Test Procedures



ISTA PROTOCOLS

Please note, the link after each procedure name below is the Procedure Overview and Equipment Required ONLY.

Access to the Full Procedure:
ISTA Members: 
Login to the MEMBER CENTER and choose the Resources Folder and then File Archive to download the full procedures.

Non-Members: You may purchase the full procedure by visiting our STORE.

 
1 Series: Non-Simulation Integrity Performance Tests Procedure Changes
2 Series: Partial Simulation Performance Tests Guidelines for Selecting and Using ISTA Test Procedures & Projects
3 Series: General Simulation Performance Tests Test Report Forms
4 Series: Enhanced Simulation Performance Tests  
5 Series: Focused Simulation Guides  
6 Series: Member Performance Tests  
7 Series: Development Tests  
Standard 20  
Responsible Packaging by Design (RPbD) Guide  


ISTA has two types of tests - Performance Tests result in a Pass/Fail assessment and are used to determine the viability of a packaged-product to survive normal shipment. Development Tests compare relative performance of two or more designs or the same design from different suppliers.

ISTA® Test Series - Test protocols are also grouped into what ISTA calls a Series. Testing moves from non-simulation of transport environmental hazards through simulation in general or broad terms and finally to a test developed from a comprehensive collection of field data.

Procedures versus Projects - Most ISTA tests are called Procedures because they have been validated to be effective and the testing methodology seldom changes. New tests, called Projects, are in their first years of implementation, are closely monitored and subject to change.

For the new user, the Guidelines for Selecting and Using ISTA® Test Procedures and Projects is very helpful.

 

ISTA 1 Series: Non-Simulation Integrity Performance Tests. Challenge the strength and robustness of the product and package combination. Not designed to simulate environmental occurrences. Useful as screening tests, particularly when used as a consistent benchmark over time.

Procedure 1A: Packaged-Products weighing 150 lb (68 kg) or Less
Basic Requirements: fixed displacement vibration and shock testing.
OVERVIEW and EQUIPMENT REQUIRED ONLY click here
ISTA Members – Login to the MEMBER CENTER and choose the Resources Folder and then File Archive to download the full procedures.
Non-Members – You may purchase the full procedure by visiting our STORE.


Procedure 1B: Packaged-Products weighing Over 150 lb (68 kg)
Basic Requirements: fixed displacement vibration and shock testing.
OVERVIEW and EQUIPMENT REQUIRED ONLY click here
ISTA Members – Login to the MEMBER CENTER and choose the Resources Folder and then File Archive to download the full procedures.
Non-Members – You may purchase the full procedure by visiting our STORE.


Procedure 1C: Extended Testing for Individual Packaged-Products w
eighing 150 lb (68 kg) or Less
Basic Requirements: fixed displacement or random vibration, shock testing and compression. 
OVERVIEW and EQUIPMENT REQUIREDONLY click here
ISTA Members – Login to the MEMBER CENTER and choose the Resources Folder and then File Archive to download the full procedures.
Non-Members – You may purchase the full procedure by visiting our STORE.


Procedure 1D: Extended Testing for Individual Packaged-Products weighing Over 150 lb (68 kg)
Basic Requirements: fixed displacement or random vibration, shock testing and compression. 
OVERVIEW and EQUIPMENT REQUIRED ONLY click here
ISTA Members – Login to the MEMBER CENTER and choose the Resources Folder and then File Archive to download the full procedures.
Non-Members – You may purchase the full procedure by visiting our STORE.


Procedure 1E: Unitized Loads
Basic Requirements: vertical linear or random vibration and shock testing.
OVERVIEW and EQUIPMENT REQUIRED ONLY click here
ISTA Members – Login to the MEMBER CENTER and choose the Resources Folder and then File Archive to download the full procedures.
Non-Members – You may purchase the full procedure by visiting our STORE.


Procedure 1G: Packaged-Products weighing 150 lb (68 kg) or Less (Random Vibration) 
Basic Requirements: random vibration and shock testing.
OVERVIEW and EQUIPMENT REQUIRED ONLY click here
ISTA Members – Login to the MEMBER CENTER and choose the Resources Folder and then File Archive to download the full procedures.
Non-Members – You may purchase the full procedure by visiting our STORE.


Procedure 1H: Packaged-Products weighing Over 150 lb (68 kg) (Random Vibration)
Basic Requirements: random vibration and shock testing. 
OVERVIEW and EQUIPMENT REQUIRED ONLY click here

ISTA Members – Login to the MEMBER CENTER and choose the Resources Folder and then File Archive to download the full procedures.
Non-Members – You may purchase the full procedure by visiting our STORE.

 

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ISTA 2 Series: Partial Simulation Performance Tests. Tests with at least one element of a 3 Series type General Simulation performance test, such as atmospheric conditioning or mode-shaped random vibration, in addition to basic elements of a 1 Series type Non-Simulation Integrity test.

Procedure 2A: Packaged-Products weighing 150 lb (68 kg) or Less 
Basic Requirements: atmospheric conditioning, compression, fixed displacement or random vibration and shock testing.
OVERVIEW and EQUIPMENT REQUIRED.
ISTA Members – Login to the MEMBER CENTER and choose the Resources Folder and then File Archive to download the full procedures.
Non-Members – You may purchase the full procedure by visiting our STORE.


Procedure 2B: Packaged-Products weighing over 150 lb (68 kg) 
Basic Requirements: atmospheric conditioning, compression, fixed displacement or random vibration and shock testing.
OVERVIEW and EQUIPMENT REQUIRED.
ISTA Members – Login to the MEMBER CENTER and choose the Resources Folder and then File Archive to download the full procedures.
Non-Members – You may purchase the full procedure by visiting our STORE.


Procedure 2C: Furniture Packages 
Basic Requirements: atmospheric conditioning, compression and shock testing.
OVERVIEW and EQUIPMENT REQUIRED.
ISTA Members – Login to the MEMBER CENTER and choose the Resources Folder and then File Archive to download the full procedures.
Non-Members – You may purchase the full procedure by visiting our STORE.


Procedure 2D: Packaged-Products Considered Flat 
This procedure has been discontinued from this series. Use ISTA Procedure 3A-flat

Procedure 2E: Packaged-Products Considered Elongated 
This procedure has been discontinued from this series. Use ISTA Procedure 3A-elongated 

Procedure 2F: LTL Shipments (NMFC Item 180)
This procedure has been discontinued from this series. Use NCC LTL Item 180, available from National Motor Freight Traffic Association www.nmfta.org 


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ISTA 3 Series: General Simulation Performance Tests. Designed to provide a laboratory simulation of the damage-producing motions, forces, conditions, and sequences of transport environments. Applicable across broad sets of circumstances, such as a variety of vehicle types and routes, or a varying number of handling exposures. Characteristics will include simple shaped random vibration, different drop heights applied to the sample package, and/or atmospheric conditioning such as tropical wet or winter/frozen.

Procedure 3A: Packaged-Products for Parcel Delivery System Shipments 70kg (150 lb) or Less (standard, small, flat or elongated)
Test Procedure 3A is a general simulation test for individual packaged-products shipped through a parcel delivery system. The test is appropriate for four different package types commonly distributed as individual packages, either by air or ground. The types include standard, small, flat and elongated packages. Basic Requirements: atmospheric pre-conditioning, random vibration with and without top load, and shock testing. 
OVERVIEW and EQUIPMENT REQUIRED.
ISTA Members – Login to the MEMBER CENTER and choose the Resources Folder and then File Archive to download the full procedures.
Non-Members – You may purchase the full procedure by visiting our STORE.


Procedure 3B: Packaged-Products for Less-Than-Truckload (LTL) Shipment
Procedure 3B is a general simulation test for packaged-products shipped through a motor carrier (truck) delivery system, where different types of packaged-products, often from different shippers and intended for different ultimate destinations, are mixed in the same load. This type of shipment is called LTL (Less-Than-Truckload). Procedure 3B is appropriate for four different types of packages commonly distributed in LTL shipments: Standard 200 lb (91 kg) or less, Standard over 200 lb (kg), Cylindrical, and Palletized or Skidded. Requirements may include atmospheric conditioning, tip-tipover, shock and impact, random vibration with top load, concentrated impacts, and fork lift handling.
OVERVIEW and EQUIPMENT REQUIRED.
ISTA Members – Login to the MEMBER CENTER and choose the Resources Folder and then File Archive to download the full procedures.
Non-Members – You may purchase the full procedure by visiting our STORE.


Procedure 3E: Similar Packaged-Products in Unitized Loads for Truckload Shipment
Basic Requirements: atmospheric conditioning, compression, random vibration and shock testing.
OVERVIEW and EQUIPMENT REQUIRED.
ISTA Members – Login to the MEMBER CENTER and choose the Resources Folder and then File Archive to download the full procedures.
Non-Members – You may purchase the full procedure by visiting our STORE.


Procedure 3F: Packaged Products for Distribution Center to Retail Outlet Shipment 100 lb (45 kg)
The ISTA Technical Division has determined not to discontinue Procedure 3F as previously announced.
Basic Requirements: atmospheric conditioning, compression, random vibration and shock testing. 
OVERVIEW and EQUIPMENT REQUIRED.
ISTA Members – Login to the MEMBER CENTER and choose the Resources Folder and then File Archive to download the full procedures.
Non-Members – You may purchase the full procedure by visiting our STORE.


Procedure 3H: Performance Test for Products or Packaged-Products in Mechanically Handled Bulk Transport Containers
Basic Requirements: atmospheric conditioning, random vibration and shock testing. 
OVERVIEW and EQUIPMENT REQUIRED.
ISTA Members – Login to the MEMBER CENTER and choose the Resources Folder and then File Archive to download the full procedures.
Non-Members – You may purchase the full procedure by visiting our STORE.


Project 3K: Fast Moving Consumer Goods for the European Retail Supply Chain
Project 3K is a general simulation test for fast moving packaged consumer products shipped through the multiple-retail supply chain environment in Europe. Project 3K is appropriate for the range of packages commonly merchandised through large retailer stores and large retail chain convenience stores, and where retailer operations include shipment of store-specific mixed loads in roll cages or as mixed pallets. Many European grocery packages are in shelf-ready format; this method applies equally to shelf ready and non-shelf ready packages. Basic requirements: atmospheric conditioning, picking (handling), shock, random vibration
OVERVIEW and EQUIPMENT REQUIRED.

ISTA Members – Login to the MEMBER CENTER and choose the Resources Folder and then File Archive to download the full procedures.
Non-Members – You may purchase the full procedure by visiting our STORE.


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ISTA 4 Series: Enhanced Simulation Performance Tests. General Simulation test with at least one element of focused simulation, such as test sequence or condition linked to actual known distribution. Project 4AB, an Enhanced Simulation Performance Test, has been released as version 1.0.0 and is currently under further development by ISTA. It closely ties the tests and sequence to a user-defined pattern of distribution, and includes a broad range of current and quantitative information on distribution environment hazards. The Focused Simulation elements are test-tailoring to individual situations, and usage of up-to-date and specific hazard profiles and parameters. Project 4AB is a web-based application to generate customized test plans; most of the complexity will be handled "behind the scenes" without burdening the user.
OVERVIEW and EQUIPMENT REQUIRED.

ISTA Members – Login to the MEMBER CENTER and choose the Resources Folder and then File Archive to download the full procedures.
Non-Members – You may purchase the full procedure by visiting our STORE.


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 ISTA 5 Series: Focused Simulation Guides- No longer an active series. Designed to provide a laboratory simulation based on actual field-measured and observed hazards and levels. Measured hazards will typically include complex shaped random vibration, multi-tiered drop height distribution, temperature and humidity extremes and/or cycling, and dynamic or static compressive loads. 5 Series are not performance tests per se, but Guides to the creation of Focused Simulation user-defined tests.

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ISTA 6 Series: Member Performance Tests. Test protocols created by ISTA members to meet their particular purposes and applications. The tests may be completely original, or may be modifications or variations of ISTA Procedures or Projects or other published and accepted tests. ISTA reviews and approves these tests, but primary responsibility rests with the originating members.

Project 6-AMAZON.COM-SIOC, Ships in Own Container (SIOC) for Amazon.com Distribution System Shipment
Project 6-AMAZON.COM is a general simulation test for “Ships In Own Container” (SIOC) packaged-products shipped through Amazon’s distribution system to final customer destinations. This testing protocol has been developed by combining data from previous studies of transportation environments, relevant testing protocols, Amazon Fulfillment Center environment visual observations, and customer feedback. This test is for packaged-products shipped by Vendors to Amazon.com Fulfillment Centers and delivered to final customer destinations via Parcel or Less-Than-Truckload (LTL) outbound shipment methods. It challenges the capability of both package and product to withstand transport hazards normally encountered during handling and transportation. Amazon.com Vendors with items intended to utilize Ships In Own Container (SIOC) are encouraged to use this test to understand the protective performance of their packaging. 
OVERVIEW and EQUIPMENT REQUIRED.
ISTA Members – Login to the MEMBER CENTER and choose the Resources Folder and then File Archive to download the full procedures.
Non-Members – You may purchase the full procedure by visiting our STORE.


Project 6-AMAZON.COM-Over Boxing, e-Commerce Fulfillment for Parcel Delivery Shipment
Test Project 6-Amazon.com-Over Boxing is a general simulation test for e-Commerce fulfillment. In comparison to items ready to ship in its own packaging (Test Project 6-Amazon.com- SIOC), this kind of e-Commerce fulfillment comprises an individual retail packaged-product weighing 70 pounds (32 kilograms) or less being placed into a master shipping container (Over Box) either by itself with the addition of dunnage(air pillows, etc.) or with multiple individual retail packaged-products with dunnage for shipment from Amazon.com to an end consumer through a parcel delivery system. This test challenges the packaging and/or products, whether primary package or transport package, ability to withstand the general damage-producing motions, forces, conditions, and sequences of this environment.
OVERVIEW and EQUIPMENT REQUIRED.
ISTA Members – Login to the MEMBER CENTER and choose the Resources Folder and then File Archive to download the full procedures.
Non-Members – You may purchase the full procedure by visiting our STORE.


6-FEDEX-A: FedEx Procedures for Testing Packaged Products Weighing Up to 150 lbs. 
Click here for the full procedure.

6-FEDEX-B: FedEx Procedures for Testing Packaged Products Weighing Over 150 lbs. 
Click here for the full procedure.

Project 6-SAMSCLUB, Packaged-Products for Sam’s Club® Distribution System Shipment 
ISTA® 6-SAMSCLUB was developed by ISTA in cooperation with Sam’s Club, and is designed as a General Simulation protocol. 6-SAMSCLUB is a general simulation test for packaged-products shipped through the Sam’s Club® distribution system to final destinations in the U.S. It was developed from an extensive survey, observation, and field measurement program of the actual Sam’s Club system. The program involved personal visits to various Distribution Centers, overseas suppliers and ports, and U.S. Club stores. Ocean containers, trucks, and fork lifts were instrumented for acceleration and other data. Industry experts translated this information, observation, and data into the 6-SAMSCLUB Project laboratory tests.
OVERVIEW and EQUIPMENT REQUIRED.

ISTA Members – Login to the MEMBER CENTER and choose the Resources Folder and then File Archive to download the full procedures.
Non-Members – You may purchase the full procedure by visiting our STORE.


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ISTA 7 Series: Development Tests. These tests are used in the development of transport packages. They can be used to
compare relative performance of two or more container designs, but are not intended to evaluate the protection afforded packaged-products.

Project 7A: Open Reusable Transport Containers for Loads of 60 lb (27 kg) or Less and Unitized for Shipment on a Pallet
This procedure has been discontinued from this series.


Procedure 7B: Closed Reusable Transport Containers for Loads of 150 lb (68 kg) or Less 
This procedure has been discontinued from this series.


Procedure 7C: Reusable Intermediate Bulk Containers
This procedure has been discontinued from this series.

Procedure 7D: Temperature Test for Transport Packaging
Basic Requirements: atmospheric conditioning, vibration and shock testing. 
OVERVIEW and EQUIPMENT REQUIRED.
ISTA Members – Login to the MEMBER CENTER and choose the Resources Folder and then File Archive to download the full procedures.
Non-Members – You may purchase the full procedure by visiting our STORE.


Standard 7E: Testing Standard for Thermal Transport Packaging Used in Parcel Delivery System Shipment
OVERVIEW and EQUIPMENT REQUIRED.

ISTA Members – Login to the MEMBER CENTER and choose the Resources Folder and then File Archive to download the full procedures.
Non-Members – You may purchase the full procedure by visiting our STORE.


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ISTA Process Standards

Standard 20
ISTA Standard 20 is a design and qualification process that provides the structure and path to design, test, verify and independently certify a specific Insulated Shipping Container (ISC) for use. Included with Standard 20 is the Standard 7E set of global thermal profiles for testing thermal transport packaging used in parcel delivery system shipments.
Click here for more information.

Responsible Packaging by Design (RPbD) Guide 
The RPbD Guide is a step-by-step process management standard for the design, testing, and qualification of responsible packaging that meets industry, consumer, and regulatory expectations.

The process provides a framework and guidance for evaluating two or more different packages to:
  • provide appropriate packaging for protecting the product and performing all the other functions of a packaging system
  • consider product enhancements to reduce packaging requirements
  • minimize product waste through  the prevention of damage or spoilage
  • optimize use of materials, energy, and water in production, distribution, and use
  • maximize recovery of materials and energy from used packaging
The protocol provides a data-driven procedure for analyzing packaging systems throughout the life cycle. Eight steps guide the package designer in a Stage-Gate Process, with each stage accompanied by a template to help users gather data and navigate the process.

Click here for more information.



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