Drop testing is used for many products, as they are under risk of being dropped during use, handling and shipping. During production the parts and product is under your control, but ones it is shipped it is out of your control, and any damage during for example shipping will come in as a warranty claim.
Another scenario is damage during a products life time, take for example a mobile phone, and consider how often an average user drops it.
Types of Drop Testing
There are several types of standards used for drop testing. If looking at the mobile phone example from earlier, then testing will consist of repeated random drops from 1 and 0.5 meters. This is usually done by placing the device inside a chamber of a given height, and turning it 180 degrees at a given speed per drop.
Another method is a guided drop test as seen on the picture below, where a device is dropped on a given corner or edge. Usually a drop profile is created to cover all corners and edges, and damage is recorded after each drop.
Information from Drop Testing
The drop testing should be designed to provide information reflecting user patterns or potential incidents during shipping. For comparison, then you would expect a mobile phone should withstand more drops than for example a television.
When drop testing product in their original packaging, it should reflect scenarios covering rough manual handling during loading/un-loading, drop from a pallet when moved or placed on a shelf etc.
Also the surface the item is dropped on would play a significant role in terms of damage.
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