Welcome to our blog dedicated to leak detection equipment

Leak detection machines are vital to ensuring product packaging are properly sealed to prevent outside contaminants from spoiling the product. Modern detectors use sophisticated testing methods for high accuracy. Our blog is dedicated to helping you learn more about leak detection machines.

Top 4 Leak Detection Methods for Food Packaging

Food packaging should be done in the best way possible in order to protect a company’s brand and maintain the quality of food products. It is therefore important for companies to adopt the best leak testing methods and use the best leak detection equipment. Leak testing is a necessary procedure in a packaging process to ensure that products do not leak or exposed to any form of contamination. A leaking packaging material allows foreign materials, moisture, or oxygen to leak in and compromise the product integrity. Companies that deal with food processing or specialize in packaging, are expected to make the highest quality of closures, seams, and seals.

The testing can be done on empty packaging material or those with contents. Food processing companies invest a lot of resources in leak detection to avoid losses associated with recalls. It is easy for food processing companies to prevent recalls as they only need to acquire the best leak detection equipment and test their packages before they are released to the market. Some of the most notable food packages that are normally tested for leakages include; coffee cans, plastic fruit jars, ketchup bottles, plastic pea nut butter jars, edible food containers, and microwavable soup containers. The following are the four major leak detection methods for food packaging:

1. Bubble Emission Leak Test Procedure

This is the most suitable leak detection method for food packages that have some amount of gas or air. In this method, a vacuum is drawn on a closed package that is completely submerged in water. The package is said to be faulty or compromised if air bubbles appear. It is possible to identify the exact location of a leak by observing where the air bubbles are propagated. It is always difficult to fix any leakage if the detection method does not give a visual location of the faulty place. This method is normally used to locate a bust point on the seal or determine a trend in diminishing seal integrity. It is vital to determine cases of diminishing seal integrity as soon as possible in order to make the necessary adjustments before an actual leakage occurs. Regular bubble emission tests are a standard procedure in most food processing companies. Bust points can be tracked during production as a precautionary measure to guarantee maximum seal integrity.

2. Seal Integrity Test for Vacuum Packages

Packages with vacuumed seals are normally tested using this method. In this case, the usual bubble emission procedure is normally done using a small attachment on the package that is being tested.

3. Dry Chamber Flexible Package Testing

This leak testing method is suitable for packages with liquid contents and little headspace. To begin with, a dry chamber containing the package that is being tested is placed on an absorbent type material. The next step is to draw a vacuum based on operator specifications. The package seal is considered to be faulty if the absorbent type material becomes wet. The most common absorbent material for this type of test is a paper towel. Packages containing air have to be tested in a dry chamber to ensure that the seal integrity is completely protected.

4. Altitude Simulation Seal integrity Method

Food products that are supposed to be transported in varying altitude levels must go through the altitude simulation seal integrity test to prevent problems that might occur during transportation. Traveling across mountain ranges or by air is normally characterized by varying altitude levels. Extremes in altitude levels are normally reported during takeoff or landing and such conditions can affect seal integrity if proper measures are not taken. The contents of a package determine whether an altitude test can be conducted in a wet or dry chamber. A vacuum versus attitude simulation chart is then used for referencing.

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How Humans Support Robotic Packaging and Leak Detection

Consumers rely on quality control for the safety of the food they purchase. Companies involved with food packaging do need to take as many extra steps in order to ensure leaks in the food packaging do not exist. Perforations in food packaging may lead to all manner of contaminations. Clearly, this would not be good for consumers and might open the food packaging service to all manner of liabilities. Leak detection steps positively must be employed in order to reduce the chances of a poorly packaged product reaching the market. Perhaps utilizing the most advanced detection processes such as robotic packaging may help the mission goal of those interested in reducing leaks.

Robotic systems, however, won’t completely replace human worker who must perform a host of important tasks as well. Humans must act like watchman over the robotic systems to keep tabs on what should be the smooth operation of the installed systems.

Robotic Packaging Management

Robotic packaging solutions are not new. Automatic robotic packaging systems have been around many years and a number of very well-established companies crafted advanced robotic packaging systems. These systems, when they do their job without malfunctions, should be able to craft packaging absent undesirable leaks. Relying solely on robotic systems might not be the best strategy. Human beings do need to perform quality control duties to make sure the packaging is up to par. Training becomes necessary in order to increase the likelihood the personnel can do what is tasked of them.

Request Manufacturer Training Support

In order to improve leak detection, the best preventive steps are best instituted. Robotic systems definitely contribute to preventive operations. The human oversight and inspection of the operation of the robotic devices helps catch any flaws. The best training approaches assist personnel do what is required to keep tabs on the robotic units. Trying to figure out the best training strategies for humans to handle the oversight might not be advisable. Specific steps might need to be taken. The manufacturer of the robotic devices likely has strong insights into what is required to effectively train people keeping tabs on the robotic devices.

Contacting the public relations or customer service department of robotics manufacturer or seller could be a beneficial step towards finding the right source of personnel training.

Ultimately, the goal of all this work is to reduce packaging leaks and improve leak detection. Attaining such a goal is surely a major priority of a quality control-minded food packaging enterprise.

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Why Companies Should Invest in Leak Detection for Food Packaging

One most critical components of food production is leak detection. Companies that specialize in the production of food products for retail consumption have to pay extra attention to seal integrity because if the seal is compromised, some of the contents in the packaging could escape leading to reduced shelf life of the product or spoilage.

Can You Tell If the Seal Integrity Has Been Compromised?

It’s easy to tell if seal integrity has been compromised in foods whose packaging contains air such as popcorn, potato crisps et cetera. You can even tell if the product is fresh or it has been sitting on the shelf for a long period. The packaging begins to deflate after some time. Vacuum sealed consumables such as meat are harder to tell if seal integrity has been compromised. Only after removing the packaging that you will notice spoilage.

Most of the products you will find in grocery stores and supermarket shelves in Canada come from fast-paced environments with packing/picking requirements and time constraints. Typically, in the warehouses, companies use large industrial mechanisms to test for leaks. These mechanisms have the ability to conduct numerous full, highly accurate tests in a matter of seconds. These products are generally safe, that’s why most of us rarely think about the packaging and associated food safety concerns when we go out for grocery shopping.

Why We Trust Food Packaging

We trust food packaging leak detection systems because they seldom fail. But when they do, you may end up ingesting contaminants or other forms of impurities which may lead to health issues. That is why the Canadian food safety regulation bodies will not allow food products to reach retail stores before going through a thorough inspection process. If it is discovered that a food production/processing business are using substandard test methods or if their products do not meet the required products, the consequences are dire. In most cases, the company will be required to recall its product from all the retail centres it supplies. Further action may be taken if there are cases of food poisoning, not to mention the lawsuits a business would have to deal with.

Causes of Leak Detection Failure

Though leak detection systems rarely disappoint, human or mechanical errors can lead to failure. In most cases, these mechanisms fail because of faulty settings resulting in defective packaging. This can simply be corrected by pausing the system and correcting the settings.

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How To Stop Bad Packaging From Ruining Your Brand?

Over the years, food safety and quality has been a growing concern among the population. It is embarrassing, and potentially fatal, for any brand if a consumer purchases food only to find it spoiled due to leaks in the packaging. Thus, leak detection is of extreme importance. There are a number of machinery that can help in this task.

MediTest Vacuum Test

Image Source: Cambridge sensotec

Image Source: Cambridge sensotec

The vacuum test is a form of non-destructive testing. The test relies on the reactive force generated by each package during scrutiny under vacuum.  The change in force lets the machine know if there are any leaks or holes in the package. This test takes only a few minutes to administer and can detect holes down to ten microns. The MediTest machine perform this test quickly and reliably.

MediBlue Methylene Blue Dye Test

Image Source: Cambridge sensotec

Image Source: Cambridge sensotec

The Methylene blue dye penetration test is an industry standard in leakage testing. It involves submerging the packaging in a solution containing methylene and placing the chamber in vacuum. If the packaging is faulty, the dye is forced into it and blue color of the dye makes the leak abundantly visible. Thus holes are quickly detected and the faulty package is discarded. MediBlue can automate this test.

JLS PIVT

The JLS PIVT system is a collection of technologies including vision, vacuum, sensors and more that can quickly and effectively detect leaks in packs and discard items that do not meet the industry standard. Producing over a 180 packs in under a minute, the technology can even provide statistical analysis to ensure comprehensive knowledge.

FlexPack’s Bubble Detection Test

Good Seal. Image Source

Good Seal. Image Source

Faulty Seal. Image Source

Faulty Seal. Image Source

 

 

 

 

 

 

Like the methylene dye test, the Flexpack Leak Detector submerges the packaging in a chamber filled with water and subjects it to vacuum. For packages with leaks or holes, air can be seen escaping from the package in the form of bubbles. Thus a simple visual inspection is enough to reject it.

MAPAX LD Inline Testing

The inline testing method offers real time testing data and hence is of immense value. It works by adding a small amount of hydrogen into the atmosphere during sealing phase which is then detected in the leak detecting phase. If there is any leak, the hydrogen gas will escape and the high caliber sensors will detect it in the atmosphere.

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The Importance of Leak Detection in Food Packaging

Not many Canadian shoppers contemplate the specifics of food packaging when they’re out shopping. As long as the seal is tight, we just put it in the shopping basket and proceed to the next stand. We rarely think about the dangers of consuming spoilt products and the only way most of us can identify a spoilt product is only if it gives out a foul rotting smell. However, businesses that manufacture consumables for retail purposes have heavily invested in leak equipment that detects any openings that may allow disease-causing contaminants or impurities through the packaging.

Additionally, if a products seal is compromised, preservation contents within the packaging will escape, and this will significantly reduce the product’s shelf life. That is why seal integrity is the most critical quality control aspect of a company that manufactures retail products.

Source of Breaches

Seal integrity can be compromised in many ways. For instance, if the particles of the commodity in packaging come between the seal and the fray, they may leave a way for pollutants to get inside the package and contaminate the protective atmosphere. Seal integrity will also be compromised if there is a problem with the heating elements during the creation of a thermal seal.

Here are the key reasons why businesses must invest in a leak detection equipment for seal integrity.

Keeping the Consumer Safe

Consumers are the most important part of a successful business. Investing in the appropriate leak equipment helps a company maintain the production of safe commodities thus keeping complaints to a minimum. A single legitimate complaint from a consumer could ruin the business in so many levels.

Avoid Massive Recalls

If a product that is not properly sealed and the problem is identified, it may force the company to recall the entire batch. Recalls can be expensive but are necessary to reassure vendors and end consumer that the products are completely safe.

Avoid Possible Regulatory Action

The authorities responsible for inspecting the products and protecting consumers may call for regulatory actions against your company if the recall for the product is widespread. In addition to that, the company might find itself facing multiple lawsuits from individuals and consumer protection agencies.

Protect Your Brand

Protecting the reputation of your brand is imperative to the success of the business. Getting caught up in any of the messes described above could cause irreparable damage to the reputation of your firm.

You can avoid all the above unpleasant circumstances by making sure that your company to the necessary quality assurance and quality control practices. One sure-fire way to do that is to acquire high-quality leak equipment that can detect compromised packaging accurately and as quickly as possible before the products leave the warehouse.

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4 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Bathroom Leaks

No matter how hard you try to take good care of your home, small maintenance issues like plumbing leaks are inevitably going to happen every now and then. Even if these issues are minor, however, it might seem easy to just put them off, especially if you have a lot of other things going on in your life. However, certain things like plumbing leaks really should not be ignored. These are a few of the many reasons why you shouldn’t ignore bathroom leaks and why you should work with a leak detection company and a good plumber to get rid of them as soon as possible.

1. It’s Bad for the Environment

One thing about plumbing leaks is the fact that they can cause your household to use a lot more water than it would normally. This is not good for the environment and can have more of an impact than many people realize, especially over time. If you have your leaks fixed, you can help ensure that you aren’t using more natural resources than you have to.

2. It’s Expensive

Sure, you might be worried about how much you will have to spend on leak detection and repair. However, you should also be worried about how much you’ll have to spend if you don’t do anything about your bathroom leaks. For example, even a small leak can cause your water bill to go up drastically. Over time, this can lead to hundreds of dollars or more that could have been spent on a repair instead.

3. It Can Cause Major Property Damage

Even a small leak can cause a lot of property damage if it’s ignored. For example, if you have a leak under your bathroom sink, you have to worry about the water destroying your cabinetry over time. If you have a leak from your toilet, the surrounding wall and flooring could be affected. Having your leak taken care of can help you prevent this major property damage, however.

4. It Can Cause Mold Growth

Mold can pose a hazard for your family because it can cause breathing issues, especially if someone in your home already has asthma or other similar troubles. Mold thrives in moist environments, so if there is a leak in your bathroom, there could be mold spores growing already. Make sure that you check for any mold growth after having your leak repaired so that you can get rid of it.

As you can see, there are a few reasons why you shouldn’t ignore bathroom leaks. These are some of the main reasons why you should consider working with a professional to find and repair your leaks.

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Testing Food Package for Leaks to Promote Safety

With the growing time, packaging food has become more popular. More people are buying this packaged food on a daily basis. Many processing companies have also come up bringing us this packaged food. The idea is great. However, food packaging is a complex process. It requires leak detection equipment to ensure the seal is efficient and effective.

One thing that everyone has seen is the “do not consume if seal is broken” label on all food packages. It is advisable to check the seal. However, the real danger is not with the broken seal. If the seal wasn’t installed well, it could have some leaks. Some of the leaks are invisible to the human eye. That, however, doesn’t make them safe. They could be harmful to you.

Leak detection equipment
These are equipment used in detecting any faulty seals. Their job is to test the package thoroughly to ensure it is super tight and is devoid of any leaks.

Types of leak detection equipment.
The equipment comes in different kinds depending on its specific functions; usually defined by the type of foodstuff being packaged. For instance, there is the equipment used for testing food packages containing food in liquid form while some specifically inspect the packages containing food in its solid form.

The technology used to detect leaks in packages containing liquid form is the underwater vacuum/bubble emanation technology. The package is held under water and observed at a microns level. If any bubbles are detected by the equipment, the seal is returned to be redone.

Food cans are also tested. The leak detection equipment at this point is used to pressurize the can. Air is pumped into it and then it is observed for any leakages. This process can also involve water. The can is held underwater to detect any bubble emission.

Purpose of leak detection
Food packages that have leaks can reduce the shelf life of the food inside. The fault line in a package allows air and other substances to enter the food package. In most cases, any foreign material that enters the package will cause the food to have a shorter lifespan due to contamination.

When someone buys food that has a leak, he or she won’t know immediately because he or she may be tricked by the expiry date. The expiry date is based on the maximum performance of the package. However, if the leak has contaminated the food, the date won’t accurately reflect the performance of the seal. Selling contaminated foods will lead to low reviews in case a customer is affected adversely by the foodstuff.

Leak detection equipment is also used to test if the food packages are fit for shipment. The inspection is advantageous to the manufacturer since it reduces the risk of losing products during shipment.

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Maintaining the Integrity of Food Leak Detection Equipment

Advances in technology are improving and changing the face of the food industry very fast. However, one area that doesn’t seem to be getting sufficient attention is food packaging leak detection equipment. Possibly the single most critical component of food quality control is sealing integrity.

When the integrity of a package sealing is compromised, a leak leads to the loss of the product’s protective atmosphere, reducing the food shelf-life. This of course results in costly returns. Good Leak Detection Equipment, therefore, becomes a vital element of food quality control. Leak detection tools results in overall production savings.

How Seal Integrity Can Get Compromised

Leaking food packaging causes losses within the entire chain of production. Leaks also have the potential of damaging your brand reputation. The integrity of food package seals can get compromised through several routes.

In the first place, the product particles could get intertwined with the seal. In some other scenarios, there may be misaligning of the heating element that is meant to create a thermal seal. Other factors could be issues associated with incorrect heat specifications, duration and the pressure used during the process of sealing. Particles of the product being package, for example, may come between the seal and the tray resulting in compromised the seals. These factors all have the potential of causing poor package sealing.

Potential Consequences for Businesses

Food packaging that is faulty, such as food being caught in between seals, tears, poor sealing, or even pin-sized holes, could result in spoilage, increased production costs, reduced product shelf life, and customer complaints. In more serious cases of compromised food packaging, it could even lead to financial penalties for the food packagers as it could touch on consumer safety.

Other possibilities include huge product returns or recalls and their financial implications. This would of course have far reaching effects on your brand image. Purchase of reliable leak detection equipment can help businesses involved in food packaging in avoiding unnecessary financial losses. It also forms a vital part of effective food quality control process.

Leak detection systems help in ensuring that packaging leaks are detected early so that the concerned food products never get distributed to end users—the customers. Businesses can immediately discover packaging issues and have them resolved in good time. This helps in lowering operational costs through reducing the potential of having to make large scale product recalls.

Conclusion

Several innovations over the last ten years or so have helped businesses dealing with food items such as food and beverage packaging plants to protect their consumables in better and more cost-effective ways. As a quality assurance and control manager, it is essential to ensure that your leak detection equipment functions optimally and quickly as possible to ensure food package seal integrity.

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Monitoring the Food Packaging Process with Temperature Sensors

One of the most damaging results of leakages is contamination of food products. However, there is no other way of getting rid of cases of improperly sealed packages other than ensuring that they don’t happen. In an attempt to provide a more efficient leak detector, a recent innovation effort has come up with a sure way of reducing cases of improperly sealed packages or at best, completely getting rid of them.

Manufacturers can now rest assured that their reputation is in safe hands and they don’t have to make huge losses in recalled products. All they have to do is use a thin-film temperature sensor that allows them to monitor the packaging process while still in-line. While you can easily check every package for leakage, you don’t have to go through the tedious and time-consuming process that involves spot checks that are sometimes unreliable.

Time to Abandon Tedious Leak Detector Methods

Often, the sealing process involves the use of heat. Nevertheless, you can’t always be sure that the seal will hold. A simple alteration of the temperature can result to a poor sealing job. If it is too high, the film tube that holds the packaging material together burns. If it happens to be too cold, the sealing will not be tight enough. A temperature sensor is, therefore, excellent news for manufacturers who have been used to going to great pains to ensure that leaks are detected.

How It Works

To get direct feedback on the packaging process of every unit, the temperature sensor is directly applied to the sealing bar. This enables the adjustment of the temperature in case it is too high or too low. In addition, it allows early correction of any sealing problem before too many improperly sealed packages are released from the packaging line.

The method also helps pick out products that may have interfered with proper packaging by getting in the seam. During the sealing process, the sealing bars surrender some of their heat to the sealing films which results to a little cooling down. If there is any product trapped in the seams, it will also get some of the heat, thus resulting to a quicker cooling of the bars than would be the case if it wasn’t there.

Conclusion

Improper packaging of food products does no good to the manufacturer. With every packaging mistake, the reputation is put at risk. At minimum, the customers will have questions about the intake of a poorly packaged product. It can easily get worse when one unhappy customer puts up a spirited campaign against not only the use of the product but also other brands associated with the manufacturer. For that reason, every necessary measure, including the use of such a reliable leak detector as the temperature sensor, should be put into place before the release of food products into the market. Visit the FlexPak website for more information.

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What to Look For in Leak Detection Equipment

One of the greatest concerns of quality control is the sealing integrity of a package. If it is overlooked, there is a likelihood of incurring heavy financial losses as a result of recalling of the products, court fines for harm to persons who’ve used damaged products as well as loss of the company’s good image. In addition, the company may face stern action from regulatory authorities which may all greatly hurt the business. Therefore, investing in high quality leak detection equipment is not only cautious, but also smart.

Possible Leak Causes

Mostly, damages that lead to leaks happen in the packing process. On the other hand, improper packing can be caused by several factors. It may simply be a result of misalignment during the creation of a thermal seal. It may also be caused by the presence of the product’s particles on the sealing material thus preventing proper sealing. Additionally, the heat level, duration, and pressure used during the sealing process may not have been appropriate to the particular packaging process.

Your Leak Detection Equipment should be accurate and quick in picking out any of the many problems associated with wrong package sealing. This way, it will help you avoid serious damage to the brand’s reputation. Keep in mind that it will cost you a lot more to get back consumers’ trust after a packaging failure than it will to obtain the equipment.

Efficiency and Ease of Operation

Needless to say, one of the most important features of any equipment is easy operation. In addition, any equipment meant for detecting leaks should be able to help the user find holes in the smallest possible sizes when checking sealed and non-porous packages. Moreover, it should prove its worth by delivering quick results. Remember, you should not have to put the packages through various leak testing methods including traditional ones such as water bath leak detector after using the detector.

Non-Destructive Leak Testing

In most cases, leakage problems are brought out by defects in the packaging material or process—not the product. While certain products cannot be used once packed, others do not have to be discarded once leakages are discovered. In the latter case, non-destructive leak detection equipment should be put into use. Improperly sealed products can then be returned to the packaging line for a better job thus pushing losses incurred as a result of unnecessary wastages to the minimum.

There are various other factors to look out for in leak detection equipment. They include adaptability to the use of different methods of testing for leaks such as bubble emission and vacuum decay. Moreover, the equipment should support factory automation as well as have the ability to get rid of human error during testing. Lastly, remember that there are online and offline applications for leakage detection as well as process control in QA/QC.

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