Pallet Integrity Testing

What is Pallet Integrity Testing?

Pallet testing is used to evaluate the integrity of pallets and unitized loads during the transportation life cycle. Additionally, the pallet must keep the product protected until it reaches the end consumer. 

Keystone Package Testing provides expert regulatory compliance testing under one roof. We offer competitive pricing and volume discounts. When packages do not meet requirements, our engineers partner with customers and assist with finding solutions.

Ready to get started? We are. Request a quote to start your regulatory pallet integrity package testing. Contact us for more information on our extensive scope.

Why is Pallet Compliance Testing Important?

Pallet testing assesses the protective performance of units in regards to vibrations, shocks, and other stresses found during the handling and transportation process. Poor pallet packaging can be expensive and have an impact on lost loyalty, lost sales, product repairs, and much more.

As the eCommerce industry continues to grow, so do the costs associated with selling online. Companies are often subject to chargebacks and prep fees. The end goal of pallet integrity package testing is to help you become certified with the necessary standards so that the product will always arrive to the consumer how it was intended. Various brands such as Home Depot, Costco, HSN, TJX, etc. require shipments to meet specific specifications.

If used correctly, pallet testing can contribute to benefits such as:

  • Product to market time reduction
  • Confidence in product launch
  • Reduction in damage and product loss
  • Balanced distribution costs
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Shortened package development time
  • Protection of products and profits

Pallet Integrity Testing Process

Pallets are tested in the same manner that they are shipped. The testing is meant to simulate an actual distribution cycle.

Before the start of the testing, the manufacturer determines pass or fail criteria. This includes:

  1. What constitutes damage
  2. What damage tolerance level is allowable

Next, a sample is chosen. The unit under testing must be as identical as possible to the actual items being shipped. After a sample is chosen, the test follows either of the test sequences specified below in ISTA 3B or ISTA 3E. Don’t see a standard you are looking for? Contact us and we will determine the best course of action.

Keystone Pallet Testing Equipment and Capabilities

Keystone’s test machines are capable of precise drops from different heights and angles. Furthermore, our package testing laboratory includes multiple compression testers and shakers up to 12 kips.

We utilize more than two dozen climatic chambers with sizes ranging from reach-in to large walk-in chambers up to 1,300 cubic feet. These thermal chambers can accommodate up to entire vehicles and substantial pieces of equipment. Keystone can test flexible and rigid packages of all shapes and sizes.

ISTA 3B – Packaged Products for Less-Than-Truckload

This standard challenges the capability of a package to withstand transportation hazards. More specifically, ISTA 3B evaluates when different types of packaged products are transported by truck. Different shippers and different intended destinations mixed within the same load is not uncommon. This is called LTL (Less-Than-Truckload).

ISTA 3B carries out a 13-step test procedure for palletized or skidded units.

Test Sequence 1: Atmospheric Preconditioning – Temperature and humidity

Test Sequence 2: Atmospheric Conditioning – Controlled temperature and humidity

Test Sequence 3: Shock – Tip/Tip over

Test Sequence 4: Shock – Rotational drop

Test Sequence 5: Shock – Inclined or horizontal impact, optional free-fall drop

Test Sequence 6: Vibration – Random

Test Sequence 7: Shock – Concentrated impact

Test Sequence 8: Shock – Fork lift handling

Test Sequence 9: Shock – Fork lift handling

Test Sequence 10: Shock – Fork lift handling

Test Sequence 11: Shock – Fork life handling

Test Sequence 12: Shock – Rotational drop

Test Sequence 13: Shock – Incline or horizontal impact, optional free-fall drop

ISTA 3E – Unitized Loads for Truckload Shipment

ISTA 3E is an advanced test to challenge the ability of a package and product to resist distribution hazards. Similar packages may consist of real or institutional packaged products shipped from one manufacturer to a distribution center.

Examples of unitized loads:

  • A stretched wrapped pallet load of individual containers
  • A single non-packaged machine banded to a pallet
  • A pallet with a corrugated tray, tube, and cap

ISTA 3E carries out a 7 step test procedure.

Test Sequence 1: Atmospheric Preconditioning – Temperature and humidity

Test Sequence 2: Atmospheric Conditioning – Controlled temperature and humidity

Test Sequence 3: Shock – Incline impact

Test Sequence 4: Shock – Rotational edge drop

Test Sequence 5: Compression – Machine apply and release, machine apply and hold, weight and load spreader.

Test Sequence 6: Vibration – Random

Test Sequence 7: Shock – Rotational edge drop

Expert Pallet Package Testing Laboratory

Keystone Package Testing takes pride in having a reputation for helping customers achieve their package certifications. Our professional engineers provide a consultative approach throughout the entire package testing procedure. Thus, our proven process helps avoid product launch delays.

Keystone’s ISO 17025 accredited facility has an extensive scope covering altitude, burst strength, compression, and much more.

Ready to get started? We are. Contact us for more information on how we can fulfill your package testing needs. Request a quote to see why so many companies partner with Keystone Package Testing.