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Testing and Technical Services

Helping to better predict performance during your distribution cycle.

PCA has the ability to perform a wide variety of materials and package testing.

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Materials Testing and Optimization

Our technical staff regularly tests paper and combined board to validate that the highest-quality raw materials go into what we manufacture for our customers.

Packaging and Unit Load Testing

In our packaging lab, we test finished boxes and unit loads (with and without contents) in ways that simulate how they are used. Our technicians also help support various customer packaging validation programs.

International Safe Transit Association (ISTA) Certified Testing

Our labs can perform a wide variety of ISTA test procedures on both individual packages and unit loads and displays. The most common ISTA test procedures are for packaged products weighing 150 pounds or less.

  • ISTA 1A covers integrity testing for packaged products. It is not designed to simulate environmental occurrences.
  • ISTA 3A is for individual packaged products shipped through a parcel delivery system.
  • ISTA 3L is for packages fulfilled and shipped by e-commerce retailers via parcel or less-than-truckload (LTL) methods.
  • ISTA 6 series protocols are member performance tests created to simulate Amazon, Sam’s Club and FedEx distribution environments.

SIOC (Ships-in-Own-Container) Testing

Amazon has published “Frustration-Free Packaging (FFP) Program Certification Guidelines.” PCA technicians are well versed and experienced with these tests and documentation procedures.

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Innovation lives here

Research and Innovation Center

Centrally located in Vernon Hills, Illinois, our state-of-the-art Research and Innovation Center coordinates PCA’s packaging engineering resources.

In addition to our testing capabilities, this team provides a variety of technical, package engineering, development and consultative services.

Our team leads new product development initiatives, helps troubleshoot unique packaging optimization solutions and provides technical consultation on packaging and distribution systems.