In-line can leak tester detects nano-sized holes

By Rory Harrington

- Last updated on GMT

In-line can leak tester detects nano-sized holes

Related tags: Milk powder, Natural gas

Full automation, increased accuracy and integration into production lines are advantages claimed for a system to detect micro leaks in cans of milk powder by manufacturer Jorgensen Engineering A/S.

The Danish company said its innovative equipment represents a step change because it is able to detect so-called ‘slow leaks’ in both full and empty cans at a nano level to help optimise shelf life and ensure product quality.

Traditional systems are laboratory based and detect slow leaks on a micron level,”​ company marketing manager Jesper Johansen told FoodProductionDaily.com. “Jorgensen’s new leak tester measures on a nano-level, which means the method is far more accurate and ensures that milk powder shelf life is maintained. It is also fully automatic and designed to be fully integrated into a production line combined with functionality on a laboratory testing level.”

Helium and vacuum

The system uses inactive helium gas as tracer in the full cans in a non-destructive test. The inert gas is present in the containers as a result of the milk powder production and packaging process. The cans are exposed to a strong vacuum and the equipment utilises the unique ability of helium to penetrate even the smallest cracks and flaws. If helium is detected outside the can, a leak signal is given for further inspection and localisation of the leak, said the company.

When it comes to the testing of empty cans the helium is placed inside the empty can in a closed system. The vacuum system detects any leakages in the same way as with full containers, added Johansen.

Speed

Demand from a global food industry leader for an in-line milk powder testing system, lead to the development of the machine, said the marketing chief. It operates within production line speeds of 300-400 cans per minute and carries out between 30-40 test samples an hour.

Although developed for milk powder, the system could be used for other powdered goods as well as for can producers wanting to test empty containers, said Johansen.

Several units have already been validated and installed on production lines of the partnership company, said the firm. The system is now being made available to the wider market.

Related topics: Processing & Packaging