Advances in online packaging integrity testing
Packaging failure incidents often go unnoticed due to their tendency to affect a large number of packs in a short amount of time, with sample based methods often being too slow.
Common methods used in industry to test packaging integrity include can seam assessment, creep (inflation), intrusive gas analysis, bubble and penetrant dye test methods. All of these methods are destructive, offline measurements, which can be time consuming, have limited sensitivity (depending on the test) and are unable to assess all packs leaving the factory.
Non-destructive online testing systems are now a reality for packaging manufacturers thanks to advances in technology over the last ten years. Some detection methods are slower than the rate of production, in this instance systems are being implemented with multiple testing chambers to maintain line speeds. Online systems could offer greater reliability and cost efficiency by improving the rate of testing and reducing the requirement for operative intervention.