by Stacy Bruce
You arrive in Hong Kong after a flight so long you’re not sure what day it is anymore. You disembark, rubbing the sleep from your eyes. All you can think of is the warm embrace of the bed waiting for you at your hotel. There’s just one more thing to do–grab your suitcase.
You’re waiting for what seems like an eternity with all the other restless travelers when the bags start to roll out on the conveyor belt. You start to think they might have lost your bag, but then you spot it!
Feeling just a bit more awake now, you get into position to grab the suitcase that you bought new for the trip. Your hand closes around the handle as you struggle briefly to pull the bag from the luggage carousel. Just when you think you’ve got it, the seam around the zipper tears apart and your clothes rain down like confetti.
Many of us have had a bad experience with buying a cheaply made bag. Chances are that cheap bag wasn’t tested for quality and durability before leaving the factory that made it. And whether you’re an importer of bags or an end consumer, it pays to be familiar with these simple tests for bags and suitcases typically carried out during product inspection.
A bag’s ability to withstand a certain weight without falling apart is essential. The good news is that the load test used for this is easy to perform and doesn’t require special equipment. It’s also among the most standard tests for bags and suitcases.
The load test is performed on bags with handles. A solid-made bag is typically manufactured to carry more than the maximum load printed on the rating label.
To carry out the load test for a bag:
|Bag Size |
(length + width)
|< 25||< 64||20||9.1|
|25 – 45||64 – 114||30||13.6|
|> 45||> 114||50||22.7|
Bags with handles often need to withstand a sudden force. For example, if you go to lift a bag quickly, you want to be sure that pulling on the handles suddenly won’t rip the bag. With this in mind, the jerk test is one of the most important tests for bags and suitcases product inspectors will often perform before a bag ships.
To carry out the jerk test for a bag with handles:
Just as a bag’s handles are important for carrying a bag, other parts are intended to keep the contents of the bag inside during transport. Tests for bags and suitcases should also include fatigue testing designed to check the durability of the bag’s fasteners.
To carry out fatigue testing:
The abuse test is performed on the straps and buckles of shoulder bags and laptop cases. This test checks tensile strength, the amount of direct force the strap and buckles can withstand when being pulled. Abuse testing is especially important for bags and laptop cases with a single strap, since weight is not distributed to a second strap.
To carry out the abuse test:
Some tests for bags and suitcases are meant to simulate rough handling experienced during travel. Luggage, in particular, is often roughly tossed around as it’s loaded and unloaded at airports and hotels. The item drop test is an important test that aims to make sure your luggage isn’t broken or damaged during transit.
To conduct the item drop test for luggage:
There are a variety of tests that should be performed on your bags during product inspection before they leave the factory that manufactures them. These five tests will help you ensure your bags are able to withstand everyday use.
Whether they’ll be used for hauling school books, carrying groceries or will be shaken up in the cargo hold of an airplane, consider the value of your bag’s contents when deciding how important quality is to you. And if you’re an importer of bags, be sure to incorporate the relevant on-site tests for bags and suitcases in your next product inspection.
Stacy Bruce is a Client Manager at InTouch Manufacturing Services, a QC firm that performs product inspections and factory audits in Asia for clients in the US, EU and Australia.
Want to know how to work with factories to produce your unique products? Join the Smart China Sourcing Summit to learn sourcing best practices, April 17-19, 2016. Co-located with Global Sources 3,000-booth trade show in Hong Kong. Learn more at http://www.GlobalSources.com/summit