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ISBT Success Stories

David Scheuerman, Ball Packaging
Packaging Technical Representative

The Need for Standardized Canned Product Drop Test Methodology

David Scheuerman

I have been a member of the ISBT for more than 25 years and I currently serve as the Nontraditional Beverages Technical Committee Chair.

In the late 1980's, there was significant variation in aluminum canned product dynamic performance when the cans were dropped, known as dome reversals, and how the cans were tested. This meant that any supplier or end user could set the performance criteria of the cans independently and created a lot of confusion. A major beverage producer had a testing procedure for comparing drop resistance between can manufacturers, but the method did not accurately predict actual field performance! Obviously, a better method, respected by the whole industry, was needed to indicate actual dynamic can dome resistance.

Representatives from every can manufacturer at the time and all major beverage producers joined the International Society of Beverage Technologist Can & End Drop Test Subcommittee. I was asked to lead the subcommittee. Through democratic decision making and actual experimental testing, we standardized on a method that was chosen by the majority of the subcommittee members. And the procedure accurately predicted actual field performance! The subcommittee submitted the method to the Quality Control Methodology Committee and the Drop Test Method was published in their Manual of Standard Methods. Since then, the beverage industry has had a standard method for fairly evaluating can samples from every manufacturer. Ultimately, it lead to the industry recommendation that encased aluminum canned product not be dropped more than 3" during distribution.

The major benefit the ISBT provides to the beverage industry is to provide a forum where suppliers and beverage producers can meet and agree on common quality testing procedures and needed specifications.

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