Blogs CCIT

03
Feb 2022

Package Integrity Testing of Flexible Packages Using VeriPac FLEX Series

Package Integrity Testing of Flexible Packages Using VeriPac FLEX Series

The physical ability of a package to protect its contents with the necessary level of protection during a specific time is referred to as package integrity. Package integrity tests are performed to detect packaging issues that might affect the sterility of a medical device. Previously, microbial challenge or dye penetration testing was used to determine whether the product packaging has maintained its microbial barrier qualities. Due to technological advancements, VeriPac FLEX systems are currently being used for testing the package integrity of flexible packages.

VeriPac FLEX Systems to Ensure the Integrity of Flexible Packages

CCIT’s VeriPac FLEX systems are versatile non-destructive package inspection systems that are intended particularly for evaluating dry-filled pouches and flexible packaging. VeriPac FLEX systems are available in several configurations for both the leak test instrument and the test chamber capacity to accommodate various package specifications and test sensitivity requirements. VeriPac inspection systems provide a simple PASS or FAIL result, as well as quantitative test data. They offer unparalleled sensitivity, reliability, and practicality in testing a wide variety of flexible package formats and sizes, without changing settings or tools.

The ASTM technique for vacuum decay leak testing (F2338), which is specified in ISO 11607 and recognized by the FDA as a consensus standard for package integrity test solutions, is used by VeriPac FLEX Systems. As an alternative to destructive testing, they eliminate subjectivity while also reducing waste and cost. When compared to destructive techniques like water bath or blue dye leak test, vacuum decay leak testing technology has proven to provide a quick return on investment. The VeriPac test devices consistently detect significant packaging errors and provide useful packaging process information.

Technology Overview

On the basis of the package size, the VeriPac tester is initially attached to the appropriate FLEX chamber. The Integrated Flexible test Chamber (IFC) and Drawer Style test chamber (D-Series) are the two test chamber configurations available to connect with the VeriPac instrument depending on package specification and test sensitivity requirements. The Integrated Flexible test Chamber (IFC) is designed for low-headspace sachets or stick packs. Depending on the package size and requirements, the Drawer Style test chamber (D-Series) is available in 2 basic sizes: Small (D) and Large (DXL). Custom designs are possible for large packaging types and bulk products. The way the package is tested is what sets VeriPac FLEX systems apart. CCIT makes use of a flexible membrane that fits the shape and size of the package, preventing stress and damage to the film materials. In a single test cycle, several packages can be tested.

VeriPac FLEX System Advantages

  • Non-destructive, non-subjective, no sample preparation
  • Cost-effective with rapid return on investment
  • Accurate and repeatable results
  • USP< 1207> compliant
  • Supports sustainable packaging and zero waste initiatives
  • ASTM test method and FDA standard
  • Deterministic, quantitative test method
  • Simplifies the inspection and validation process

Manufacturers are still struggling with quality standards for flexible packaging. CCIT’s VeriPac FLEX has proven to minimize manufacturing waste and costs while boosting package quality assurance and brand value. It has high test sensitivity and is capable of identifying micro leaks down to the single digit micron range.

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package integrity, package integrity test solutions, cci technologies, ccit, container closure integrity
146
01
Feb 2022

Development and Validation of CCI Testing Method for Pre-filled Syringes

Development and Validation of CCI Testing Method for Pre-filled Syringes

Pre-filled syringes are becoming more popular as a preferred container closure system for biologics. Pre-filled syringes must offer an inherent barrier that maintains drug product stability and sterility throughout its entire shelf life as a primary container closure system. The ability of the system to retain its microbial barrier integrity must be checked and demonstrated by the drug manufacturers. In 2008, the FDA endorsed CCI testing as part of the sterile product stability protocol.

The pharmaceutical industry has witnessed substantial technical developments in CCI testing in response to rising regulatory demands. MicroCurrent HVLD, Vacuum Decay Leak Testing and Helium Leak Detection are examples of new technologies that have proven enhanced detection capabilities above traditional Dye and Microbial Ingress approaches. Many of the technologies have been employed for CCI testing of drug product stability.

CCI Testing Strategy for Development

Many CCI failure modes can occur throughout the life cycle of a syringe, from component production to drug product filling and sealing, device assembly and packaging, and finally distribution and storage. It is critical to create a comprehensive plan for conducting CCI testing across the whole syringe life cycle.

The creation of the CCI testing technique begins with a detailed study of the construction, design, and manufacturing procedures used in syringes. The failure modes and impacts associated with each aspect of CCI were identified first. The next step was to evaluate whether CCI testing is required, as well as the intended uses and testing frequencies, using a risk-based approach. Knowing that the needle shield compartment seal integrity had been verified by the component supplier, apply a non-routine CCI test to validate its seal integrity during drug product loading and sealing, as well as during device assembly. To ensure CCI was achieved and successfully maintained, implement a complete set of CCI tests across the entire product development cycle for the product-containing syringe barrel compartment.

Method Development and Method Validation

Method development consists of optimizing testing parameters and determining the appropriate pass/fail threshold.

  • Testing parameters optimization
  • Initially, several defect standards of known sizes were examined alongside undamaged samples using varied testing conditions. The relationships between key method parameters and instrument responses to intact and defect samples were comprehensively investigated, with the objective of determining a set of variables that give optimal separation between intact and defect samples. i.e. signal-to-noise ratio or SNR.

  • Pass/fail threshold determination
  • The improved method was utilized to evaluate different lots of filled intact syringes representing relevant product variations, such as drug product batches, and packaging locations and lines, in order to define the preliminary pass/fail threshold. For intact samples, the results of the tests were statistically assessed to determine the instrument baseline and variation (σ). Typically, the pass/fail threshold should be 10 σ higher than baseline. The pass/fail threshold was then further refined and verified by testing defect standards of known sizes.

CCI testing techniques were validated for the pharmaceutical product package. Since the drug product formulation and package design may change during the early development stages, a step-by-step approach was adopted to validate the methods in line with the product development stages. Once product design and packaging design are complete, the methods are fully validated to support CCI testing for initial consistency and process evaluation. The power of the additional long-term method may be further validated before this method is implemented in QC laboratories for routine testing.

During package and pharmaceutical product development and manufacturing, properly selected and verified methodologies are critical for demonstrating container closure integrity. It should be noted that existing CCI testing methods do not provide an optimal solution for all pre-filled syringe CCI testing requirements. To maintain total container closure integrity, an integrated solution involving CCI testing as well as additional engineering and administrative controls is required.

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parenteral product leak testing, container closure integrity, CCI testing, CCIT, vacuum decay leak testing
227
24
Jan 2022

A Simple Guide to CCIT Services

A Simple Guide to CCIT Services

The integrity of the container closure system is crucial for ensuring that all portions of pharmaceutical products stay sterile during transportation, storage, and usage. Product contamination occurs as a result of leaking containers or closures. A non-destructive packaging inspection technology used to keep an aseptic barrier against possible contaminants is called Container Closure Integrity Testing (CCIT), commonly known as leak detection. The sterility and product quality of sterile final pharmaceutical and biological products should be maintained throughout their shelf life using container closure systems.

Various CCI Services

For testing the integrity of many package formats, CCIT offers expertise for the application of the best deterministic inspection technologies and test methodologies.

Feasibility Studies for Testing Package Quality

The first stage in evaluating and determining the optimal CCI technology and test technique for a certain application is to conduct an experimental or a more extensive feasibility study. To evaluate if a proposed CCI solution works and establish optimal test circumstances and Limit of Detection (LoD) is the goal of a feasibility study. CCIT’s aim is to provide clients with deterministic package integrity test solutions and help them in the installation of comprehensive CCI systems. This process starts with a client's problem description and ends with a clear approach to ensuring container closure integrity. Feasibility studies by CCIT for package quality testing provide customers with a complete report on the quantitative test technique.

Test Method Development for CCI Testing

CCIT conducts feasibility studies and develops test methods for package quality testing, recommending test methods based on the customer's needs for a given package or container. CCIT's Test Method Development focuses on the package/product characteristics and the extent to which the package attributes must be challenged to ensure closure integrity. The Test Method Development comprises adjusting test parameter settings for a given test method, such as vacuum or high voltage, test cycle periods, and pass/fail criteria. The comprehensive report will include precise test processes and criteria, as well as test findings and leak rates that the customer may expect, along with conclusions and recommendations. Before being included in the final report, all of the worked-out test methods go through validation checks to verify that they are reproducible, accurate, specific, exact, and acceptable for their intended application.

Equipment and Application Support

CCIT offers analytical leak detection services as well as package integrity testing equipment and applications knowledge. We also provide demonstrations on equipment and application services.

At CCIT's laboratory, we have the following technological platforms:

  • VeriPac - Vacuum Decay applications
  • E-Scan - MicroCurrent High Voltage Leak Detection( MicroCurrent HVLD)
  • Seal-Scan®/Seal-Sensor - seal inspection through Airborne Ultrasound

CCIT also offers the following services:

  • Installation, training, and validation services for CCI applications
  • Calibration, technical assistance, and overall equipment maintenance
  • Navigating USP 1207/ASTM/ISO standards - CCIT and regulatory consultancy services

CCIT.s.a is Europe’s leading package testing equipment provider for pharmaceutical, medical device, food, and nutrition companies. We have expertise in Test Method Development & Feasibility Studies. We focus on non-destructive technologies like Vacuum Decay, MicroCurrent HVLD, Airborne Ultrasound, and Helium Leak Detection for package quality testing.

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container closure integrity testing, packaging integrity testing, container closure integrity, cci technologies, ccit
171
29
Jul 2021

Why is Seal Integrity Testing of Medical Device Packaging Important

Why Seal Integrity Testing of Medical Device Packaging is Important

For sterile medical devices, seal integrity testing ensures product efficacy, shelf-life stability, and microbial sterility. Common defects that can threaten the integrity of the seal include voids, wrinkles, dust or other random particles. Hence, inspecting seals after they have been formed is important. Earlier, visual inspection or other destructive testing methods were used for seal quality inspection. However, they lacked accuracy and reliability in test results. But technology is changing. Today, the market offers a range of non-destructive inspection techniques that ensure highly sensitive and reliable seal quality inspection. Even then, the suitability depends on the type of packaging and the size of defect that needs to be inspected.

Relevance of Airborne Ultrasound Technology in Seal Quality Inspection

Airborne Ultrasound technology is a non-destructive container closure integrity testing method, capable of examining seal quality for defects. Such tests are mainly conducted to provide enhanced seal quality inspection of pouches, flexible packages and tray seals. Airborne Ultrasound technology ensures in-depth seal quality analyses and is applicable for multiple packaging materials Tyvek, paper, foil, film, aluminium, plastic and poly. It is an ASTM Test Method F3004 and FDA recognized standard for seal quality testing. According to Oliver Stauffer, CEO of PTI-Packaging Technologies & Inspection, “Ultrasound is one of the only technologies that are telling us what the quality of that physical bonded nature of the seal materials are.”

Under this technology, ultrasound waves are passed through the package seal which causes reflections of sound waves. The signal strength is reduced or eliminated in the presence of a leak/ defect. Such variations are closely observed to identify the leak. Inability to detect non-leak defects is a common challenge faced by most leak test methods. However, with Airborne Ultrasound technology users can identify various types of seal defects; visible and invisible, leaking and non-leaking, process-related and random.

Latest improvements in Airborne Ultrasound Technology are in the form of Seal Scan (Offline) and Seal-Sensor. Both these technologies utilize non-contact airborne ultrasonic testing technology. Seal-Scan® technology has been proven in the field by several online and offline units installed. With the advancements in form of Seal Scan and Seal-Sensor, Airborne Ultrasound technology has been proven to be the most effective method for non-destructive seal integrity testing.

Benefits of Airborne Ultrasound technology

  • Deterministic seal quality inspection technique that assures quantitative and reliable results.
  • Applicable for multiple material types and combinations regardless of color, transparency, print, surface finish or porosity.
  • Eliminates subjective manual inspection methods.
  • Non-destructive, non-subjective, no sample preparation
  • Technology can be integrated for 100% online defect detection of the final pouch seal.
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container closure integrity testing, airborne ultrasound technology, medical device testing, ccit
452
02
Jul 2021

How has VeriPac Systems Raised Standards for Container Closure Integrity Testing

How has VeriPac Systems Raised Standards for Container Closure Integrity Testing

What is Container Closure Integrity Testing?

Container Closure Integrity Testing can be understood as a leak detection test conducted using non-destructive package inspection systems to ensure product stability throughout its shelf life. CCIT plays a major part in ensuring that the products are free from possible contamination. While there are multiple ways to conduct a CCI test, it can be broadly classified into probabilistic and deterministic test methods. Traditional test methods like bubble test, dye ingress and microbial challenge by immersion come under probabilistic test methods. However, upon realizing that such tests lacked accuracy and reliability, The United States Pharmacopeia released guidelines in 2016 stating that deterministic methods ae preferred over probabilistic test methods. Vacuum Decay technology and Airborne Ultrasound technology are among the most preferred deterministic test methods.

VeriPac Test Systems for Effective CCI Testing

The VeriPac test methods are non-destructive, non-invasive inspection system for CCI and package integrity testing. They utilize the ASTM approved patented vacuum decay leak test method recognized by the FDA as a consensus standard for package integrity testing.

This ASTM method was developed using VeriPac leak test instruments and has proven its capabilities under GMP regulatory guidelines. Applications for VeriPac technology include stability studies, clinical trials, quality assurance testing and statistical process control (SPC). VeriPac testers feature the patented PERMA-Vac manifold system and dynamic test modes that provide the ability to test a wide range of package formats. Leak detection of high-risk applications requires the highest level of test measurement reliability. The VeriPac series have redefined the reliability and accuracy of test measurement systems.

How do Veripac Test systems Operate?

VeriPac leak testers connect to a test chamber that is specially designed to contain the package to be tested. The package is placed inside the test chamber to which vacuum is applied. The single or dual vacuum transducer technology is used to monitor the test chamber for both the level of vacuum as well as the change in vacuum over a predetermined test time. The changes in absolute and differential vacuum indicate the presence of leaks and defects within the package. Test systems can be designed for manual or automatic operation. This inspection method is suitable for laboratory offline testing and production applications for QA/QC statistical process control. The test cycle takes only a few seconds, is non-invasive and non-destructive to both product and package, making it an ideal choice for CCI inspection across industries.

Inspection Criteria

  • Seal quality testing of entire container or package
  • Measures and verifies container closure system integrity
  • Tests for gas leaks for dry products (lyophilized vials, powder filled)
  • Tests for liquid leaks (liquid filled vials, pre-filled syringes)
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seal quality inspection, vacuum decay technology, ccit, container closure integrity
545
03
Jun 2021

Vacuum Decay Technology-A Novel Solution for Nutritional Packaging Inspection

Vacuum Decay Technology-A Novel Solution for Nutritional Packaging Inspection

In today's world, with the popularity of health products continuing to rise, manufacturers must ensure products are packed properly. Because of this reason, the universal health-wise regulation has set a fixed standard for nutritional products packaging process. This is for the elimination of defects happening due to innate chemical reactions within the nutritional products. Such defects can expose products to oxygen, moisture or bacteria- compromising its quality and reducing shelf life.

Nutritional products including dairy products and protein powders are mostly shelf stable in nature. The high fat content in dairy products including cream, butter and ghee is prone to deterioration in its storage process, causing auto-oxidative reactions. The defects in the dairy products can be eliminated through proper nutritional packaging inspection only. Similarly, protein-based powders including soy and casein are extensively used as energy sources. Inefficiencies in packaging of such products can have an adverse effect on consumer’s health. Therefore, conducting package integrity testing of nutritional products are vital to eliminate defects in packaging as well as possibility of product contamination.

Vacuum Decay Technology – The Ideal Nutritional Packaging Inspection Solution

Vacuum Decay technology is a deterministic Container Closure Integrity test method for evaluating quality of nutritional product packaging. The non-destructive testing method improves quality of packaging and reduces wastage compared to destructive test methods. Cost-effective non-destructive testing results in higher return on investments and ensures quality of products.

Vacuum Decay technology operates by placing sample packages in a closely fitting evacuation test chamber, with an external vacuum source. A single or dual vacuum transducer technology monitors the test chamber over a predetermined test period. The changes occurring in vacuum levels are analyzed to identify leaks and defects within the package. CCIT’s VeriPac series helps in detecting small leaks before it becomes critical in quality abbreviations.

Benefits of Vacuum Decay technology

  • Non-destructive package inspection technology
  • ASTM Test Method F2338, FDA Consensus Standard and referenced in USP 1207 Guidelines
  • Accurate, reliable and repeatable test results.
  • Pass/fail results backed by quantitative test data.
  • Completely tool-less with no changeover to test different packaging formats.
  • Eliminates the need for destructive, subjective testing methods.
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container closure integrity testing methods, vacuum decay technology, package integrity testing, ccit
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