During transport, products are often subjected to much greater stresses than in their operating conditions. This is also the case with many products of KaVo Kerr Group Finland. The company is one of the largest health technology export companies in Finland, and its products are delivered in very diverse conditions around the world. The company wanted to subject the packaging of its new dental X-ray machine to testing in order to ensure that the packaging keeps the product undamaged during transport.
"We asked for expert advice and assistance for many details of the testing programme – and received it. Additionally, the training we received provided good basic skills in packaging and transport testing for our key personnel. In our future product programmes, we will most likely continue our cooperation with VTT Expert Services in the design of transport and packaging durability." This is how Rurik Englund, R&D Manager at KaVo Kerr Group Finland, commented on the cooperation.
Packaging testing simulates stresses
Stresses from a genuine situation are used in the testing.
Shocks and static loads occurring during transport cause the most damage in transport conditions. The damages are typically deformations or material tearing of the product. Packaging design must also take into account, for example, stresses during storage, such as variations in temperature and humidity.
Indeed, the product's mechanical and packaging design should go hand in hand throughout all the stages of product development. This allows the early optimisation of the product's materials and strength requirements, and a decision on which stresses can be negated with the protective characteristics of the transport packaging.
The KaVo Kerr packaging testing was performed in two parts
The protective characteristics of the designed transport packaging were ensure against climatic and mechanical stresses using a testing programme prepared in cooperation with KaVo Kerr.
The testing programme included tests emulating extreme temperatures, temperature variations, humidity and mechanical stresses in transport conditions. With regard to mechanical stresses, the most significant stresses to the transport packaging are caused by road transport and transfers between means of transport and intermediate storage locations.
The first mechanical tests were carried out during the design stage in the testing laboratory of VTT Expert Services around six months prior to the actual acceptance tests. Based on the results, KaVo Kerr was able to make changes to both the packaging and the product itself already during the development stage. After this, the packaging was subjected to the actual acceptance testing.
Product packaging has its own requirements
Depending on the product's market area, country-specific standards and testing requirements may apply to the product packaging in addition to international standards. For example, IEC – a standards organisation for electrotechnical equipment – has for several years now collected reliable and up-to-date measurement data on climatic and mechanical conditions, and, most importantly, published technical reports on vibration and shock stresses occurring on different means of transport.
KaVo Kerr's packaging was tested in accordance with the requirements specified in the IEC 60721 series of classification standards. The standard contains worldwide climatic requirements based on different climate categories and recommendations on stress levels on the most common means of transport.
Training increases the knowledge of the staff
KaVo Kerr also wanted to train its staff to understand the stresses during transport, testing of packaging, and the test requirements specified in different standards. Olavi Nevalainen, Leading Expert at VTT Expert Services, arranged a separate training event for the company's mechanical designers and persons responsible for transport. There were a total of around thirty participants, and in addition to the actual theory component, they got to witness the testing of an actual transport package in conditions with vibration matching an actual transport situation.
VTT Expert Services as a packaging tester
Our long experience and versatile testing facilities offer solutions for different transport conditions and the packaging design of the product. Our testing laboratory is accredited for the testing of packages, and its scope of accreditation includes a comprehensive selection of testing methods compliant with the different standards.
Read more abput packaging testins
Read more about KaVo Kerr Group Finland