Testing the integrity of newly developed packaging is a critical step in ensuring that it serves its requirements in every situation. Packaging needs to ensure that it sustains physical and mechanical stress and keeps the contents fresh until they reach the end user. In order to understand how packaging behaves under different circumstances, flexible packaging testing is quite important. Procedures for testing flexible packs are quite different from rigid packaging. Compared to rigid packaging, flexible packaging can present unique challenges in how to test both the integrity of the package and the seal quality. Some of the solutions offered for flexible package testing by PTI.
Flexible package integrity testing techniques
1. VeriPac Flex System
PTI's VeriPac FLEX systems are versatile non-destructive CCIT methods, designed specifically for pouches and other flexible packaging with dry-filled products. The technology utilizes an ASTM method for vacuum decay leak testing (F2338) listed in ISO 11607 and recognized by the FDA as a consensus standard for package integrity testing. PTI's VeriPac FLEX Systems are available in several configurators that can accommodate various package specifications and test sensitivity requirements. Such configurators for both the leak test instrument and the test chamber capacity enable evaluation of small format sachets and stick packs, up to large bulk size pouches and bags. A unique feature of this technology is that it requires no changeover of settings or tooling and is proven to provide high levels of sensitivity, reliability and practicality in testing a complete range of flexible packaging formats and sizes.
The test begins by connecting the VeriPac tester to the appropriate FLEX chamber based on the size range of the package. The two VeriPac systems paired with the FLEX chamber provide different leak detection capabilities depending on the application. While the integrated flexible test chamber (IFC) is intended for sachets or stick packs with low headspace, the Drawer Style test chamber (D-Series) is ideal for package formats and bulk products. The unique difference with VeriPac FLEX systems is how the package is tested. PTI utilizes its flexible membrane that conforms to the package shape and size, eliminating any stress and damage to the film materials. Multiple packages can be tested in a single test cycle.
Benefits of VeriPac Flex System
- Non-destructive, non-subjective, no sample preparation.
- Deterministic, quantitative test method.
- Test multiple packages in a single test cycle.
- Cost effective with rapid return on investment.
- Supports sustainable packaging and zero waste initiatives.
- Simplifies the inspection and validation process.
- Accurate and repeatable results.
- ASTM test method and FDA standard.
- USP < 1207> compliant
2. Airborne Ultrasound Technology
PTI's Airborne Ultrasound technology is a non-destructive and non-invasive seal quality inspection method. The test is conducted by allowing ultrasound waves to pass through the package seal causing the reflection of sound waves. To identify the defects, variations in the reflected signals’ strength are analyzed. PTI offers two configurations of Airborne Ultrasound testing technology; Seal-Scan® and Seal-Sensor.
Seal-Sensor™ is a deterministic, quantitative method that inspects the final pouch seal non-destructively 100% online. Seal-Sensor detects incomplete seals, partial or weak areas in seals, and many common defects in seals that appear visually acceptable yet possess defects that affect product quality, value and shelf-life.
Seal-Scan® is an Airborne Ultrasonic Technology (ABUS) that inspects and analyzes pouch seals non-destructively offline for in-depth seal quality evaluation and analysis. Seal-Scan® is a semi-automatic inspection system with x-y drive, used for the detection of seal defects, seal characterization and material analysis.
Advantages of PTI’s Seal Scan and Seal Sensor Method:
- Deterministic seal quality inspection method that produces quantitative results.
- This method works for any material type and combinations regardless of color, transparency, print, surface finish or porosity.
- Non-destructive and non-subjective test method that requires no sample preparation.
- Technology can be integrated for 100% online defect detection of the final pouch seal.
- Repeatable, reproducible and reliable results for seal quality inspection.
- Cost-effective solution for seal integrity testing and seal analysis that characterizes overall quality and uniformity of the seal.
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