use of the machines for their maximum performance. We also offer a maintenance service for the machines by which we address any incident that may occur. Lastly, we offer advice for customers to obtain the ISTA certificate for their laboratory.
Do you want to know more about our machines? Download our free ebook ‘Calculate the ROI of investing in packaging testing machines’ and discover all they can do for you and the return on investment that you can obtain by acquiring them.