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Status:Closed    Asked:Aug 18, 2011 - 05:43 AM

I am to implement a ship testing procedure within my company. What kind of assistance/advice can ISTA provide?

I work for a consumer goods company in the packaging department primarily with shippers and corrugate. Right now there is not a specific process to test the master carton containing product prior before shipping. I am familiar with packaging but I am unsure if purchasing a standard would aid in writing my own? Is there a procedure for ship testing that does not involve excessive testing and time? We do have a vibration table and a drop tester, but many of our packages are similar and would not need to test all of them. We ship UPS ground primarily and the main concerns are compression/drops. In the past the engineers have simply shipped the product to another location, and then shipped it back and examined to make sure everything survived. I am looking for a starting point, any recommendations, or any services/contacts that ISTA can provide for implementing a ship testing method that is inexpensive and fast, but will still provide a yes or no answer for if it will survive distribution. Thank you.

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I agree with Meredith's answer. 3A is an appropriate "standard" method for validating packages for small parcel shipping. My experience as a 3rd party service provider is that results from 3A testing line up pretty well with expected "worst than normal" small parcel shipping results.

The main benefit of lab testing vs. real life testing alone (I support real life testing in combination of lab testing) is that you can't control the variables. Example; you can ship the same thing through UPS twice and get different results each time. Repeatability is a key when deciding how to validate a package. Repeatability is achievable with 3A testing but not with real life testing alone.

If results from 3A don't line up with your known field damage, a 3rd party packaging test professional can help you customize 3A to bring the results from the test closer to your known field results (i.e. from "worse than normal" to "normal").


Aug 18, 2011 - 06:16 AM

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