Preparing for Market with Testers
Leaks, tears, and holes can mean disaster—but not if you catch them before the package leaves the plant.
Package testers are getting better and better. They're getting faster, more accurate, and easier to use. Some manufacturers have improved the data retention on their machines, allowing them to store and work with more information. Displays can alert the user not only to the existence of a problem, but also to the time and location of the problem. Finally, some manufacturers are building systems that are customized to the user's particular container type and size.
A light stability and weathering tester tests materials for durability fastness by exposing them to full-spectrum xenon arc light. The Q-SUN Xenon Test Chamber checks packaging materials for delamination, embrittlement, strength loss, and yellowing. Inks can be checked for fading and color change. Two models are available: a table-top tester and a self-standing tester. Q-Panel Lab Products, Cleveland.
One easy-to-use instrument provides test modes for both seal strength and leak tests. Film and foil packs are tested quickly for any leaks in the seals by a pressure-decay test that can detect leaks of 12 µm or smaller. A graphic plot of the pressure curve is shown on a large, high-contrast LCD. Data from the tests are stored in a 1000-result memory, and SQC analysis performed on the data log is presented as control charts or a histogram. T. M. Electronics Inc., Worcester, MA.
A portable helium leak detector features an oil-free diaphragm and molecular drag pump, making it suitable for use in cleanrooms and other environments where contamination is a concern. The MS-40 DRY Leak Detector has automated operation, calibration, and shutdown. A built-in temperature-compensated leak standard ensures accurate measurements and is traceable to NIST. The company offers a five-year warranty. Veeco Instruments Inc., Plainview, NY.
One hundred fifty filled pouches per minute can be leak tested with an on-line inspection system that offers test sensitivity to 0.006 in. Precise, repeatable, and reliable results offer real-time problem identification. The system features automatic rejection of leaking pouches. Packaging Technologies & Inspection, Tuckahoe, NY.
A dual-channel leak-testing instrument doubles productivity by conducting two tests simultaneously, eliminating the need to add a second independent leak tester. The company's newest version of its M-1075 leak detector retains more data than earlier models, saving up to 1000 test records for display, printout, or downloading. The unit can perform statistical calculations on stored data to report mean, standard deviation, and mean ±3 standard deviation for quality management programs. InterTech Development Co., Skokie, IL.
A porous package sterile integrity test system allows a medical device company to test and document the sterile integrity of every package before it is shipped to customers. Sealcheck 210 detects leaks as small as 1–2 mil, then reports the location of leaks in the seal between the porous membrane and tray or pouch, as well as leaks in the wall of the tray or pouch. Incomplete seal conditions can also be detected. True Technology Inc., Newton, MA.