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Oct 2023

The Science Behind Perfecting Flexible Package Seal Integrity

The Science Behind Perfecting Flexible Package Seal Integrity

Flexible packaging has become increasingly popular in various industries due to its versatility and cost-effectiveness. It is used for packaging a wide range of products, including food, pharmaceuticals, electronics, and more. It includes materials like pouches, bags, sachets, and wraps made from materials such as plastic, foil, paper, and laminates. Flexible packaging offers several advantages, such as being lightweight, space-efficient, and customizable in terms of design.

Flexible package seal integrity testing is of paramount importance due to its direct impact on product quality, safety, and consumer satisfaction. A secure and intact seal serves as the primary defense against external factors that could compromise the contents of the packaging. This includes preventing the ingress of moisture, oxygen, and other contaminants, all of which can adversely affect the product's shelf life, flavor, texture, and overall quality. A compromised seal not only risks the product's integrity but also raises concerns related to food safety and hygiene. In industries such as food and pharmaceuticals, maintaining seal integrity is vital to prevent potential health hazards and economic losses.

Furthermore, a strong focus on flexible package seal integrity testing is crucial for businesses aiming to uphold their brand reputation and avoid costly recalls. Products with compromised seals could lead to customer dissatisfaction. By implementing rigorous seal integrity testing protocols, manufacturers can ensure that their products remain fresh, safe, and free from contaminants, thereby safeguarding their brand's image and preserving customer loyalty.

Package seal quality inspection using Airborne Ultrasound Technology

PTI's Airborne ultrasound technology is a non-destructive, non-invasive method for seal integrity testing of flexible packages. It is a deterministic, quantitative test method and also an ASTM Test Method F3004-13. It is based on the principle that ultrasound waves are reflected at different rates depending on the density of the material they are traveling through. When ultrasound waves are transmitted through a package seal, any defects in the seal will cause the signal waves to be reflected differently, resulting in a change in the signal strength.

Airborne ultrasound technology is a versatile and reliable method for testing seals on a wide variety of flexible packaging materials, including films, foils, laminates, and pouches. It is also capable of testing seals on a variety of product types, including food and beverage products, pharmaceutical products, and medical device products.

PTI offers two configurations of Airborne ultrasound testing technology: Seal-Scan and Seal-Sensor. Seal-Scan is a high-resolution method that inspects and analyzes pouch seals non-destructively offline. Seal-Sensor is designed for 100% online pouch seal inspection.

Benefits of Airborne Ultrasound Technology

  • Non-destructive and non-invasive
  • Deterministic, quantitative test results
  • ASTM Test Method F3004-13 compliant
  • Capable of testing a wide range of flexible packaging materials
  • Detects a variety of seal defects, including leaks, misaligned seals, incomplete seals, missing seals, channel defects, pin holes, and porosity
  • High-speed inspection capabilities
  • Easy to integrate into production lines

The science behind perfecting flexible package seal integrity is a multidimensional approach that combines technological advancements with a commitment to product quality, safety, and brand reputation. Airborne ultrasound technology is just one example of how innovative methods are used to ensure that the seals on flexible packages remain strong, secure, and reliable.

seal integrity testing, flexible packaging, seal quality inspection, airborne ultrasound technology
Oct 2023

Helium Leak Detection for Blister Package Leak Testing

Helium Leak Detection for Blister Package Leak Testing

Blister packaging has gained widespread popularity as a versatile and efficient method for packaging various products, particularly in industries like pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals and food. This packaging solution typically involves the creation of a plastic cavity or blister that is custom designed to securely hold and protect the product it contains. The design of the blister can vary significantly, accommodating a wide range of product shapes and sizes, making it a versatile option for manufacturers. It ensures that the product remains visible to consumers, allowing for easy identification and branding, which is especially crucial in retail settings.

To ensure the product's integrity and longevity, blister packaging is typically sealed with materials like aluminum foil or plastic film. This sealing process not only provides a protective barrier against external factors such as moisture, light, and contaminants but also enhances the product's shelf life. In the pharmaceutical industry, blister packaging is widely used to provide precise dosages of medications and to maintain their stability and sterility. In the food industry, it is often employed to preserve the freshness of perishable items and prevent tampering or contamination. Overall, blister packaging offers a combination of product visibility, protection, and convenience, making it an indispensable choice for many manufacturers looking to meet both functional and marketing requirements.

However, the significance of maintaining the integrity of blister packaging cannot be overlooked, as it plays a pivotal role in avoiding contamination, preserving product freshness, and extending shelf life. One highly effective method employed for assessing blister package integrity is helium leak detection, a process that relies on the unique properties of helium as a tracer gas.

Blister Package Integrity Testing using Helium Leak Detection.

Helium leak detection is a Container Closure Integrity Test (CCIT) that is used to identify leaks in blister packages. The test works by introducing helium gas into the blister package and then measuring the amount of helium that escapes. If there is a leak in the package, helium will escape, and the leak detector will produce a signal.

To test a blister package for leaks using (helium leak detection), the package is first placed in a test chamber. The test chamber is then evacuated, and helium gas is introduced into the package. The package is then held under vacuum for a period of time. After the holding time has elapsed, the test chamber is vented, and the leak detector is used to measure the amount of helium that has escaped from the package. If the amount of helium that has escaped from the package is above a certain threshold, the package is considered defective. Defective packages are rejected and not shipped to customers.

Why is Helium used as a Tracer Gas?

  • It is the smallest and lightest gas, so it can easily escape through even the smallest leaks.
  • It is inert, meaning that it does not react with other substances.
  • It is non-toxic and non-flammable.
  • It is abundant and relatively inexpensive.

Helium leak detection is a highly sensitive and reliable method for testing the integrity of blister packages. It is widely used in the pharmaceutical industry to ensure that blister packs are leak-proof and protect the contents from moisture, oxygen, and other contaminants.

helium leak detection, blister package leak testing, helium leak testing, cci, container closure integrity test, ccit
Oct 2023

Ensuring Quality Revolutionizing Coffee Packaging with Precision Control

Ensuring Quality Revolutionizing Coffee Packaging with Precision Control

In the early days, coffee was often packaged in simple sacks or bags made from natural materials, such as burlap or hemp. These materials were not very airtight, so they could not keep coffee fresh for long periods of time. Vacuum sealed packaging was invented during the 1900s. This packaging removes all of the air from the packaging, which helps to keep coffee fresh for an extended period of time. Vacuum sealed packaging is also lightweight and relatively inexpensive, so it quickly became the most popular type of coffee packaging.

In recent years, there has been a growing trend towards more sustainable coffee packaging. This trend is driven by concerns about the environmental impact of traditional coffee packaging materials, such as plastic and tin.

Overview of Coffee Packaging

Coffee packaging refers to the process of packaging and presenting coffee beans or ground coffee for distribution, sale, and consumption. Coffee packaging serves several important purposes, including preserving the freshness and flavor of the coffee, protecting it from external elements such as light, moisture, and oxygen, and providing information to consumers.

Coffee packaging plays a crucial role in ensuring that coffee reaches consumers in optimal condition, with its flavor and aroma preserved. It also serves as a means of communication between coffee producers and consumers, conveying information about the coffee's characteristics and the values of the company that produces it.

Integrity testing of coffee packaging ensures that the packaging is free of leaks and defects that could compromise the quality of the coffee. This is important to do, as leaks can allow oxygen, moisture, and light to enter the packaging, which can all degrade the flavor of the coffee.

Here are some of the benefits of integrity testing for coffee packaging:

  • It can help prevent coffee from going stale or developing off-flavors.
  • It can help protect coffee from contamination.
  • It can help ensure that coffee meets quality standards.
  • It can help reduce product recalls.
  • It can help improve customer satisfaction.

Quality Testing Using Vacuum Decay Technology

Vacuum decay technology is a non-destructive method for testing the integrity of coffee packaging. It is a Container Closure Integrity Test (CCIT) method with a proven capability of non-destructively testing packaging at the production line with unmatched reliability and sensitivity. Non-destructive testing not only allows a greater understanding of package quality, but also reduces waste as compared to destructive test methods. Waste reduction, in turn, results in a higher return on investment and brings operations closer to green initiatives.

Vacuum decay technology operates by placing sample packages in a closely fitting evacuation test chamber, which is equipped with an external vacuum source. 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. VeriPac series is a practical alternative to destructive test methods and can precisely detect leaks as small as 5 microns, identifying process issues before they become critical, avoiding catastrophic quality deviations.

Benefits of Vacuum Decay Test System

  • Non-destructive technology.
  • ASTM Test Method F2338, FDA Consensus Standard and referenced in USP 1207 Guidelines.
  • Accurate, repeatable results.
  • Pass/fail results backed by quantitative test data.
  • Completely tool-less with no changeover to test different packaging formats.
  • Identifies which cavity is defective.
  • Eliminates destructive, subjective testing methods.

Vacuum decay technology is a valuable tool for ensuring the quality of coffee packaging. It can help prevent coffee from going stale or developing off-flavors. It can also help protect coffee from contamination. If you are a coffee roaster or retailer, integrity testing of coffee packaging is an important quality control measure that you should implement.

vacuum decay technology, vacuum decay leak testing, package integrity testing, cci testing, ccit

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