Blogs

30
Mar 2021

Vacuum Decay Technology for Ophthalmic Product Package Inspection

Vacuum Decay Technology for Ophthalmic Product Package Inspection

Ophthalmic preparations majorly consist of sterile liquid, semi-solid or solid preparations with active pharmaceutical ingredients. More than 70% of ophthalmic drug products are supplied in plastic container closure systems, which generally contain a month or longer supply of the drug. The liquid filled package formats are often soft containers with snap on or torque screw caps, but also include foil lidded blister packs for single use contacts. Any breach, channel, or micro leak in the container closure systems can greatly increase the risk of contamination of the ophthalmic solution. Therefore, in terms of product performance and safety, ophthalmic drug product packaging is considered to be more crucial than the packaging used for solid oral drug dosage forms.

Packaging defects are the key factors contributing to contaminated eye care solutions. For instance, the soft plastic containers and snap caps are typically blow molded plastics. The area for primary concern with both torque and snap on caps is the flange area of the bottle. Although traditional methods like visual inspection can detect many container failure modes of an uncapped container, inaccuracies or marks in the flange area can go unnoticed. However, such a defect can provide a clear path for bacteria and fungi to transfer into the product. This is both the most common and most difficult container defect to detect and remains hidden beneath the cap once it is applied. Hence, manufacturers require leak detection techniques capable of detecting even minute leaks for ensuring highly sensitive leak testing solutions.

PTI’s Vacuum Decay technology is a non-destructive leak testing method, capable of evaluating both liquid and air-filled containers and detecting defects as small as below 1 micron. Proven to be the most practical and sensitive vacuum-based leak test method, Vacuum Decay technology is an ASTM test method, FDA consensus standard, eliminating false positives and subjective results associated with manual visual inspection. Vacuum Decay technology is capable of identifying leaks in sealed rigid, semi-rigid and flexible packaging made of non-porous or porous materials. It provides reliable, accurate and repeatable test results that ensure deterministic package testing and leak detection.

PTI’s VeriPac 455 is a deterministic and quantitative package inspection solution for highly sensitive liquid filled containers making it ideal for ophthalmic package leak testing needs. This test method was developed using VeriPac leak test instruments. The VeriPac 455 features patented dual vacuum transducer technology, PERMA-Vac, which offers increased test sensitivity and produces repeatable, reliable results. Under this technique, the VeriPac 455 leak tester is connected to a test chamber that contains sample packages. Vacuum is applied to these packages and a dual 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. The test cycle takes only a few seconds, results are non-subjective, and testing is non-destructive to both product and package.

Benefits of Vacuum Decay technology

  • Non-destructive, non-subjective, no sample preparation
  • Defect detection down to 0.01 cc/min
  • Results have proven superior to dye ingress
  • Deterministic, quantitative test method
  • Supports sustainable packaging and zero waste initiatives
  • ASTM test method and FDA standard
Readmore...
vacuum decay technology, veripac 455, ophthalmic product package inspection, package inspection technology
61
24
Mar 2021

Evaluating Quality Assurance Solutions for Coffee Packaging

Evaluating Quality Assurance Solutions for Coffee Packaging

Fresh coffee is the best coffee. The quality of coffee is directly linked to freshness, and maintaining freshness requires adequate packaging. In simple words, packaging is what holds coffee products and maintains its quality. However, maintaining freshness and shelf life of packaged coffee is often a challenge for manufacturers. The flavors and oils in coffee are oxygen sensitive, while flavor profile being the key differentiator for consumers. External conditions like high temperature, light, or high humidity can increase the rate of staling. Under such conditions, whole beans will lose significant amounts of flavor and develop stale fragrance in 1-2 weeks, while in case of ground coffee the process takes 1-2 days. Compromised package integrity can result in oxidation, flavor degradation, and spoilage. Leaks as small as 10 microns can draw oxygen into the package over its shelf life. If a consumer encounters a product that exhibits oxidation, the bitterness and stale flavor will likely affect the consumer’s decision to repurchase. This explains why manufacturers give prime importance to evaluating integrity of coffee packaging.

Conventionally, water bath was the most popular technique for leak testing coffee products. Although water bath is a simple and effective leak testing method for rigid containers, it fails to meet critical needs associated with flexible coffee packages. Additionally, the cost associated with maintaining standard destructive methods is high. Subjective test results, variable test standards, and higher risks associated with the use of other methods emphasize the need for better alternatives. Hence manufacturers today opt for non-destructive testing methods that eliminate the cost associated with wasted product, and ultimately facilitate better quality control.

Package integrity testing using Vacuum Decay technology

PTI’s Vacuum Decay technology is an ASTM-approved, FDA recognized non-destructive Container Closure Integrity test method with proven capabilities to provide reliable, reproducible, repeatable and accurate quantitative results. It can detect oxygen critical leaks, providing a more reliable and sensitive solution for a range of packaging formats that is designed to protect oxygen sensitive products. This method involves drawing vacuum on the sample package kept in the test chamber, and analyzing the vacuum level for any defect-indicating a leak. VeriPac systems reliably detect leaks as small as 10 microns, identifying process issues before they become critical, avoiding costly quality deviations.

For coffee sachets, stick packs or pouches, PTI’s VeriPac FLEX series offer the highest level test sensitivity, detecting micro leaks into the single digit micron range. These are versatile non-destructive package inspection systems designed specifically for flexible packages. To accommodate various package specifications, the VeriPac FLEX is available in several configurations. Each model achieves a specific range of test sensitivity and various test chamber sizes are available depending upon the package size and characteristics. Hence, VeriPac vacuum decay is a practical alternative and significant improvement to the destructive test methods commonly used for flexible packaging.

Benefits of Vacuum Decay technology:

  • Reliable and sensitive leak detection of quality critical defects
  • Cost savings
  • Using a non-destructive leak test method allows an increase in the number of product samples tested
  • Rapid test cycle and minimal training required to operate tester
  • Rapid ROI due to substantial cost savings and elimination of product loss
Readmore...
package integrity testing, coffee packaging, ccit, quality assurance solutions, vacuum decay technology, veripac flex series
108
23
Mar 2021

How is Vacuum Decay Technology an Ideal Nutrition Package Inspection Solution

How is Vacuum Decay Technology an Ideal Nutrition Package Inspection Solution

Nutritional products are expected to be manufactured with zero tolerance to defects and should reach the consumers in the best and safest possible state. This is a criterion that cannot be ignored due to health and safety regulations. This is because most nutritional products are subject to innate chemical reactions. Defects in the nutritional packaging can cause the products to deteriorate with exposure to oxygen, moisture and bacteria. Fats and other infant nutrients can go rancid and inert.

Among other nutritional products, the standard of quality within dehydrated dairy industry is most critical. Even a minute defect in the package can deteriorate product quality, making it unfit for consumption. This is especially true for protein-based powders which are manufactured under controlled conditions to prevent spoilage and retain its nutritional purpose throughout its shelf life.

The protein content in most dairy products allows bacteria to consume majority of oxygen content before an increase in oxygen is detected by gas testing equipment. Leaks as small as 10-20 microns will only increase the oxygen content to levels below 3%, which cannot be detected using conventional testing methods. However, such leaks can dramatically decrease the typical 12 to 24 months shelf life of protein-based products. Oxygen and moisture ingress into the package will rapidly degrade the product prior to use, changing flavor, texture, and ultimately turning any valuable product into a liability.

Since conventional testing methods like water bath or dye ingress fall short of detecting such defects, it is important to apply techniques that offer high sensitivity leak testing and quality assurance.

Ensuring package integrity with Vacuum Decay technology

Vacuum Decay technology is a Container Closure Integrity test method with 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 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. PTI’s VeriPac Series a practical alternative and significant improvement 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 technology:

  • 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
Readmore...
nutrition package inspection, vacuum decay technology, cci, container closure integrity test, nutritional packaging inspection
103
11
Dec 2020

What are the Different Seal Quality Inspection Techniques Offered by PTI?

What are the different seal quality inspection techniques offered by PTI

Seal integrity plays a vital role in ensuring the quality of packaging products. Even a minute defect in the seal can initiate a leak, which can compromise the quality of the product and directly affect its shelf life. It can also result in huge financial losses to the manufacturer. That being said, manufacturers give considerable importance to conducting appropriate seal integrity tests to ensure package integrity at every stage of its lifecycle.

Seal integrity testing methods can be classified into two- Destructive testing methods and Non-Destructive testing methods. Since under Destructive methods, the packages may get destroyed, its popularity has steadily declined over the past few decades due to this waste and high cost. “There is a huge shift in the industry towards deterministic and quantitative test methods,” says Oliver Stauffer, Chief Executive Officer at PTI - Packaging Technologies & Inspection. “This includes vacuum decay and airborne ultrasound for medical device applications. The industry is currently moving away from dye ingress and manual visual inspection because there are so many blind spots in applying them and there’s a huge false sense of assurance.”

Seal quality inspection techniques offered by PTI:

Vacuum Decay technology is a non-destructive Container Closure Integrity test method, used for seal quality inspection in nonporous, rigid or flexible packages. With the ability to detect leaks down to the sub-micron level, , Vacuum Decay technology is identified as one of the most practical vacuum-based leak detection methods. Its ability to provide quantitative, reliable and repetitive test results make it ideal solution for seal quality inspection in Pharmaceutical, Medical Device and Food and Nutrition industries.

Under this method, the sample packages are first placed in a close fitting evacuation test chamber that contains an external vacuum source. The vacuum levels and changes in vacuum over a pre-determined time are closely monitored. 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 the absolute and differential vacuum indicate the presence of leaks and defects within the package.Over the past few years, Vacuum Decay technology has seen great advancements in the form of PTI’s PERMA-VAC technology and VeriPac FLEX Series.

The next generation PERMA-VAC technology is a single or dual vacuum transducer technology that has made the VeriPac line of test systems the most sensitive vacuum-based leak tests available in the market. It has higher test sensitivity for providing accurate and reliable results and can be applied to rigid and semi-flexible packages alike. PTI’s PERMA-VAC technology ensures the most stable test measurement ever achieved through vacuum decay.

VeriPac FLEX series is an ideal package inspection solution for dry filled pouches and flexible packaging. To accommodate different package formats and test sensitivity requirements, VeriPac FLEX series is available in several configurations with multiple test chamber sizes.

 

2.Airborne Ultrasound technology:

Airborne Ultrasound technology is yet another seal quality inspection technique, which is capable of non-destructively conducting advanced seal quality inspection of pouches and flexible packaging. It is capable of accommodating multiple packaging materials like Tyvek, paper, foil, film, aluminum, plastic and poly and is also proven to provide deterministic, reliable and accurate test results.

As the name suggests, this method utilizes ultrasound waves to detect defects in package seals. Ultrasound waves are passed through the material as the package seal moves along the sensor head. This causes reflections of sound waves. Such signal strength variations are closely monitored to identify defects if any. Its ability to evaluate seal quality even under conditions where the defect may not result in a leak, makes Airborne Ultrasound technology a practical choice for seal quality inspection across different industries.

PTI’s Seal-Scan (Offline) and Seal-Sensor (Online) are the latest advancements to the ultrasound test series. Both these technologies make use of non-contact airborne ultrasonic testing technology and have been established as one of the most effective methods for inspection of flexible package seals. Airborne ultrasound is also an ASTM Test Method F3004 for seal quality inspection.

 

Readmore...
seal quality inspection, airborne ultrasound technology, vacuum decay technology, container closure integrity testing, ccit, container closure integrity
189
10
Dec 2020

Role of Vacuum Decay Technology in Medical Device Package Inspection

Role of Vacuum Decay technology in medical device package inspection

Apart from validating the functionality and design of medical devices, ensuring package integrity is crucial to make sure that the product reaches the end-user intact. Packaging and delivery formats available for medical devices range from porous flexible packaging to non-porous rigid containers. Each packaging format has a unique set of characteristics and requirements, which necessitates a comprehensive approach while selecting an appropriate inspection technique.

With increasing innovations in packaging formats and materials, packaging challenges have also increased. Among other medical devices, Class III medical devices pose the highest level of risk associated with ensuring package integrity. Such devices sustain or support life and are implanted. Examples of Class III devices include pacemakers, cardiovascular stents, respiratory ventilators and breast implants. Since these devices are directly placed into human bodies, even a minute breach in the packaging can pose significant risk to patient safety. Hence testing container closure integrity (CCI) of medical devices is crucial.

Vacuum Decay is a non-destructive Container Closure Integrity test method focused on package integrity and detection of leak paths. Compared to manual inspection and other non-deterministic test methods, Vacuum Decay offers quantitative, deterministic and reliable test results to ensure package integrity. Vacuum decay technology is capable of accommodating a wide variety of packaging formats including filled and sealed rigid, semi-rigid and flexible packaging made of non-porous or porous materials. This test operates by placing packages in a well fitted evacuation test chamber, which has an external vacuum source. The vacuum levels are continuously monitored to identify any variations from a pre-determined targeted vacuum level. A defect in the package will cause air to escape from the package into the test chamber. On the other hand, packages without any defect hold in the air, maintaining constant chamber vacuum level. Vacuum Decay technology has been proven over years to be one of the most practical and sensitive vacuum-based leak detection solutions.

PTI’s VeriPac inspection technique is an ASTM approved (F2338), FDA recognized testing method capable of evaluating wide range of high-risk package applications. It can be efficiently incorporated into the packaging process to ensure quality, reduce waste and allow operators to have a proper understanding of package integrity. Multiple vacuum supply types along with single or dual high-resolution transducers configuration enables the VeriPac series to provide fast and reliable test results that are quantitative and deterministic. It is an ideal solution for medical device manufacturers to ensure that the product meets regulatory standards. Based on packaging materials used and the level of test sensitivity required, manufacturers can select the appropriate VeriPac model.

PTI has revolutionized Vacuum Decay technology with the development of next generation PERMA-VAC technology, that offers increased test sensitivity and repeatable results. The technology is capable of detecting leaks in the MALL range for parenteral packaging and can accommodate a variety of flexible and semi-flexible package formats. The advancements in PERMA-VAC technology has made the VeriPac series the most reliable and practical vacuum-based leak test method available today.

Benefits of Vacuum Decay technology:

  • Non-destructive, non-subjective, no sample preparation
  • Capable of detecting defects down to 0.05 ccm
  • Accurate, reliable, repeatable results
  • Supports sustainable packaging and zero waste initiatives
  • FDA recognized standard for package integrity testing
  • ASTM test method F2338
Readmore...
vacuum decay technology, medical device package inspection, package inspection technologies, Class III medical devices, CCIT
184
15
Sep 2020

The Importance of Seal Integrity Testing in the Food and Nutrition Industry

Importance of Seal integrity testing

Food and nutrition packaging are much more than attractive containers kept on a retail shelf. Packaging executes multiple functions since it conveys information about the product, educates the consumers, ensures product protection, helps market the product and much more. Therefore, manufacturers of food and nutrition products must keep package quality at the forefront.

Innovations in packaging including the use of flexible packages and shift from plastics to more sustainable materials have accelerated packaging challenges. Hence, ensuring package quality is vital for preventing possible contamination and resultant spoilage of goods. Often, customers may or may not be aware of such contamination, which can cause serious health problems. In case of high-risk individuals such as the elderly or children under 5 years, the consequences may be fatal. Such consequences have a direct impact on company/brand image resulting in product recalls and huge financial losses.

This stresses the importance of implementing appropriate packaging integrity testing solutions in the production line. Among many other techniques available in the market, seal integrity testing is a popular choice for most manufacturers. There are multiple methods of conducting a seal integrity test including destructive and non–destructive test methods. A method applicable in one situation may not be so in other. Manufacturers should choose the appropriate technology depending upon package type, product specifications, defect profile, and testing requirements.

Methods of Seal Integrity Testing

Under destructive testing methods, the sample package may get destroyed and become useless even though the seal passes the test. Demand for such tests has steadily declined due to its inability to detect non-leaking defects. Common test methods under this category include water bath/bubble testing and peel strength test.

To overcome the shortcomings of destructive test methods, non-destructive test methods and technology advancements have been developed. Such methods cause no harm to the package or product and they can be returned to market after testing. According to Oliver Stauffer, Chief Executive Officer at PTI - Packaging Technologies & Inspection “There is a huge shift in the industry toward deterministic and quantitative test methods”. PTI’s VeriPac Vacuum Decay Series and Airborne Ultrasound technology are non-destructive test methods having high applicability in the food and nutrition industry.

PTI’s VeriPac Vacuum Decay technology is a non-destructive package inspection technique, applicable for rigid and flexible packages and with a capability of detecting leaks as small as 10 microns. It has the potential to test different size pouches, stick packs or sachets without any changeover in parts or system settings. VeriPac FLEX Systems, a non-destructive package inspection technique specifically for dry-filled flexible packaging (pouches, stick packs and sachets). The VeriPac FLEX Series are available in several configurations taking into account varied package specifications and test sensitivity requirements.

Pouches are the common form of packaging for many food products like juices, snacks, nuts and coffee. Therefore, ensuring package integrity of such pouches are crucial. PTI’s Airborne Ultrasound technology is a non-destructive seal integrity test that serves as an ultimate solution for pouch seal quality testing, specifically to check that final top seal after filling and sealing the pouch contents. When high frequency sound waves are passed through the pouch seal area, reflections of sound waves are created. Defects are identified by analysing variations of reflected signal strength. It ensures 100% defect detection of pouch seals. PTI’s ultrasound technology can be applied to 100% defect detection of pouch seals as well as for in-depth seal quality testing and analysis.

VeriPac Vacuum Decay technology (F2338) and Airborne Ultrasound technology (F3004) are both ASTM test methods and also FDA consensus standards for package integrity and seal quality inspection. According to the specific nature of the product and package, appropriate testing methods can be selected.

Readmore...
seal integrity testing, airborne ultrasound technology, seal quality testing, airborne ultrasound, package integrity testing, vacuum decay technology
377
10
Sep 2020

Automated CCI technologies- Revolutionizing medical device testing

Automated CCI technologies- Revolutionizing medical device testing

Medical device industry is crucial to health care system as they play a vital role in the delivery of many health care services. Over the past few decades, tremendous developments in medical technologies have challenged the medical device packaging industry to ensure quality and reliability in packaging. Although testing package quality of all medical devices is critical, in case of Class III medical devices it amplifies several folds. Class III medical devices are understood as devices that sustain or support life, are implanted, or present potential unreasonable risk of illness or injury. Examples include pacemakers, breast implants, and respiratory ventilators. Since these devices are directly placed into human bodies, proper packaging is required to ensure the quality of the product until it reaches the patient. Any breach in the packaging can cause contaminants to enter the device, thereby making it more of a threat to the patient than a treatment. Hence appropriate CCI technologies are needed to ensure standardized packaging quality.

Container Closure Integrity Testing is a leak detection test conducted using a non-destructive package inspection system to ensure sterility and product quality throughout its shelf life. Earlier, probabilistic test methods such as bubble test, dye ingress and manual visual inspection were used to test package quality of medical devices. However, these traditional methods lacked accuracy and provided uncertain and subjective results. In order to overcome the shortcomings of probabilistic methods, industries are now moving towards deterministic methods that assures a higher level of accuracy with quantitative results. According to Oliver Stauffer, Chief Executive Officer at PTI - Packaging Technologies & Inspection “ There is a huge shift in the industry toward deterministic and quantitative test method. This includes Vacuum Decay and Airborne Ultrasound for medical device applications. The industry is currently moving away from dye ingress and manual visual inspection because there are so many blind spots in applying them and there’s a huge false sense of assurance.”

Packaging Technologies & Inspection-PTI’s VeriPac Vacuum Decay Technology and Airborne Ultrasound Technology have revolutionized automated CCI Technologies.

Vacuum Decay Technology is a CCI testing method that detects leaks in nonporous, rigid or flexible packages. Such tests are conducted by placing a sample in an evacuation test chamber, drawing vacuum and monitoring vacuum level for any decay, indicating a leak. Such tests are known to provide reliable and quick results. PTI’s VeriPac Vacuum Decay Technology is a non-destructive package inspection system based on the ASTM vacuum decay leak test method (F2338-09) and accredited by the FDA for package integrity testing. Its applications include empty and pre-filled syringes, liquid-filled and lyophilized vials and other flexible and rigid liquid-filled packaging. PTI’s PERMA- VAC technology, known to provide consistent and reliable results is the latest development in the VeriPac line of test systems. The VeriPac Universal Blister Verification (UBV) system designed for non-destructive blister package leak detection uses a volumetric imaging technology to measure the motion of a blister package under vacuum to detect leaks.

PTI’s Airborne Ultrasound Technology is a non-destructive Seal Integrity Test used to examine seal quality for defects. “Ultrasound is one of the only technologies that are telling us what the quality of that physical bonded nature of the seal materials are,” says Oliver Stauffer, CEO of PTI. Under this method, high-frequency sound waves are passed through the pouch seal area, causing the reflection of sound waves. Variations of the reflected signal strength are used to reflect defects if any. PTI’s Airborne Ultrasound Technology for 100% Inline inspection of pouch seals has been extremely helpful in verifying final pouch seal quality. Any defect in the pouch seal including voids and delamination, foreign materials and inclusions, incomplete seals and misaligned seals can be detected using a Seal-Sensor scan and are automatically rejected from the production line.

Vacuum Decay Method (VDM) is used by manufacturers of packages for the food, beverage, industrial and pharmaceutical industries in order to detect leaks in rigid or flexible packages.

Both methods are established ASTM test methods: Vacuum Decay ASTM F2338 and Airborne Ultrasound ASTM F3004.These technologies are non-destructive methods and can be chosen depending on the characteristics of the product to be tested.

Readmore...
CCI technologies, Airborne ultrasound technology, seal integrity testing, Class III medical device package integrity, vacuum decay technology, container closure integrity testing
385

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