A transport simulation vibration testing machine is a specialized system that helps companies detect problems in their packaging by simulating vibrations produced during the distribution cycle.

In this article we analyze the importance of transport simulation to evaluate and optimize packaging in order to withstand the hazards associated with the distribution of goods, including transportation vibration.

 What is transport simulation testing?

Transport simulation consists of testing a package to ensure that it will be able to withstand actual transport conditions and the associated potential hazards (shocks, drops, vibrations, etc.). Transport simulation testing involves testing the transport configuration under laboratory conditions using equipment specifically designed for this purpose.


Thus, simulations are used to observe the effects of transportation on the product, analyze the suitability of the chosen packaging solution and monitor how the packaging and product interact as they are subjected to the conditions of the distribution cycle.

 Such tests are repeatable and allow reliable results to be obtained, so that companies can study packaging solutions until they obtain the ideal solution for their products and their distribution cycle.

 Among the tests to be carried out and the effects to be studied in transport simulation are the following:

  • Vibration testing. It is used to evaluate how the potential transportation vibration frequency affects the product and packaging.
  • Drop testing. The aim is to establish the ability of a product + packaging system to withstand the drops that occur during handling and transportation.
  • Impact testing. By simulating the impacts that occur throughout the distribution cycle, it is possible to observe how the packaging responds to these contingencies and to determine whether it fulfills its protective function.
  • Compression testing. If the goods are to be stacked for transport or storage, it is advisable to study how the product + packaging system will react to horizontal compression forces. 
  • Stability testing. They consist of simulating horizontal accelerations and decelerations (acceleration, deceleration and braking) to ensure the rigidity and safety of the loads.
  • Tilt testing. These tests can be carried out at various stages, either in the design phase, optimization or at the end of line as a control method to evaluate deformation and stability.
  • Clamp testing.: these tests are performed to measure the protective capacity of a package when it is subjected to vertical compressive forces, such as those occurring in automated warehouses when goods are moved, transported or stacked.


Benefits of transport vibration testing

As we have seen, there are several hazards that can put goods at risk. These include vibrations that occur mainly during transport, whether by sea, air or land.

Vibrations can be defined as the oscillations of an object with respect to a state of equilibrium, producing deformations and stresses on a continuous medium. There are several types of vibrations: mechanical with linear, angular or rotational movements; electromagnetic, gravitational, etc.

This might interest you: What are the main vibration parameters during transportation?

In this regard, a transport simulation vibration testing machine allows companies to determine the protective capacity of packaging against this type of risk.

Thus, the use of specialized equipment shows how packaging reacts to different types of vibrations, enabling companies to design effective systems.

Simulating vibration movements similar to those occurring during transport and their different frequencies and amplitudes is particularly complex. Therefore, a transport simulation vibration testing machine must use particularly advanced and precise technology.

 Find out how to improve your packaging using vibration simulation


Among the benefits of carrying out vibration testing are the following:

  •  Minimize unnecessary costs due to damage to goods during transport caused by vibrations.
  • Optimization of packaging, avoiding costs derived from over-packaging and under-packaging situations.

 Vibration testing also makes it possible to choose the right materials to protect against this type of threat and to use the right amount to protect a specific load without endangering the products.

 Thanks to these tests, it is also possible to test the incorporation of new materials, such as eco-friendly packaging materials, in order to design more sustainable packaging systems. 

  • All this results in an improved corporate image for the end customer, who can see how companies are trying to be more sustainable and how the products they have ordered arrive in good condition.
  •  In addition, vibration testing allows compliance with various international ISTA or ASTM standards, providing further proof that the company is putting in place the means to ensure safer and more sustainable shipments.


how to optimize transportation costs


 Solutions for transport simulation: vibration testing machine

  > Vertical Vibration System

The vertical vibration system carries out the simulation of this type of forces, either following standard parameters or recorded from real distribution routes, thanks to data recording systems such as innRecord.

 In the first case, companies can resort to standards or test protocols designed EN, ISTA or ASTM, where they characterize them by following the type of transport and vehicle chosen, the average speed or the type of road to be followed.

From these parameters, the system generates random vibrations that mimic the vibration profiles that the goods will encounter during the distribution cycle.

This might interest you: Metropack acquires a Vertical Vibration System from Safe Load Testing Technologies

> Pitch & Roll Module

The Pitch&Roll Module uses Safe Load Testing Technologies’ patented technology to incorporate pitch and roll motions into the vibration test. For this purpose, we have devised a device that can be incorporated into any vertical vibration table.

 By means of this system, a simulation based on three axes is achieved, taking into account the movements that can affect the load and bringing the simulation closer to the reality of transport, as demonstrated by the comparative analysis between the vertical vibration test and the multi-axis test.

> Vertical Vibration + Pitch & Roll System

The combination of Vertical Vibration + Pitch & Roll integrates vertical vibrations together with roll and pitch movements with high accuracy. In this way, it effectively creates an accurate simulation of the vibration scenarios to which the load may be subjected during transport.

In addition, the system can simulate movements of sea, road, rail and air transport, with vertical vibration frequencies up to 200 HZ, Pitch&Roll frequencies up to 25 Hz and rotations of ± 5º.

Related Vibration testing standards

A transportation vibration test standard consists of a test protocol whose objective is to ensure safe transportation by testing the performance of the product + packaging system against vibration forces.

Some of the most important vibration test standards include:

ISTA series

The ISTA series provides procedures intended to test the resistance of the product-packaging system. Regarding the vibration test, it is included in the following series:

    The ISTA 1a series includes vibration testing using the fixed displacement method at 1 inch peak-to-peak at a predetermined frequency.

    ISTA 2a incorporates vibration testing using fixed (1 inch peak-to-peak at a predetermined frequency) or random (overall Grms level of 1.15) displacement methods.

    ISTA 3a includes two types of vibration tests: vibration using the random method with and without a top load (Grms level of .53 and .46); and random vibration at low pressure, depending on whether the load will be transported by truck only or by truck and air transport (optional).

 ASTM D3580

This test method aims to determine the resonances of products and components through linear vertical movements on the surface. Two test methods are proposed: with sinusoidal vibrations and with random vibrations.

 ASTM D3580: A standard for vibration test of products

ASTM D4169

This standard acts as a guide to evaluate the suitability of shipping units taking into account the conditions that occur during distribution. Among other simulations, a vibration test is included.

 ASTM D4169: Standards and procedures


EN 15552

This is a European standard specifying the test methods to be carried out on packaging and product + packaging systems, according to the typical conditions of European distribution chains.

Do you want to know more about vibration transport simulation and the importance of having a transport simulation vibration testing machine?

 Safe Load Testing Technologies offers accurate, state-of-the-art vibration simulation equipment with more than two decades of experience in the transportation simulation industry.

 Contact us and let’s talk about how we can help you.

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