ISTA 6-SAMSCLUB: Packaged-Products for Sam’s Club Distribution System Shipment
Summary of ISTA 6-SamsClub Package Testing
ISTA 6-SAMSCLUB, like other test in the ISTA 6 series, was created by ISTA members to suit their own purposes. This particular test was created in partnership with Sam’s Club as a general simulation protocol. General simulation tests will challenge the capability of the package and product to withstand transportation hazards. The tests use general simulation of actual transport hazards.
This testing protocol is used for four different types of packaged-products:
- Type A- non-perishable, initially shipped palletized
- Club quantity is the unchanged palletized load
- Club quantity (other than unchanged palletized load) includes elongated and flat package products
- Type B- Non-perishable, initially shipped large floor-loaded
- Type C- non-perishable, initially shipped small floor-loaded
- Type D- Perishable, initially shipped palletized
The Sam’s Club distribution system typically includes manufacturer/producer, distribution centers, and club stores. The products can be handled manually by fork lift, clamp truck, etc. The involved parties will determine the product damage tolerance and package degradation allowance prior to testing. Pass/Fail will be determined by:
- What constitutes damage to the product
- What damage tolerance level is allowable (if any)
- The correct methodology to determine product condition at the conclusion of the test
- The acceptable package condition at the conclusion of the test
ISTA 6 SAM’S Club Testing Procedures
It is important that all the information regarding quantity, pallet type, initial shipment configuration, approved container loading diagram, details of shipment and configurations within the distribution system, typical atmospheric conditions etc. are disclosed so that the proper testing parameters can be determined.
Once the testing parameters are determined, the laboratory will need to receive the proper number of samples for testing. The product and package should be as close to actual production items as possible. Testing may be used on prototypes during development stages for improvement. But as a general rule, official testing should be done on actual production items.
Only one sample is required for transit testing. It is required that the test be performed one time on the required number of samples. However, it is recommended that the entire test procedure is performed 5 or more times using a new sample for each test. It is important that the samples arrive to the testing laboratory in perfect condition so that the test is accurate. To ensure this, the package should be adequately over-packaged for shipment or it can be repackaged and assembled in the laboratory.
The test procedure will follow the chart outlined in ISTA 6-SAMSCLUB. Atmospheric preconditioning is required to adjust the package to desired temperature and humidity. Other required testing includes shock, compression, and vibration. At the conclusion of testing, the laboratory will write a comprehensive report detailing the test procedure and samples.
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