You have probably seen the videos. The package delivery person throws packages 50 feet through the air from the truck to the porch. The dock worker tosses boxes from pallet to pallet. The baggage handler has the “this end up” sticker pointed straight down. Keep in mind, this all happens before the customer gets ahold of the product! Just wait until they knock it off the counter, drop it down the steps or throw it in the trunk.
Regardless of their functionality and purpose, products must be able to withstand a beating. Drop testing is a great way to determine the effectiveness of packaging and the survivability of products. Yes, drop testing requires you to pay us to drop your product from various heights and at different angles onto various surfaces. As unappealing as that might sound, it is significantly cheaper than dealing with damage claims, returns and reputation problems.
Officially, drop testing determines the impact (pun intended) on products and components that drops due to handling, shipping and other events in the field could have. The drop test procedure is essentially an accelerated test to identify structural and mechanical weaknesses. The goal of the test is to identify poor packaging or product designs.
Below is an animation showing the ISTA 6-Amazon.com-SIOC Free Fall Drop testing: