Military Drop Test - MIL-STD-810G Compliance Testing
MIL-STD-810G is one of the major factors to consider when determining what rugged tablet is suitable for your needs. But not all MIL-STD-810G testing is the same. In fact, there is no actual set of regulations used to test for drop resistance. So how do you know what the company does to test for MIL-STD-810G? By staying vigilant.
Companies will eagerly tell you how their products are MIL-STD-810G drop tested. The trouble is, more times than not a company won’t say how they tested a product. Companies can send their products off to be tested, but this is not required. There are some conventions that will almost undoubtable be adhered to, but beyond that there is no regulation as to how they test their products.
The main convention companies follow is the device must be dropped on all sides, edges, and surfaces which equals 26 drops. That is specifically stated in MIL-STD-810G. Beyond that, companies can essentially test however they choose.
That’s why transparency is so important here at MobileDemand. We adhere to specific guidelines when testing our devices. This ensures that our products will be rugged enough to withstand your industry.
One of the things we do that many companies don’t while testing is keeping the device on during the entire test. MIL-STD-810G is originally designed for products in transit, so many companies perform their tests with the device off. They only turn them on to ensure they’re still operational between each drop.
At MobileDemand, we understand that most drops take place while the device is active, so we do our test with the device on. All 26 drops.
Another thing we do is always reveal our drop height. Many companies will claim MIL-STD-810G but not reveal their drop height. This means their device might meet MIL-STD-810G qualifications, but only for a 2-foot drop. At MobileDemand, we always disclose our drop height, which have ranged from 4 feet up to 10 feet.
Another extra step we take here at MobileDemand has to do with the number of devices we use during our testing. According to MIL-STD-810G regulations, in order to be qualify 1 of 5 devices must survive the drops. For example, if the first device made it through drops 1-12 but broke on 13, then the second device would start on drop 13 and continue on until it either makes it through the rest of the drops or breaks and is replaced by the next device. As long as one device is working at the end of all 26 drops, then the device qualifies can be certified.
How often will a mobile worker be carrying around five devices at a time? In the field, if one device falls and breaks, that is usually all the mobile worker has. That’s why MobileDemand puts a single device through all 26 drops. A single device must survive all 26 drops and still be functional in order for us to pass it.
There is only one product that we have tested that we needed to use more than one device. The reason we were willing to use more than one was due to the height from which we were dropping it. It was for our iPad 9.7-inch case. It survived all 26 drops from 8-feet. So, we pushed the boundaries of the case to new heights, dropping it from an astounding 10-feet. There were two devices that failed through the 26 drops.
Our device still passed MIL-STD-810G based on the standard guidelines, but not by our ordinary standards. Yet it’s still difficult not to be impressed by the height from which the iPad case was able to keep the device safe. Transparency is key when it comes to describing the durability of a rugged device. If you’re looking for rugged tablets or other devices and the company is not willing to put forth how they test it, be cautious. It’s very possible that what they’re claiming isn’t what they’re truly selling.