A joint venture between two US companies claims it will enable food packagers to eliminate the risk of releasing defective leak-rate products into the market.
USON and Innovative Products joined to create USON-Innovative Systems (UIS), with USON dealing with the leak testers and Innovative Systems providing the automation systems expertise.
UIS is a single source turnkey solution for semi and fully automated leak testing applications.
The partnership claimed this means lower costs, faster throughputs and faster time-to-market.
Leak detection techniques
Rudolph Fuentes, USON leak test sales specialist, told FoodProductionDaily.com there are a number of leak detection techniques which can be applied to food packaging of various types.
“A common application for load cell testing for example would be in the testing of flexible pouches, lidded trays, flow wrap packaging made of plastic, laminates or foil containing dry goods such as powdered drinks, snack foods, cereals, seeds or the like.
“Other techniques may lend themselves to the testing of cans, plastic bottles or other injection moulded products.
“For most customers the motivation behind leak testing is the desire to avoid releasing product of questionable quality into the market. When the products are potentially dangerous if the packaging is compromised the motivation increases dramatically.”
Automation systems such as robotic part handling are tightly integrated with the USON leak detector best suited for a particular leak testing application challenge.
Fuentes said: “The benefits for food packagers will be that they can address their testing application through a single source which will combine the strengths of both parties.
“That this is a single source for turnkey leak testing on semi or fully automated assemblies also means that food packagers and producers will be able to expand to new locations and get up and running quickly without compromising quality.
“The new partnership is more aligned with the production of leak detection machines which can be incorporated into full production and packaging lines.”
Risking costly recalls
Fuentes added by not leak testing or by using a subjective method of testing packaging engineers are running the risk of costly and perhaps litigious product recalls.
“Typically customers approach the leak testing requirement from the leak test itself. That is to say they are prepared with a leak rate specification and are seeking advice on how to address that specification with modern leak detection equipment.
“Other customers not prepared with their own specification seek assistance in creating an appropriate specification for the test.
“The next step is to determine how the solution can be automated into production or packaging lines.”