Package Testing

Package systems play a significant role in the delivery of a product to the customer. Westpak utilizes package performance and integrity testing methods to evaluate package systems.

What is a Package System?

Most products are overpackaged leading to cost overrun and environmental waste.  An optimized package system balances the ruggedness of the product with just enough packaging to provide protection from the point of manufacture to the point of end use. There is a synergy between the product and the package when proper design is employed.

Environmental Conditioning

Environmental Conditioning

One of the first test processes often required prior to conducting physical testing on the package, container, or packaging component being evaluated is Environmental Conditioning. This process brings the item to be tested into equilibrium with specific temperature and humidity conditions prior to testing.

Environmental Conditioning is conducted in an environmental chamber designed to maintain tight controls over temperature and humidity.  The test levels chosen are often typical of what might e encountered during a distribution cycle, or storage for an extended time period.

The temperature and moisture content of the material to be tested is critical.  For example, paper-based materials are hygroscopic and change their strength characteristics as they absorb or release moisture.

Typical Procedures/Protocols

ASTM D4332
ASTM D3103
IEC 60068-2
ISTA 2 & 3 Series
ISO 2233
MIL STD 810G

Westpak Capabilities
Westpak continually upgrades and expands its equipment line-up. Therefore this list is a minimum of our capabilities:

(65) Temp/Humidity Chambers
(1) Thermal Shock Chamber
(2) Temp/Altitude Chambers
(4) Freezers

Distribution

Distribution

Distribution Testing is the practice of conducting tests that simulate the distribution environment in a laboratory. Lab testing provides a controlled and repeatable setting where the packages can be evaluated.

Often referred to as ‘shake and rattle’ testing, a typical distribution cycle will put packaged systems through a series of compression, vibration and drop inputs. A package that can withstand these rigors has high confidence in protecting its product through the real distribution environment.

Impact/Drop Testing is conducted on shippers from a predetermined drop height based on the weight of the shipper and the referenced protocol.  Impacts typically include corner, flat and edge drops onto a steel, wooden or tile surface.

Vibration Testing is a guaranteed input packages will face.  The programmable vibration test machines can simulate truck, air and rail inputs at a variety of amplitude levels.

Compression Testing measures the ability of a shipper to reach a pre-determined maximum load.  This target load is based on the formula found in our Compression Calculator.

Loose Load Vibration While not the most strenuous of distribution inputs, the loose load test can simulate rotary motion and mechanical shock inputs on the package system.

Typical Procedures/Protocols

ASTM D7386
ASTM D4169
ISTA 1A-7D

Westpak Capabilities
Westpak continually upgrades and expands its equipment line-up. Therefore this list is a minimum of our capabilities:

(8) Drop Testers
(6) Compression test machines
(19) Vibration test systems
(2) Incline Impact test systems
(1) Horizontal Impact test machine
(3) Temperature + Altitude test systems
(4) Loose Load test systems

Horizontal Impact

Horizontal Impact

Westpak's Horizontal Impact Test System (HITS) primarily tests products and package systems for damage resistance due to railcar coupling. However, this versatile system also tests for sensitivities to other types of horizontal impacts including rough forklift handling and truck docking.

The HITS is capable of handling 5,000+ pound loads at impact velocities up to 10 mph. Westpak’s test engineers can fine-tune the impact velocity and impact pulse shape to exactly the waveform necessary for almost any conceivable application. Mechanical programmers simulate railcars equipped with both standard and cushioned undercarriage draft gear.

Unique Test Capability
Westpak is pleased to be the only 3rd party accredited test laboratory on the West Coast to offer Horizontal Impact testing. With the HITS, Westpak can simulate all types of transportation hazards in one laboratory location saving you time and expense in the testing function.

Typical Procedures/Protocols
ASTM D4003
ASTM D880
AIAG RC-9

Westpak Capabilities
Westpak continually upgrades and expands its equipment line-up. Therefore this list is a minimum of our capabilities:

(1) Programmable Horizontal Impact Test System
(2) Inclined Impact Test Systems

Incline Impact Testing

Incline Impact Testing

One of the most utilized pieces of shock test equipment in package testing is the Incline Impact or Conbur tester. The specialized machine evaluates the ability of the packaging system to withstand crushing forces or sudden impacts.

The machine uses gravity and a tilted test carriage to propel the test sample to a pre-determined speed before impacting a flat, steel wall. A package test sample could be Less-Than-Truckload (LTL) or a unitized load.  The test protocol prescribes the carriage height and orientations.  The results of this simple testing are valuable, especially for heavy products.

Clients who need to know the impact experienced by a product’s internal devices, or sub-assemblies request monitored testing.  Accelerometers are mounted and shock data are obtained during the impacts.

Typical Procedures/Protocols
ASTM D880
ASTM D4169
ISTA 1A thru 6-SAMSCLUB

Amazon Package Testing

Amazon Package Testing

Westpak is a member of Amazon's Packaging Support and Supplier Network (APASS) and approved to test and certify products as Amazon Prep-Free packaging (PFP), Ships-In-Own-Container (SIOC), and Frustration-Free Packaging (FFP) for vendors, sellers and manufacturers.

Typical Procedures/Protocols
Amazon Packaging Certification Guidelines
ISTA 6-Amazon Over Boxing (OB)
ISTA 6-Amazon Ships-In-Own-Container (SIOC)