Technical Workgroup Updates

ISTA Workgroup Updates
Progress continues with ISTA’s technical community on tackling new test method development.  These new individual test methods will account for distribution hazards that commonly occur to a broad range of packaged-products but are not currently targeted in current test methods. Below is a brief overview of the workgroup efforts. 
Load Stability
Established an objective of developing a method that can quantify the effect of both “an impact” and “the level of restraint” a unit load is subjected to.  This objective lead to a proof of concept lab trial being conducted at Smithers.  Based upon a positive lab trial, the workgroup agreed to move forward with a small scale field data collection project.  Prior to engaging in field data collection, the artifact had additional independent layers added so that movement could be accessed at different vertical locations.  Green Bay Packaging in Archbold, OH was gracious enough to provide a regional shipment opportunity for the artifact.  Smithers and ISTA assisted MSU with instrumentation and documentation of the project.  Raw field data along with video were captured and are currently being analyzed by MSU for report out to the workgroup. 
Next steps include comparing the field data to laboratory testing using the same artifact at varying impact levels or test fixtures until there is a correlation between the field and lab response.

Discussions from this initial short duration impact work has spurred several research proposals to be submitted.  These proposals focus on an alternate load stability event, long duration events or constant accelerations & decelerations.  These forces are commonly experienced during braking events and transitioning through cornering, roundabouts and cloverleaf ramps. The workgroup is in the process of reviewing these proposals and considering whether to simultaneously tackle long duration in addition to its current focus of short duration impacts. If you have interest in participating or a curious to know more about this workgroups progress, please reach out to ISTA for more information.

Artifact credit to MSU and distribution access credit to Green Bay Packaging. 

Concentrated Forces
Concentrated forces are typically due to common load restraining practices within a trailer such strapping used to secure freight to the side walls of a trailer, air bag or pallet dunnage used to fill void spaces and stabilize freight as well as load beams used to minimize freight movement.  As a result, a design of experiment was drafted for five potential different test methods that could recreate these forces.  The design of experiment was circulated to all ISTA University members who have ISTA certified laboratories.  To date there has been overwhelming interest by the Universities to participate and the workgroup is currently reviewing the requests for participation.

Additional support is always welcome so if you would like to contribute by either sharing your experiences, executing some or all of the test methods, or contributing packaged-product to the correlation study, please reach out to ISTA for more information.
Get Involved! ISTA’s Test Series Group (TSG): 
Getting involved with ISTA’s Technical community is a great way to not only ensure you’re staying connected to the most current information out there but provide influence over the technical matters that impact the Packaging Industry. 
If you would like to contribute to ISTA and the Packaging industry by volunteering, ISTA’s Test Series Group (TSG) is a great place to start.  The TSG is ISTA’s consensus body responsible for voting on proposed new ISTA Test Protocols, technical revisions to existing and reaffirmation of existing ISTA Protocols as well as the addition & termination of TSG members.  To ensure balance and openness, involvement in the TSG is open to ISTA members and non-members.

If have interest in ISTA’s TSG, please submit the TSG Membership Request Form found on (Click Here) to or would like more information about the group, please contact Eric Hiser at