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Intertek puts flex packs to the test

By Jenni Spinner+

18-Feb-2014

Intertek has bolstered its Massachusetts lab by adding film and flexible packaging test capabilities.
Intertek has bolstered its Massachusetts lab by adding film and flexible packaging test capabilities.

Quality and safety testing outfit Intertek has expanded its range of laboratory capabilities for gauging fitness of film and flexible polymer packaging.

The company has added a number of tests and technologies to its expanded facility in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. The services give material engineers, scientists, and packaging professionals a better idea of how items might stand up to moisture, temperature, humidity, and other outside forces in food manufacturing and other commercial applications.

Customer feedback

James Galipeau, director of Intertek’s Pittsfield operations, said the added equipment and capabilities come after extensive input from industry clients.

“Listening to our customers and closely monitoring industry trends allows us to provide the services that help manufacturers be more successful,” he said. “This recent investment in testing equipment that will deliver fast and accurate data aligns with our overall mission of adding value to our clients’ products and processes.”

Intertek has a history of guiding clients to a better understanding of the physical and mechanical attributes of film and flexible polymer materials. With the added systems, manufacturers now can determine barrier properties, and ensure they meet applicable requirements such as ASTM 3985 for oxygen barrier resistance and ASTM F1249 for water-vapor transmission rate.

Packaging materials

Galipeau said that the recently acquired flexible polymer packaging equipment allows for Gelbo flex, hot tack and package burst/creep testing, for evaluating end-use seams and heat seals. This complements the company’s existing arsenal of durability testing, including impact resistance, peel, tearing, and tensile and bond strength.

Added equipment includes a Mocon 33/3 MG Plus permeation unit for gauging measure water vapor transmission rate, which can be useful in determining a package’s shelf life. Also, Intertek added Mocon OX-TRAN 2/21 ML, which can determine oxygen transmission rate and also gauge packaging shelf life.

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