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ISTA Testing

Certification ISTA (International Safe Transit Association)

Micom offers ISTA testing services to a wide range of industries. ISTA, which stands for International Safe Transit Association, offers a group of test specifications based on ASTM test methods to simulate different distribution environments as well as screening tests. With ISTA testing, we can help industries ensure that packaging is good for the shipping conditions and keep their destination intact.

Micom is accredited by ISTA as a test laboratory. Furthermore, our president sits on the ISTA Testing Technical Council, the group in charge of reviewing the standards.

ISTA Testing Uses and Factors

Why Use ISTA Standards?

ISTA testing allows you to test your package under controlled conditions, giving you reproducible data that can be used to support your design work and/or establish package performance. ISTA testing allows you to break down complex distribution dynamics into individual test parameters while using a limited number of test samples. It also allows for real-time observation of packaging failure which provides a better understanding of how the packaging reacts to the applied stress. This way, you get a more accurate assessment of your packaging design which can prevent over packaging over-packaging.

Which ISTA Test Method Should You Be Using?

An important step before selecting a test method is to become familiar with the actual distribution environment of your packaged product. Which shipping, handling, and storage conditions will your product and its packaging experience? These conditions may include those of your own distribution network, but also those of third-party networks. It’s therefore important to regularly check how your packaged products are handled and distributed from transportation facilities, warehouses and vehicles to customer locations.

In some situations, it can be relevant to look for other information related to the distribution network such as vibration, drop, compression, and temperature and humidity levels. With this more detailed information, it will be easier to select your tests. For example, you might decide to do an individual package test protocol instead of a unit load test protocol when the loading it’s divided during the distribution.

With all this information in hand, you will be able to choose the right test(s) procedure(s) out of the seven test groups defined by ISTA.

List of ISTA Test Procedures

Non-Simulation Tests
1A, 1B, 1C, 1D, 1E, 1G, 1H
Partial Simulation Tests
2A, 2B, 2C
General Simulation Test
3A, 3B, 3E, 3F, 3H, 3K
These tests are to see the integrity of the product and the packaging. Useful as screening tests, but we can’t simulate the environmental condition.These tests are useful for improving preliminary designs. They are not for predictions on the shipping performance.We can simulate the damage with motions, force, conditions, and sequences of transport environments. You can use it as a predictive tool to understand the risk of damage.
Enhanced Simulation Tests
4AB
Member Performance Tests
6-AMAZON.com, 6-SAMSCLUB, 6-FEDEX
Development Tests
7D, 7E
ISTA 4B can generate personalized test plans that include current and quantitative information on distribution environmental hazards.These tests were created to establish unique requirements for this type of distribution. It is also possible to evaluate the effectiveness of packaging.Used in the development of transport packages to compare the performance of two or more container designs. These tests are not used to evaluate the protection between the packaging and the product.
Data Depot
ISTA’s Data Depot is a reference for individual tests that can be used independently or with other tests.

Note: It’s possible to find more information about guidelines and testing packages on the ISTA official website.

Need to have your product tested to the ISTA standard or want more information on our testing services? Contact us or book a free 15 minutes consultation with one of our experts.

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Micom is a Certified Testing
Laboratory member of the
International Safe Transit
Association (ISTA).

ISTA Test Methods Offered By Micom

1 Series – Non-Simulation Integrity Tests

2 Series – Partial Simulation Tests

  • ISTA 2A – Packaged Products Weighing 150 lbs or Less
  • ISTA 2B – Packaged Products Weighing Over 150 lbs
  • ISTA 2C – Furniture Packages

3 Series – General Simulation Tests

  • ISTA 3A – Packaged Products for Parcel Delivery System Shipment weighing 150 lbs or less
  • ISTA 3B – Packaged Products for Less Than Truckload (LTL) Shipment
  • ISTA 3E – Unitized Load of Same Product
  • ISTA 3F – Packaged Products for Distribution Center to Retail Outlet Shipment, 100 lbs or Less
  • ISTA 3H – Products or Packaged Products in Mechanically Handled Bulk Transport Containers
  • ISTA 3K – Fast Moving Consumer Goods in the European Retail Supply Chain

4 Series – Enhanced Simulation Tests

  • ISTA 4AB – Packaged Products for Shipment in Known Distribution Channels

*If you will always be shipping your products from location “A” to destination “B”, ISTA testing to test method 4AB may represent a very interesting option as this test method is the most customizable one, therefore giving you the best distribution simulation possible.

6 Series – Member Performance Tests

  • ISTA 6FEDEX-A – FedEx Procedure – Packaged Products Weighing up to 150 lbs
  • ISTA 6FEDEX-B – FedEx Procedure – Packaged Products Weighing more than 150 lbs
  • ISTA 6-SAMSCLUB – Packaged Products for Sam’s Club Distribution System Shipment
  • ISTA 6-Amazon.com – Packaged Products for Amazon.com Distribution System Shipment

7 Series – Development Tests

  • Procedure 7D
  • Standard 7E – for Thermal Transport Packaging for Delivery System Shipment

Micom Laboratories offer ISTA testing services to a wide range of industry segments.

Other Related Test Methods

For additional test methods related to the ISTA standards, we invite you to read more about Hazardous Materials, ASTM packaging, Sustainable PackagingCold Chain or TAPPI.

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