Consumer products manufacturers put the utmost priority on ensuring the seal integrity of their product package. Food products such as to-go snack packets, milk or coffee powder, pet food, blood bags, blister packs are prone to contamination by organic compounds such as moisture or air which may speed up their rate of decomposition. A properly sealed packaging allows the product to maintain its maximum shelf life, therefore, making it safe for consumption.
In the scenario where product contamination occurs, there is a high possibility that the quality of the product has been compromised upon reaching the consumers. The consumers may or may not be aware of this fact which significantly raise the concern for food safety. This may cause a massive product recalls which cause the company to suffer big financial loss as well as tarnished brands or images. And, it is often not easy to recover from such situations.
The implementation of good packaging and seal integrity testing system is essential to ensure that the package is properly sealed to avoid contamination. In order to ensure that the product is prevented against environmental ingress, there are several leak testing systems for different types of packaging.
Water Bath Package Integrity Testing System
This type of leak tester works on the principle of Underwater vacuum testing principle. The water-filled test case is supplied with a constant vacuum within the chamber and a steady stream of bubbles rising from the location of the leak is observed if any leaks are present in the package. The vacuum level can be freely adjusted depending on the required.
The Water Bath Integrity Tester generally features a transparent case that enables the operator to visually monitor the testing process. Operator can adjust the vacuum level in the chamber with its pressure regulator to detect various degrees of leaks. The operators can also accurately detect the location of leaks by visual observation and test multiple products at once. Different types of packaging can be tested; from flexible packaging in snack food or health products and pharmaceutical products such as bottles or vials. However, the water bath testing system is destructive in nature which makes the products not suitable for consumption after the leak testing. Furthermore, the testing process and leakage assessment are heavily operator-dependent which gives less reliability and more room for error during long-term testing.
Quantitative, Non-Destructive Leak Testing System
The non-destructive leak testing system generally operates on the vacuum decay principle. This testing principle is generally suitable for testing the integrity of non-porous, rigid and flexible packaging. The test item is placed in a test chamber, which is evacuated to a preset vacuum level. The rise in the vacuum decay is monitored for a predetermined length of time using a differential pressure transducer. These parameters are used to determine the leakage in the package.
Sealtick develops an innovative leak testing system based on this non-destructive vacuum decay testing principle to determine the package integrity. Our leak detection machines can test an item within 5-20 seconds and provide quantitative results which can be retrieved via Ethernet or USB for quality traceability. The test is completely dry and non-destructive and the tested packages can be returned to the chamber upon testing which minimises waste in the process. This machine can be used for testing almost all types of packaging, provided the package contains headspace. The testing reliability of this vacuum decay method depends on the free space in the chamber and the sensitivity of the pressure transducers in detecting the small rise in vacuum. To improve the testing reliability, different types of test machines were designed which are optimised for testing different types of packaging such as cans, flexible bags and heavy bags.
Cans packaging integrity testing system
The TSE6084 is a variant of leak testing devices that is specifically designed for testing can-type packaging. The chamber can be easily modified to test different sizes of canned products. This is done by designing a support platform to minimize the air space between the chamber and the can.
Large, Heavy Packaging
The TSE6089L is designed for testing the integrity of heavy bags up to 30kg such as pet food, grains, coffee products and many more. This system features a horizontal testbed that makes it possible to put the packages with minimum difficulty.
Flexible type packaging
Both the Sealtick TSE6081b and TSE6086b package integrity testers are specially designed for testing the integrity of flexible type packaging such as that used in snack food, health products, coffee, beans and many more. The package is tested in the flexible chamber which does not stress or inflate the packages during testing processes. The TSE6081 and TSE6086 differs in terms of the maximum allowable package sizes. The latter is a bench-top unit that is suitable for testing small to medium light-weight packages such as snack foods. The TSE6081 incorporates a flexible mounting system in a trolley design which allows the testing of larger size packages with maximum accuracy.
Visit Sealtick website to browse the full range of the leak testing system.