Packaging Resource Center: The Latest in Package Testers
A company offers a benchtop version of a system designed to measure residual headspace oxygen and absolute package leak rate. The Pac Check Model 840 package integrity system was engineered in response to customer requests for a system with a more powerful pump for faster test results. The system is designed to produce an absolute leak number based on the application of Poiseuille’s law, which yields a total hole-diameter leak size based on measurements of pressure and flow. The system can store up to 240 data points and can send information to a computer via an RS-232 data line. Mocon Inc., Minneapolis, MN; 763/493-6370; www.mocon.com.
E-Nose and E-Tongue
Electronic noses and tongues are instruments designed to measure and analyze pharmaceutical and nutraceutical odors and tastes. The instruments aid in quality control and analyze the interactions between product and packaging. Gas sensors in the devices detect odors, which are then analyzed by software. The electronic nose provides either qualitative responses to samples such as “recognized,” “good,” or “bad,” or quantitative responses to odor intensity and molecule concentration. The electronic tongue uses the same principle, but the system analyzes a liquid matrix after sensors are dipped directly into the liquid sample. Various statistical-calculation techniques classify the odors based on sensory panels, and the system predicts the likely human response to the
sample. Alpha MOS America, Hanover, MD; 410/553-9736; www.alphamos.com.
A company offers two permeability testers for a range of laboratory and production applications. The Lyssy OPT-5000 oxygen-transmission-rate tester features automated temperature control and single- or dual-side relative humidity control. It is operated using a touch screen. It also features test-sample holders designed to eliminate the need for grease or other lubricant fixatives. It measures in units of ml/m2/24 hr. Test documentation with error loggings is traceable. The Lyssy L80-5000 water-vapor tester extends from 0.03 to 10,000 g/m2/24 hr. It features a humidity sensor that measures samples directly within the test chamber. The testing process measures the time required for the upper-chamber humidity to increase within a predefined interval caused by the permeation of water vapor through the test film or foil. PBI-Dansensor America Inc., Glen Rock, NJ; 201/ 251-6490; www.pbi-dansensor.us.
A universal material tester can be used to test parts of a single-use, needle-free injection system. The 2.5-kN LRX single-column universal tester is designed to run multiple tests based on extension or compression testing, whereby an increasing load is applied to a component, such as an autoinjector, during testing via a special probe until it reaches a breaking limit. The PC-controlled instrument features Nexygen MT materials and data-analysis software as well as Ondio application-builder software. Ametek Calibration Instruments, Largo, FL; 727/536-7831; www.ametekcalibration.com.
A provider of testing services offers vibration testing in transportation, operating, and storage environments. Storage-environment testing simulates external factors such as operating equipment and air conditioning within a storage facility. The vibration-testing procedure involves placing the product or package on a vibration-testing table. Hydraulic vibration is used for larger loads and lower frequency testing (1 to 500 Hz). Electrodynamic vibration is used for high-frequency testing (20 to 10,000 Hz). DDL Inc., Eden Prairie, MN; 952/941-9226; www.testedandproven.com.
A real-time x-ray inspection system is designed to support process and quality control procedures in production environments to help companies meet good manufacturing process requirements. The MedaScope is able to identify flaws in products made of soft materials such as molded plastics, rubber, and silicones. It can also inspect ceramic and metal devices. It features a high-resolution, patented MXRA x-ray microscope technology capable of variable-image magnification up to 20 times to produce highly detailed images. The system is available in a console version with an x-y positioner. A portable desktop version that weighs 45 lb is also offered. Glenbrook Technologies Inc., Randolph, NJ; 973/361-8866; www.glenbrooktech.com.
A variable-frequency metal detector is designed to provide a high-degree of metal-detecting accuracy for packagers with multiproduct requirements. The IQ3 analyzes packaging material, temperature, and moisture. The device reviews a broad band of frequencies and offers the one best suited for the specific application within seconds. This frequency-selection process is designed to eliminate operator error and allow for a variety of products to be run through the same unit. It uses case and coil geometry to provide immunity from vibration, electrical interference, and thermal shock to reduce the possibility of false positives. This model offers faster delivery times than previous units because it no longer requires detailed product information before its detector is built. Loma Systems Inc., Carol Stream, IL; 630/681-2050; www.loma.com.