Electronic devices and their associated packaging must work in harmony to find the balance between product ruggedness and package suitability. Whether your product is small and compact, or a large data storage system, proper testing is an essential element to reduce shipping damage and improve product reliability.
The packaging for such devices and products will focus on the protective and utility functions to deal with the shock & vibration, temperature & humidity extremes, condensation, electrostatic discharge, and similar hazards of the distribution environment. Testing for such packages follows the functions as described below.
|Package Functions||Hazards & Sources||Typical Test Procedures||Typical Specs||WESTPAK Capabilities|
|Impact/shock protection||Shock related damage from manual or mechanical handling during storage and transportation||
|(8) drop test systems
True Horizontal Impact Test System
(3) complete Inclined Impact test systems
Complete cushion test capabilities
|Protection: Vibration attenuation||Loosening of fasteners, fatigue cracking, scuffing, etc from vehicle-induced vibration||
|More than (12) different vibration test systems to meet all types of test requirements|
|Temperature and Humidity protection||Temperature and humidity extremes in storage and distribution||High temperature and humidity extremes: Low temperature extremes||ASTM D4332||More than (65) different temperature & humidity test chambers|
|Protection from moisture condensation||Products are often covered with a barrier bag to keep them clean and protect them from electrostatic discharge. If the package is subjected to temperatures below the dew point of the air with the sealed barrier, condensation can form on the product resulting in electronic failures.||Temperature and humidity exposure||ASTM D4332||Many different chambers available along with recording instruments for temperature and humidity.|
|Utility: ability to stack the packages for better space utilization||Top load compression from storage and from stacking in vehicles||Compression test to failure; Compression test, max load and release||ASTM D642
ISTA procedure 2 and similar
|(4) complete container compression test systems|
|Utility: stability of the package to resist tipping over||Shipping and handling in the LTL (less than truckload) environment||Tip test to determine if the package system can withstand a 22.5° tilt and return to its base after the tipping force is removed||ASTM D6179
|Complete test capabilities at all lab locations|
By subjecting your product/package system to above suggested test procedures, or others (ie, ASTM D4169 or the appropriate ISTA procedure), you will quickly determine the ability of the package system to perform its intended functions in the anticipated distribution environment. Minor adjustments, major changes, or complete system overhaul can normally be accomplished quickly and easily at this point, prior to disappointing your customer with a damaged product upon delivery.