1 - How is a test organized?
The first step is to establish which type(s) of test to be performed. Whenever there are product specifications, the customer must communicate them to Centrotecnica before proceeding to the next steps; if research tests must be carried out on the product, we work hand in hand with our commercial technicians to identify a suitable test campaign; if we know the sector of use without having specifications in hand, we support the customer in identifying an appropriate standard. If live or operating checks or drives are required, the details must be defined with our team.
The second step is for the Centrotecnica team to produce a test program to be submitted to the client’s approval.
At this point, the test(s) can be planned and the sample(s)can be sent to the laboratory.
2 - Must the sample be supplied in advance?
It is also always advisable to deliver the sample in advance in order to have time to verify the condition of the sample and its real dimensions and to make sure that the set up has been performed correctly.
Moreover, nearly all the regulations about distribution tests, require a period of acclimatization at the test laboratory that ranges from 12 to 48 hours. Upon an express request that must be reported, such acclimatization period can be avoided (for reasons of urgency, for example).
3 - How many equivalent samples must be tested?
For prototype study phases usually only 1 is sufficient. Consulting the test specifications is always advised, however. For example from 3 to 5 parcels are highly advised for transport tests, depending on the standard being applied.
4 - Who decides whether or not the test has been passed?
The criteria to establish whether or not the samplepasses the test are established by the client, who is the only party with in-depth knowledge of the product, the reason for testing, the part of the product to test, and its end use. In some cases, these criteria are defined in detail in the test specifications; in other cases, they are defined by the regulatory agencies.
Whenever conditions arise for which the test must be interrupted, it is highly recommended that they becommunicated to the laboratory.
Centrotecnica can provide support in identifying such criteria and guiding the client in pinpointing any critical aspects.
5 - Can tests be attended?
Yes. Intention to attend a test must be communicated in advance in order to permit the management of spaces from a health (social distancing, room ventilation) and to ensure the confidentiality to all tests that may be in progress simultaneously.
6 - Can tests be performed also on samples containing hazardous material?
Cases such as these must be analyzed case by case with the sharing of the material’s technical data sheet and all safety information. Whenever possible, and whenever permitted by test specifications, substituting such hazardous material with other material of equal mass is advised.
7 - What information does a test report provide?
A test report is a document that containsthe description of the sample, the reference standards, the test program, the description of the test procedure with the programming parameters, the description of the machines used, the control equipment, and the measuring instruments with the respective calibration references.
The conditions of the samples being tested are described and photographically documented both during and at the end of testing. The responses of the samples being tested and the test cycles are documented by charts and tables (1).
Test reports can be provided in Italian or English (2).
Note 1: the test report shows the final conditions of the samples and their instrumental response but does not provide the outcome of the test, which, as per point 4, is in the hands of the customer or the certifying agencies.
Note 2: whenever the tests are performed to the standards required for ISTA certification, the report is provided on a format imposed by the certification agency (in English only).