PD_Packaging Digest

Packaging Digest, Spring 2016

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30 BEST PRACTICES // SPRING 2016 www.PackagingDigest.com Seven different laboratory tests let product manufacturers replicate conditions their packaging may experience in the real world, saving time, materials and other valuable resources. Neil Weisensel, Contributing Writer Te way we transport products from point A to point B has changed dramatically over the years. We've gone from domestic railcar and trucks to worldwide air and sea shipping. While this evolution has been critical to our global economy, each stage has presented new challenges for safely securing products in transit. Since 1948, the International Safe Transit Assn. (ISTA) has led the industry in developing test protocols to ensure products survive the risky and hazardous global distribution market. Whether by land, air or sea, these tests allow manufacturers to predict and adjust their load containment practices to "manage risk while optimizing the supply chain." Since "One good test is worth a thousand expert opinions!" we've broken down the testing process and procedures available to help manufacturers make informed decisions for current and future packaging practices. Benefts and timeline As the quote above alludes, testing palletized units can save considerable time and money. Today's laboratory testing procedures allow manufacturers to replicate real-life scenarios in a shorter timeframe. For example, a cross-country journey on a truck can be replicated in a few hours on a random vibration table (explained further below). In addition, further savings can be added to the bottom line. Testing eliminates fuel, personnel and equipment needed to perform the actual journey and proactively isolates and helps solve perceived challenges. Understanding these benefts is the frst step to greater unit containment. So when is the right time to put your packaging method to the test? Te simple answer is anytime: after product damage, What types of rough handling do your packages experience on their way to market? Finding out in advance by testing in a lab means you can improve the design to prevent damage. The Random Vibration Simulation test is one of several used to simulate shipping conditions a package/unit load will encounter in the real world. How to reduce risk and optimize shipping performance with packaging lab testing

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