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For a company in any sector, prioritizing cargo stability in distribution not only can impact profit margins significantly, but can directly impact in transportation safety.

According to Forbres Advisor, in 2021, the United States witnessed a significant number of accidents involving large trucks, with a total of 523,796 such incidents recorded. This marked a noticeable increase from the previous year, 2020, which saw 415,444 large truck accidents.

That wgy, those companies investing in acceleration sled equipment see a higher percentage of benefits. These load stability test systems play a crucial role in transporting goods and managing loads, thanks to their ability to conduct acceleration and deceleration tests.

However, what exactly is an acceleration test and how can it benefit a company? Furthermore, does it work the same for all products?

What is an acceleration sled equipment?

This equipment, essential in the packaging and transport simulation industry, is designed to test, measure, and evaluate the durability and stability of products under various stress conditions.

The acceleration sled, a cornerstone in this domain, is known for its robust and precise performance, efficiently mimicking the dynamic forces products encounter during transportation.

Simulate long-duration, low-frequency input forces associated with vehicle accelerating, turning and braking.

How to perform a load acceleration test with an acceleration sled equipment?

In order to carry out these acceleration tests, it is necessary to select the appropriate machinery (in this case a horizontal stability tester) and the methodology to be followed to perform the test. In the following sections we are going to deal with both points.

Methods to perform the acceleration test for palletized loads

When performing the horizontal acceleration test, the most widespread practice is to follow the methods described in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) in USA, and the EUMOS 40509 standard in Europe.

The objective of these methodologies is to quantify the rigidity of each unit load, understood as the indivisible load that is protected by the packaging, for example a pallet.

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR)

The U.S. government has established a detailed set of regulations known as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) to enhance truck safety. These regulations are widely adopted by most states. A key aspect of the FMCSRs is the mandate for drivers of commercial motor vehicles to be adept in correctly handling and securing cargo, emphasizing the risks associated with improper cargo securement.

Included in the FMCSRs are both broad guidelines aimed at preventing the loss or shifting of loads and very specific, detailed requirements regarding the type and condition of equipment used for cargo securement. Generally, the FMCSRs stipulate that cargo must be secured firmly to prevent it from falling off, spilling, leaking, or being blown off the truck. Furthermore, to prevent hazardous cargo movement, these regulations demand that loads be secured or immobilized sufficiently to ensure they do not compromise the truck’s maneuverability or stability.

EUMOS 40509 Standard

Eumos 40509 is the standard that describes in detail all acceleration test conditions, including deformation and pallet stability criteria as well as test certification specifications.

This standard is included in Annex 3 of the above-mentioned directive 2014/47/EU, thus being the globally most accepted method for cargo stability testing during transport.

Load Placement: Position the load to be tested on the platform of a horizontal stability machine.
Secure the Unit Load as in Transport: Ensure the load is wrapped in the manner it would be during actual transport to ensure the test’s representativeness.
Application of Acceleration:

  • Apply the required acceleration to the platform in the direction of the load for a minimum of 0.3 seconds, followed by deceleration.
  • Ensure the transition from rest to acceleration occurs within a maximum of 0.05 seconds.
Additional support if necessary:  Optionally, add a support with a maximum height of 2.5 cm to prevent load slipping during the test.
Measurement Post-Test:

  • After the test, measure both elastic deformation (using high-speed cameras with a minimum of 80 frames/second) and permanent deformation.
  • Compare the measurements with the relevant limits.
Packaging Integrity: Confirm that the packaging remains undamaged throughout the testing process.
Deflection Assessment: If the deflection is within the specified limits, consider the load as rigid for the acceleration direction tested.
Certification and Labeling: Once pallet stability is certified, accompany the certification with a label displaying pertinent test information.

The maximum deformation limits are: elastic deformation of 10% and plastic deformation of 5% of the load height, being the elastic deformation the one that is recovered when the acceleration ends and the plastic deformation the one that remains permanently.

Importance of load acceleration sled to achieve cargo securing

Acceleration tests are the best way to prevent accidents caused by load stability problems. In other words, its implementation translates into greater safety for drivers and a lower economic loss due to both load damage and accidents.

These stability tests are able to replicate very closely to reality the acceleration conditions to which the load is subjected during transport, so that the stability of the load and the protection capacity of the packaging can be studied prior to its preparation for transport.

Benefits of load acceleration test for business

The benefits of acceleration tests clearly justify the investment in them. The following are the main ones:

Reduction in Personal Injuries: The decrease in accidents leads to fewer personal injuries, which can vary from minor to fatal.
Decrease in Direct and Indirect Costs: This includes lower material costs from accidents, reduced loss of goods, and savings on indirect costs like accident insurance and sick leave.
Compliance with Regulations: Adherence to the European directive 2014/47/EU and EUMOS 40509 standard is achieved.
Improved Road Safety: This is crucial as traffic accidents are a major cause of non-disease-related deaths in Europe.
Higher Customer Satisfaction: Ensuring the safe, reliable, and smooth transportation of goods leads to increased satisfaction among customers.

The critical role of acceleration sleds in modern product safety testing

The adaptability of this equipment is remarkable, as it can be customized and tailored to suit a wide range of products, from fragile electronics to bulky industrial goods. This customization is not just about altering physical dimensions; it involves a comprehensive approach, including modifying the sled’s speed, impact levels, and the duration of the test to accurately replicate specific transportation scenarios. Such versatility ensures that each product, regardless of its material or packaging, undergoes a thorough and specialized testing process, enhancing the product’s reliability and safety.

The acceleration sled equipment is a symbol of efficiency in the testing process. Its design flexibility and the ability to simulate a range of conditions make it a cost-effective solution for companies. By accurately assessing product durability and stability, it helps in reducing the risk of product failures and recalls, thereby saving costs associated with product damages and warranty claims.

Acceleration sled equipment for electronic and consumer

In the dynamic world of electronics and technology, the importance of testing to ensure the integrity of electronic products is more crucial than ever. These devices, known for their sensitivity to impacts and vibrations, require rigorous load stability tests to ensure they reach consumers intact.

In 2021, the electronics industry experienced a significant increase in demand for devices intended for remote work and home entertainment. This surge put additional pressure on supply chains to maintain product integrity during transportation. Leading companies like Samsung and Apple, renowned for their constant innovation in packaging, have invested significantly in these tests.

This commitment not only reflects their dedication to quality but also ensures the safety and satisfaction of customers for every device that travels from the factory to the end user.

acceleration sled equipment

Acceleration sled equipment for the automotive sector

In the automotive industry, the importance of conducting tests to ensure the integrity of automotive parts is paramount. These parts, often large and heavy, require careful handling to prevent damage that could compromise their functionality. Stability tests are crucial to ensure that automotive parts arrive in perfect condition at their destination.

With the increasing shift towards electric vehicles, there has been a particular focus on the safe transportation of critical components like batteries, which are both sensitive and valuable.

A notable example of this practice is the German company BMW, which has implemented advanced packaging and logistics systems. These measures are vital to ensure that their components arrive undamaged at the assembly lines, a crucial aspect of maintaining the efficiency and quality of the final product.

Acceleration sled equipment

Acceleration sled equipment for the pharmaceutical sector

In the pharmaceutical and healthcare sector, the importance of conducting tests to ensure the integrity and efficacy of pharmaceutical products is critical. Many of these products are fragile and extremely sensitive to temperature variations and movement, making stability tests essential.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the logistics of vaccine distribution posed a colossal challenge, highlighting the need for strict cold chain conditions during transportation. In the pharmaceutical industry, load stability tests are fundamental, especially for products that require controlled temperature conditions. Companies like Pfizer and Moderna, in the context of COVID-19 vaccine distribution, have underscored the importance of efficient packaging and logistics.

Acceleration sled equipment

Safe Load Testin Technologies’ acceleration sled equipment

This simulation system is designed to replicate long-duration and low-frequency input forces associated with vehicle acceleration, turning, and braking.

Its capabilities encompass simulating forces without impact, focusing on evaluating the stability and integrity of unit load, and determining if it will remain unitized and stable during transport.

Additionally, the tool can quantify both the peak displacement that occurs during test events and the permanent displacement that remains after testing. Optional extended lengths are also available for added performance, allowing adaptation to various needs.

This system also enables users to define acceleration vs. time test input profiles according to their specific requirements.

Meets EUMOS 40509 Requirements and FMCSA Cargo Securement Rules.

The role of acceleration sled equipment in ensuring the stability and integrity of transported unit loads

innSlide Boomerang Acceleration Sled Equipment

Why choose the Boomerang Horizontal Stability Tester?

  • Transportable (by truck or big van)
  • Folding design for transport
  • Easily lifting design (forklift)
  • High-speed camera and software to measure the unit load deformation and creates a report.
  • Touchscreen to command easily the tests.
  • Innovative test method patented to get the same results in less than half stroke.
  • Possibility of including the innVision PRO: artificial vision system, high speed camera and software that records and automatically analyzes the results, generating a report.
More information
The role of acceleration sled equipment in ensuring the stability and integrity of transported unit loads

innSlide Acceleration Sled Equipment

Why choose the Acceleration Sled Equipment?

  • Designed to perform Eumos 40509 test method and US FMCSA Cargo Securement requirements.
  • Includes the innVISION ST system, a high-speed camera and software to measure the unit load deformation and creates a report.
  • The length of the solution can be extended to meet the company needs.
  • Possibility to perform custom tests as the entrance of a truck in a roundabout.
  • Possibility of including the innVision PRO: artificial vision system, high speed camera and software that records and automatically analyzes the results, generating a report.
More information

If your company is exploring solutions in this area, including acceleration testing or related needs, we encourage you to get in touch with us. We’re looking forward to starting a collaborative journey and working together towards your goals.

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