ISTA Load Stability Workgroup seeking industry support

Smithers has confirmed that an International Safe Transit Association (ISTA) load stability workgroup is issuing a call for supply chain industry partners struggling with load stability issues to support ongoing testing research.

The workgroup is chaired by Michael Kuebler, Technical Director of Distribution Testing, Smithers and the workgroup is seeking collaborative partners to progress their research.

In late 2018, the ISTA load stability workgroup was established after Smithers submitted a new protocol request. The group is researching test methods for predicting the effects of non-restrained horizontal impacts and non-restrained long-duration horizontal impact events on unitised loads in a generalised supply chain. Commonly observed problems caused by these events are tipping and leaning of unit loads.

“At this stage, we’re ready to start testing our theories on actual unit loads with known issues,” said Kuebler. “We’re seeking industry partners who are struggling with field issues due to lack of load stability and are willing to provide samples for laboratory testing. Those unit loads would undergo various predictive test methods so we can document correlations between field issues and laboratory results.”

“Concerns of load stability, which may lead to product damage throughout distribution, are frequently expressed by packaging designers as they balance field performance and sustainability goals,” said Eric Hiser, Vice President — Standards & Certification, ISTA. “We want to address these industry concerns through research-based, data-driven predictive tools, such as test protocols, to better understand packaged-product performance to the hazards generally found in each supply chain.”

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