Consumer product packaging must be capable of withstanding the effects of storage, transportation and distribution from the point of manufacture or packaging to the end user at the point of purchase. A robust transport packaging design protects the primary product from damage that may render it unsellable, preserves the brand identity, preserves consumer motivation and enables the product to be dispensed by the end-user. Consumer product manufacturers lose millions of dollars of product per year due to deficiencies in packaging and clumsy handling during transport. To reduce the costs of replacing product due to shipping damage, consider distribution testing as a means of screening packaging designs.
Routine consumer product packaging test programs are as follows.
Abrasion and Adhesion Testing, Label or container surfaces can become scuffed from the vibratory and impact forces encountered during normal distribution. Illegible labeling or unappealing packages damage your brand – product is difficult to identify and consumer purchase motivation is decreased.
Distribution Simulation Testing, ISTA Certified Package Testing laboratories provides distribution simulation services in accordance with the most current test methods from ASTM and ISTA (International Safe Transit Association) such as ASTM D4169, ASTM D7386 and ISTA 1, 2, 3 and 4 Series Tests. Laboratory distribution simulation testing provides a uniform and repeatable way of evaluating consumer product packaging designs by utilizing standardized equipment and procedures to subject the packaging to anticipated hazards that may occur with routine distribution of packaged products such as impact/shock and vibration input. Leakage and Torque Testing, Consumer Product containers must be able to contain the primary product. Environmental hazards such as freeze/thaw and low pressure (high altitude) exposure can influence the effectiveness of the container/closure interface. Vacuum leakage testing (ASTM D4991) and altitude simulation (ASTM D6653) can assist in the development process. For mechanical pump dispensers, evaluation by ASTM D6834 can evaluate for leakage with or without exposure to random vibration input. Torque degradation studies (ASTM D2063) can help assess how much closure retention torque may be lost after exposure to temperature cycling, compression and vibration.
Top Load Testing & Environmental Stress Cracking
Strongly acidic or strongly basic products can cause stress cracking of containers in the presence of heat, top load, or pressure. Environmental stress-cracking tests (ASTM D1693) and top-load, column crush (ASTM D2659) can be performed on primary container designs case level product can be evaluated for compressive strength via mechanical compression (ASTM D642) or top-load vibration per ASTM D4169 or ISTA 3A.
Shelf Life Testing, A series of walk-in and reach-in environmental chambers allow our Laboratories to provide product storage programs that help ensure product integrity throughout the product’s shelf life. From Accelerated Aging (AA), Real Time Aging, Freeze/Thaw and High and Low Temperature Exposure, Whitehouse Labs has the chamber capacity to support materials, products and packaging systems shelf life testing.
Utility, Dispensing and Functional Testing, The spray patterns of pump and trigger sprayers can be adversely affected by environmental changes, product clogging and product compatibility over time. There are several ASTM test methods for used to evaluate performance such as ASTM D4041 and D3890 – both are usually used in concert with functional stability per ASTM D6633 of D6654. Packaging Materials Barrier Properties
Tests to characterize adsorption, dissolution, diffusion, and desorption of packaging materials, including Oxygen Transmission Rate or OTR via ASTM D3985 or ISO 15105-2 and Water Vapor Transmission Rate or WVTR via USP <671>, ASTM F1249, D7709, ISO 15106-2 and ASTM E96. These barrier properties tests help you plan the optimal packaging material choice for specific applications to maximize preservation and prolong the shelf life of product.