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May 2024

Securing Product Integrity: Techniques for Tyvek and Porous Packaging

Securing Product Integrity: Techniques for Tyvek and Porous Packaging

In this blog, we delve into various techniques employed to secure product integrity using Tyvek and porous packaging. These techniques encompass rigorous testing methods, innovative approaches, and industry best practices aimed at maintaining the quality, safety, and efficacy of packaged goods.

Overview of Tyvek and Porous Packaging

Tyvek is a brand of flash spun high-density polyethylene fibers, a synthetic material that's extremely durable and resistant to moisture, chemicals, punctures, and tears. Tyvek is valued for its combination of strength and breathability. It allows air and moisture vapor to pass through while blocking liquids, dust, and other contaminants. This makes it ideal for packaging items that need protection from moisture or dust buildup, such as medical devices, electronics, and sensitive documents.

Porous packaging, on the other hand, refers to packaging materials that are intentionally designed with tiny pores or perforations to allow airflow and gas exchange. These materials are often used for products that require a level of aeration or gas permeability, such as fresh produce, certain pharmaceuticals, and some types of chemicals. Porous packaging materials can include paperboard, certain types of plastics, and specialized membranes.

Both Tyvek and porous packaging serve specific purposes in different industries, offering protection and functionality tailored to the needs of the products being packaged.

Tyvek and Porous Package Integrity Testing Methods:

1. VeriPac Technology

VeriPac technology is a non-destructive system for Container Closure Integrity Testing (CCIT) that employs Vacuum Decay technology to identify leaks in packaging. This method, approved by ASTM (F2338), is recognized by the FDA as the consensus standard for assessing package integrity. VeriPac utilizes a vacuum chamber to meticulously test the integrity of packaging. The package is placed inside, and the chamber pressure is precisely lowered. VeriPac then monitors the rate of pressure change. Any leaks will cause the pressure to rise more rapidly, indicating a compromised seal. Vacuum decay leak testing technology is renowned for its high sensitivity and precision, capable of identifying leaks down to 20 microns.

2. Seal-Sensor Technology

Seal-Sensor™ utilizes Airborne Ultrasonic Technology to perform non-destructive inspections of the final pouch seal on the production line. It offers a deterministic, quantitative, rapid, and dependable approach to inspecting pouch seals for defects. Seal-Sensor identifies incomplete seals, areas of weakness or partiality, and various common faults in seals that may seem visually acceptable but harbor defects impacting product quality and shelf-life. The seal is positioned linearly between two transducers, and either the seal or the transducers are moved along its length. As the ultrasound encounters transitions between different materials, it is both transmitted and reflected. Greater differences in acoustic properties between the materials result in more sound being reflected and less being transmitted. Various configurations of Seal-Sensor are available including plug & play installations on existing conveyor lines and integrated solutions.

3. Seal-Scan Technology

On the other hand, Seal-Scan® is an Airborne Ultrasonic Technology (ABUS) designed for offline, non-destructive testing and analysis of pouch seal integrity. This method provides a deterministic, quantitative, and high-resolution inspection of pouch seal defects and consistency. It is non-destructive, non-invasive, and requires no sample preparation. Seal-Scan® features advanced digital imaging software tools for detailed analysis of seal quality. The system adheres to ASTM test method F3004-13. Seal-Scan technology is revolutionizing the way industries approach seal quality testing. By leveraging ultrasonic waves, Seal-Scan can detect inconsistencies and defects that are invisible to the naked eye and undetectable by other means. This capability ensures that every package leaving the production line meets stringent quality standards, safeguarding the end consumer and maintaining the manufacturer's reputation.

Through thorough testing, innovative sealing methods, and adherence to industry standards, manufacturers can effectively protect their goods from environmental hazards and contamination. As technology progresses, so will the methods for enhancing product integrity, ensuring that packaged items meet stringent quality requirements. By embracing these techniques, businesses can uphold consumer trust and deliver products of the highest standard.

vacuum decay leak testing, seal quality testing, tyvek packages
May 2024

How to Enhance Assurance in Contact Lens Packaging?

How to Enhance Assurance in Contact Lens Packaging?

Contact lenses are a popular vision correction solution used by millions of people worldwide. Whether for vision correction, cosmetic enhancement, or therapeutic purposes, contact lenses require careful packaging to ensure their safety, sterility, and effectiveness. Contact lens packaging serves as the primary means of preserving the quality of lenses from manufacturing to the hands of the user.

Contact lens packaging typically consists of individual blister packs, vials, or sachets, each containing a single lens. These packaging units are designed to maintain the sterility of the lenses, protect them from damage, and provide clear labeling with essential information such as prescription details, expiration dates, and care instructions.

In recent years, advancements in contact lens packaging have focused on improving convenience for users, enhancing sustainability through eco-friendly materials, reducing packaging waste, and ensuring compliance with stringent regulatory standards to uphold product safety and quality.

As contact lens technology continues to evolve and consumer demand grows, innovation in packaging solutions remains crucial. By prioritizing the development of packaging that meets the diverse needs of users while maintaining the highest standards of safety and quality, manufacturers can enhance the overall experience of contact lens wearers and contribute to the continued advancement of eye care technology.

Contact Lens Packaging Challenges

Contact lens packaging faces several notable challenges, including:

  • Sterility Maintenance: Ensuring that contact lenses remain sterile until they reach the user is crucial for eye health. Packaging must provide an effective barrier against contaminants throughout manufacturing, distribution, and storage.
  • User Convenience: Packaging should be easy to open, handle, and store, especially for daily disposable lenses. Users value packaging that facilitates quick and hygienic lens removal and insertion without causing damage to the lenses.
  • Environmental Impact: Traditional contact lens packaging often involves significant plastic usage, contributing to environmental waste. Developing sustainable packaging alternatives, such as recyclable materials or reduced packaging, is essential for reducing the environmental footprint of contact lens products.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Contact lens packaging must adhere to strict regulatory standards to ensure product safety and consumer protection. Meeting these requirements for labeling, quality control, and hygiene adds complexity to the packaging design and manufacturing process.
  • Cost Considerations: Balancing the cost of packaging materials, production, and regulatory compliance with the need to deliver affordable products to consumers is a continual challenge for manufacturers.

Significance of VeriPac 410 in Contact Lens Package Testing

VeriPac 410 is a Container Closure Integrity Test (CCIT), that offers non-destructive detection of seal and leak issues in low headspace blister packs, sachets, and pouches. While various test methods are employed to assess package integrity in multi-cavity blister packs and packaging with limited headspace, most of these methods are destructive, subjective, and unreliable.

By utilizing the Vacuum Decay leak testing method and differential force measurement, the VeriPac 410 can effectively detect defective packages. It is capable of testing multiple packages within a single test cycle, depending on their specifications, and can pinpoint which package or blister cavity is faulty. The test results are quantitative, providing operators with a clear pass-or-fail result.

Quality assurance for packaging is ensured through accurate and reliable inspection methods that eliminate subjective factors from the testing process. With the VeriPac 410, tested products can seamlessly return to the production line, minimizing costs and waste typically associated with destructive leak testing methods. The VeriPac 410 provides comprehensive coverage for leak testing in low-volume flexible and semi-flexible packaging. Its return on investment (ROI) makes it an invaluable solution for the pharmaceutical industry.

Moving forward, the future of contact lens packaging holds exciting opportunities for further advancements in convenience, sustainability, and safety. By embracing technological innovations, adopting eco-friendly materials, and adhering to rigorous quality standards, manufacturers can continue to enhance the integrity and usability of contact lens packaging.

Ultimately, the goal of contact lens packaging is to ensure that users receive high-quality, safe, and comfortable products that meet their vision correction needs while also contributing to their overall eye health and well-being. With ongoing dedication to excellence in packaging design and production, the contact lens industry can continue to deliver superior products that enrich the lives of millions of users worldwide.

vacuum decay leak testing, cci technologies, contact lens
May 2024

CCI Test Method Consulting Services for Package Testing

CCI Test Method Consulting Services for Package Testing

Package testing is a critical aspect of product quality assurance and safety across various industries, such as food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, industrial products and consumer goods. Ensuring the integrity of packaging materials and their ability to protect contents from environmental factors like moisture, oxygen, light, and physical damage is essential to maintaining product efficacy, safety, and shelf life. One of the key parameters evaluated in package testing is Container Closure Integrity (CCI), which refers to the ability of a package to maintain its integrity and prevent the ingress of harmful substances or the egress of beneficial ones. Establishing robust test methods for assessing CCI is vital to guarantee the reliability and effectiveness of packaging solutions.

In this blog, we will delve into the development of test methods for evaluating Container Closure Integrity (CCI) in package testing.

Overview of Test Method Development

Test method development in package quality testing serves as the cornerstone for assessing and guaranteeing the robustness of packaging materials and systems. The need for rigorous testing methodologies is paramount to meet regulatory requirements, industry standards, and consumer expectations. Package Testing Method Development at PTI’s CCIT Center of Excellence focuses on package/product characteristics and the extent to which the package characteristics need to be challenged to ensure closure integrity. Test method development includes the optimization of test parameter settings, including the level of vacuum or high voltage (depending on the technology), test cycle times, and pass/fail criteria for a particular test method. The detailed report will include test protocols and criteria, test results, and expected leak rates for the client with recommendations and conclusions. Before being included in the final report, each test method developed in Test Method Development is validated to make sure it is repeatable, accurate, precise and appropriate for the intended use. Developing the most accurate and appropriate test methods for package quality testing involves identifying the relevant data for testing.

Relevance of Test Method Development in Package Quality Testing

Test method development is essential for ensuring high-quality packaging. Here's a breakdown of why it's so crucial:

Reliable and Accurate Results:

  • Standardized Approach: Testing can be subjective and inconsistent without a defined method, leading to unreliable data. Test method development creates a standardized process with clear procedures, equipment requirements, and data analysis methods. This consistency guarantees accurate and repeatable results that you can trust.

Optimizing Package Performance:

  • Identifying Weaknesses: A well-designed test method can pinpoint weak spots in the packaging design or material selection. This valuable information allows manufacturers to identify areas for improvement and create a more robust and reliable package.
  • Setting Benchmarks: Test method development establishes clear pass/fail criteria for package performance. This sets a benchmark for quality and helps manufacturers ensure their packaging consistently meets the required standards.

Cost Savings and Risk Reduction:

  • Preventing Product Damage: By identifying potential package failures before products reach consumers, test methods help prevent costly product recalls and replacements. This creates significant cost savings for manufacturers.
  • Optimizing Resource Allocation: A well-developed test method focuses resources on the most critical aspects of package performance, leading to a more efficient testing process. This saves time and money compared to generic or poorly designed testing procedures.

How can PTI's Consultative Services Help Accelerate the Process?

PTI's consultative services can expedite the package testing process through various means:

  • Expertise in Testing Methods: PTI's team possesses in-depth knowledge of package testing methods, including advanced technologies and industry best practices. They can advise on the most appropriate testing methods for your specific packaging needs, ensuring efficient and accurate testing.
  • Customized Testing Protocols: PTI can develop customized testing protocols tailored to your unique packaging requirements. By optimizing test parameters and procedures, PTI helps streamline and accellerate the testing process, saving time and resources.
  • Equipment Selection and Optimization: PTI can assist in selecting the right testing equipment for your needs and optimizing its performance. This ensures that testing is conducted effectively and efficiently, without unnecessary delays or errors.
  • Regulatory Compliance: PTI's experts are well-versed in regulatory requirements for package testing, including FDA and international standards organizations. They can ensure that your testing protocols meet regulatory standards, helping you navigate the regulatory process more smoothly.
  • Troubleshooting and Problem-solving: If issues arise during the testing process, PTI can provide expert troubleshooting and problem-solving support. Their experienced team can quickly identify and address any issues, minimizing delays and ensuring testing progresses smoothly.

The development of robust test methods for assessing Container Closure Integrity (CCI) is essential for ensuring the safety, efficacy, and quality of packaged products across various industries. By employing appropriate methodologies and considering key factors in method development, manufacturers can uphold product integrity, comply with regulatory requirements, and safeguard consumer health and trust. Continuous innovation and refinement in CCI testing methodologies will contribute to advancements in packaging technology and product quality assurance in the future.

consulting services, package integrity testing, container closure integrity tting
May 2024

Package Integrity Testing - Revolutionizing Nutraceutical Quality Control

Package Integrity Testing - Revolutionizing Nutraceutical Quality Control

Nutraceuticals are products that are derived from food sources with extra health benefits, in addition to the basic nutritional value found in foods. They encompass a wide range of products including dietary supplements, functional foods, and beverages fortified with vitamins, minerals, herbs, or other bioactive compounds. The global nutraceutical market has been experiencing rapid growth, driven by factors such as increasing health consciousness among consumers, aging populations, and a growing emphasis on preventive healthcare.

Nutraceuticals are distinguished from traditional pharmaceuticals in that they are not strictly regulated as drugs but are instead classified as dietary supplements or functional foods. This classification allows nutraceutical manufacturers more flexibility in product development and marketing. However, it also places a greater responsibility on manufacturers to ensure the safety, efficacy, and quality of their products.

Package integrity testing plays a crucial role in ensuring the quality and safety of nutraceutical products. It involves the assessment of packaging materials and techniques to prevent contamination, spoilage, and degradation of the product during storage and transportation. The integrity of the packaging directly impacts the shelf-life, potency, and efficacy of the enclosed product.

Techniques to Evaluate Integrity of Nutraceuticals

1. VeriPac Series

The VeriPac series by PTI offers cutting-edge inspection systems designed for leak detection and package integrity testing. These systems employ a non-destructive and non-invasive approach, contributing to waste reduction while delivering real-time and quantitative results. The technology is based on the ASTM-approved Vacuum Decay leak test method F2338, a methodology recognized by the FDA for its reliability and accuracy.

The VeriPac testers seamlessly connect to specially designed test chambers, creating a controlled environment for the inspection process. During testing, a vacuum is applied to the package, and absolute transducer technology is employed to monitor changes in vacuum levels over a predefined test duration. This meticulous monitoring allows the system to swiftly identify leaks and defects within the package.

Given the adherence to the ASTM-approved Vacuum Decay leak test method F2338, these inspection systems not only meet industry standards but also comply with FDA regulations. This recognition further underscores the reliability and precision of the VeriPac series in ensuring the integrity of packages.

2. Seal-Sensor PQX Technology

The Seal-Sensor PQX is an advanced automated pouch seal quality inspection system designed for seamless integration into production lines. Leveraging Seal-Sensor Airborne Ultrasonic technology, this cutting-edge system conducts swift online scans of final pouch seals, aligning with ASTM Test Method F3004 and FDA consensus standards. Its deterministic and quantitative approach enables the rapid identification of defects, including incomplete seals, weak areas, and concealed issues that could compromise product quality.

The system operates with remarkable efficiency, delivering pass/fail results and generating traceable data in less than a second, even at speeds of up to 350 mm/sec. This ensures a quick and reliable assessment of seal quality, contributing to enhanced overall production efficiency.

The Seal-Sensor PQX is characterized by its user-friendly design and plug-and-play functionality, making it easy to integrate into existing manufacturing setups. Its modest footprint ensures that it can be seamlessly incorporated into various production environments without occupying excessive space. In the event of a defective pouch seal, the system features a built-in reject chute that promptly removes defective pouches from the production line. This not only prevents substandard products from progressing further in the manufacturing process but also helps maintain the integrity of the overall production flow.

Incorporating advanced technologies like the VeriPac series and Seal-Sensor PQX, package integrity testing revolutionizes nutraceutical quality control, ensuring products meet rigorous standards for safety and efficacy. By swiftly detecting defects and maintaining packaging integrity, these systems play a vital role in safeguarding the quality and reliability of nutraceuticals in an evolving market landscape.

package integrity testing, nutraceuticals, seal quality inspection
May 2024

An Overview of Flexible Package Inspection Techniques

An Overview of Flexible Package Inspection Techniques

The rise of flexible packaging has revolutionized various industries, offering lightweight, efficient, and versatile solutions. The global demand for flexible packaging is projected to continue its upward trajectory, driven by several factors. These include cost-effectiveness, sustainability, and versatility. Compared to rigid alternatives, flexible packaging offers significant cost advantages in terms of materials, transportation, and storage. Advancements in material science are leading to the development of eco-friendly flexible packaging solutions, catering to the growing demand for sustainable practices. Additionally, flexible packaging offers exceptional design flexibility, allowing for unique shapes, sizes, and printing options to enhance product branding and consumer appeal.

Despite these advantages, ensuring the integrity of these non-rigid packages presents certain challenges. The materials used in flexible packaging can be susceptible to puncture and tear, permeability, and microbial growth. Puncture and tear can occur during transportation, handling, or external pressure. Imperfections in seals or the material itself can allow the ingress of gases, moisture, and other contaminants, potentially impacting product quality and safety. If not properly protected, flexible packaging can create micro-environments conducive to microbial growth, posing a risk to perishable goods.

The pharmaceutical industry has increasingly embraced flexible packaging for various applications, including blister packs, pouches, and sachets. However, due to the critical nature of pharmaceutical products, ensuring package integrity is paramount to maintain sterility, efficacy, and safety.

To address the challenges and ensure the integrity of flexible packaging, various container closure integrity testing techniques are employed. These tests evaluate different aspects of the package, including seal strength, puncture resistance, permeability, and microbial barrier properties. Seal strength measures the ability of the seals to withstand pressure and prevent leaks. Puncture resistance assesses the package's ability to resist punctures from sharp objects. Permeability evaluates the rate at which gases, moisture, and other elements can permeate the packaging material. Microbial barrier properties test the package's resistance to microbial ingress.

VeriPac Flex Series for Flexible Package Integrity Testing

VeriPac Flex Systems offer flexible package testing using non-destructive methods based on ASTM standards. These systems, recognized by the FDA, are designed specifically for dry filled pouches and other flexible packaging. They provide high sensitivity and reliability without the need for settings or tooling changes, accommodating various package sizes and formats. Unlike methods like Water Bath and Dye Ingress, VeriPac systems offer objective results, reducing waste and providing quantitative data for leak detection. They give a clear PASS or FAIL result along with leak rate information, helping improve packaging processes.

Technology Overview

The VeriPac tester is connected to a FLEX chamber suitable for package size. Options like the integrated flexible test chamber (IFC) or drawer Style test chamber (D-Series) offer varied leak detection capabilities. The IFC suits sachets or stick packs with low headspace, while the D-Series is for large packages and bulk products. The VeriPac FLEX system uses a flexible membrane to test packages, preventing damage to the film. It's user-friendly, allowing multiple packages to be tested in one cycle.

Benefits of VeriPac Flex System

  • Deterministic, non-destructive, non-invasive, non-subjective
  • Vacuum Decay PERMA-Vac Technology
  • ASTM Test Method F2338 and FDA Consensus Standard
  • Non-destructive alternative to water bath leak test and other destructive test methods
  • Testing is non-destructive allowing for increased sampling and testing frequency
  • Capability to test different size pouches, stick packs or sachets without any changeover in parts or system settings.
  • Deterministic, quantitative test method
  • Non-destructive, non-subjective, no sample preparation
  • Test multiple packages in a single test cycle
  • Supports sustainable packaging and zero waste initiatives
  • Simplifies the inspection and validation process
  • Accurate and repeatable results
container closure integrity testing, container closure integrity, flexible package testing

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