Our plywood boxes, which are destined for logistic loops, different types of products, different transport methods and also for export, require not only customization but also approval, depending on the transported material and their destination. These different technical requirements in relation to the safety of goods and people involves approvals performed by authorized partners. For several decades, we have been relying on the Belgian Packaging Institute, a testing laboratory accredited according to ISO 17025, in particular for testing packaging for hazardous products in compliance with UN regulations. This is the opportunity to have a look at all the services provided.
Compression and vibration: essential tests for our plywood boxes
Whether they have to be approved or not, all of our plywood boxes must undergo various tests to guarantee their resistance as well as the safety of goods and people during storage and/or transport. It is essential for our customers to have approved boxes.
Therefore, the following tests are carried out at the Belgian Packaging Institute’s test stations:
- Compression tests
- Vibration tests
- Drop tests
- Tests for the approval of boxes intended for the transport of dangerous goods.
The compression and vibration tests of plywood boxes are performed by the Physical Testing Department. They allow us to test the stacking resistance of the boxes, which means that they are stacked on top of each other, generating additional compression. In order to reduce space during storage or transport, it is very important for our customers to know the real compression strength of the boxes.
Vibration tests are carried out for the use of packaging in the United States, to comply with CFR 49 legislation. This involves simulating different transport conditions, whether by road (ADR), rail (RID), ship (IMDG) or air (IAT). In addition, vibration tests are also mandatory for large volume packaging (IBCs) above 400kg.
Tests for the approval of boxes intended for the transport of dangerous goods
As we have seen in one of our previous articles, the packaging and transport of hazardous goods are specifically governed by national, European and international regulations and must have a packaging code according to the UN approval system. It is therefore within this specific framework that our approved boxes must be used. The Belgian Institute of Packaging is the only one accredited to carry out this official approval, which requires a 4-digit UN code as well as the coding of the packaging group on each box. Additional requirements may be recommended in terms of packaging instructions, such as specific inner packaging.
Our long-term collaboration with the Belgian Packaging Institute is carried out through our design office, which is in charge of all approval projects, from the specifications to the drop test. We have a drop test station to test boxes for the transport of regulated materials. These tests are not only supervised by our partner IBE but also by other approved institutes such as the Bureau des Verifications Techniques (BVT) and the Laboratoire Nationale de Métrologie et d’Essais (LNE). To ensure that the tests are approved and conducted under optimal conditions, an audit is carried out every year. The drop tests also allow the strength and solidity of the plywood boxes to be tested and corrective actions to be taken for optimization purposes. In-house drop testing is a contractual obligation for manufacturers.
In a context of globalization and increased security, the approval of plywood boxes for transport and logistic loops is an essential process for our customers who have trusted us for more than 60 years. Our design office is in charge of scrupulously carrying out the various specifications from all sectors, and it is for this reason that we are currently able to offer more than 50 4DV approved models (plywood boxes), some of which can carry up to 400 kg of dangerous materials. The compliance of these boxes with the standards in force could not be done without the collaboration with partners such as the IBE or the BVT.
We would like to thank Dimitri De Valk, Head of Department of Dangerous Packaging at IBE, for giving us an interview about all the services provided at their test center.