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Home Shopping Network (HSN) Package Testing

HSN describes package integrity testing as one of the most important evaluations required in the QA process. ISTA 3A and ASTM D4169 are industry standard testing protocols to validate HSN packages.

As an ISTA and ISO 17025 certified lab, we realize the importance of HSN testing. Meeting the Home Shopping Network’s package testing requirements can be difficult. We understand the challenges and guide companies through the process.

Keystone provides comprehensive reports shortly after completion of the testing. Our proven process helps avoid product launch delays. We have a reputation of helping customers achieve their package certifications. Keystone Compliance creates an accurate test plan to eliminate expensive over-testing. Lastly, Keystone takes a consultative approach throughout the entire test program. 

Request a quote and find out first hand about our competitive pricing, timely process, and outstanding reputation. Have a question about ISTA or ASTM package testing standards? Contact us and we will determine the best course of action.

Summary of HSN Packaging Protocols

For most products, manufacturers will contract testing prior to submitting products to HSN. This will assist in uncovering any package deficiencies before submitting the sample or spec for package evaluation. This will ultimately ensure that there are no delays in the HSN QA process.

HSN uses ISTA 3A and ASTM D4169, shock, vibration, and compression testing to validate packaging.

Though this testing is not a substitute for ISTA 3A, drop testing procedures can be used to help guide manufacturers with package development. The packaged product must be dropped on a hard surface on all aspects of orientation. This includes its corners, edges and faces.

It is crucial that the correct carton construction and board strength are used to lessen the occurrence of compression damage or any other type of damage that may occur.

Shock is described as manual handling and during transportation. Vibration damage usually occurs during transportation as well. Lastly, compression damage may occur when other units or items are stacked on top of the package product. This may either be in the warehouse or during transportation. Products must be protected from shock, vibration, and compression throughout its entire distribution cycle. 

ISTA Series 3A Package Integrity Testing

ISTA 3 testing can help shorten package development time and increase confidence in product launches. The products will be better protected resulting in less damage during transportation and less returns which leads to higher profits. Less damage will increase customer satisfaction and achieve package validation.

The packaging standards are standard, small, flat and elongated packages. ISTA 3A includes an optional test combining Random Vibration under Low Pressure (simulated high altitude). This tests the container’s (whether primary package or transport package) ability to hold a seal of closure and the retention of contents (liquid, powder or gas) without leaking.

ISTA 3A tests require one test sample be tested unless the product is considered to be fragile or liquid. A fragile product is defined as an item that could easily break when dropped without having protective packaging

Click on the provided links for more information on ISTA Series 3 and a general overview of ISTA package testing.

ASTM D4169 Package Integrity Testing Protocols

The ASTM D4169 standard package test method outlines a test plan of anticipated transportation hazards. These hazards replicate the shipping container stress as a form of packaging performance testing.

An ASTM D4169 test lab provides a guide for the evaluation of shipping units in accordance with a uniform system, using established test methods at levels representative of those occurring in actual distribution. The recommended test levels are based on available information on the shipping and handling environment, and current industry/government practice and experience.

For more information on ASTM package testing requirements, click on the presented link.

HSN Carton Construction and Requirements

The Home Shopping Network requires that the product is effectively transported without damage. This requires that the product be properly packaged in the appropriate carton(s). These cartons must meet the following requirements:

  • All cartons should be the appropriate size and shape to the items being shipped.
  • All re-shipper cartons must be of consistent dimensions and weight for each Sku.
  • All re-shipper and master cartons must be sealed with tape that is at least 2 inches wide.
  • All cartons must be constructed of A-flute, B-flute, or C-flute corrugated materials. E- and F- flute materials are not permitted.
  • Corrugation of the carton must run vertically when the carton is intended to be shipped or stacked.
  • Carton flaps must be on the top or bottom face of the carton while in this orientation.
  • Cartons should be non-glossy, kraft-colored board with minimal print.

Depending on the distribution cycle, the necessary carton strength is needed to ensure your package meets HSN package integrity requirements.

Keystone Compliance Provides Expert ISTA and ASTM Package Testing

In addition to ISTA and ASTM testing, Keystone Compliance has a full scope of expertise including sterile barrier, accelerated aging, and drop. We can accommodate flexible and rigid packages of all sizes, including large pallets. Keystone has a full lab of test equipment which permits us to provide short lead times on scheduling.

Contact us to learn first hand why so many companies partner with Keystone to achieve their international package and certification needs.