Leak-testing for food packs could have pharma uses

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Measurement

A highly flexible automatic measuring device capable of detecting
the tiniest leaks of CO2 from protective gas atmosphere packaging
has been developed. While initially being targeted at the food
sector, its pharmaceutical applications are also being explored.

The Leak-Master from WITT​ requires just a small space and a mains power connection to monitor an entire packaging line directly on the spot.

The technology can monitor goods in an entirely non-destructive manner, regardless of whether they are in flexible or rigid packaging. The developer claims that unlike other monitoring systems, Leak-Master does not require expensive testing gas such as helium. Helium-based testing is commonly used to test pharmaceutical packaging.

Operation, says WITT, is simple. Packaging manufacturers place the product in the measuring chamber, close the transparent cover and start measurement at the operating panel. The result appears in an easy to read display after a short response time.

The Leak-Master provides manufacturers with a great deal of flexibility. Parameters such as, for example, vacuum level, leak limits and test time can be pre-defined and saved in the memory. The unit can remember up to 100 products and 20 users - more than enough for occasional random samples in a small operation or constant use in a large company.

Trained personnel are not required to operate the software. This, says WITT, makes the high-tech monitoring device from WITT interesting to companies with frequent product changes and a number of different operators.

The new model is significantly more compact in comparison with the previous version. The measuring chamber and operating unit now form one robust unit, the housing of which is manufactured almost entirely of stainless steel. This is an advantage not only as far as the space required is concerned but also prevents damage.

The company claims that cleaning the smooth surface is also very quick. In addition to an LCD-screen, the Leak-Master has push-buttons which are grouped into logical units and can be operated intuitively. These can be used to call up the respective most recent measurements.

Another key point about the Leak-master is that it can be integrated to export data via Ethernet into a company's network. In this way the results of the measurements can be fed directly into a quality management system or printed out in black and white. No manual reporting of the quality measurement is necessary.

Controlled atmosphere in the packaging improves the length of life and visual appearance of many products. Final monitoring of the packaging is vital however, as production rejects and recall campaigns are expensive. WITT claims that the cost of the Leak-Master is a fraction of the cost of allowing faulty product batches to get through.

The firm is confident that the concept will provide popular with atmosphere packaging companies, a burgeoning sector of the packaging industry.

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