As part of a tour at the brand-new test facility, an Amcor lab technician puts a bag of dogfood in a cardboard box, which he then fills with plastic air cushions. The package is consequently pounded to the ground nine times in a dropping machine, before being shaken for two hours on a vibratory plate. Finally, the cardboard package is pressed firmly together by another harness.
“In this way we simulate what an average package has to endure after it has been ordered online and shipped,” says Lab Technician Kenneth Anciaux. He then goes on to inspect the box for any damage worth mentioning and opens the suit: the bag of dogfood has survived the hours-long ordeal without tearing, allowing it to receive an ISTA certificate. “Some packaging fails the test,” adds Ingo Baeyens, head of Amcor's research and development labs in Europe. “Caps or nozzles are often the weakest links in the chain. When they fail, the customer receives a product that is leaking or torn.”