INFICON has specialized in leak detection technology for more than 100 years and last week introduced its newest innovation to the North American market at Pack Expo.
Consolidating and extending shelf life
The main draw of the Contura S400 is its ability to detect both gross and fine leaks quickly and reliably, eliminating both the need for two separate machines and the risk that a package with a tear or improper seam might be incorrectly identified as airtight.
The machine is already commercialized in the European market but was just launched in North America over the summer. It’s already being adopted by both large and small companies, according to INFICON.
Bill Burnard, business development manager at INFICON, said, “Package leaks can have a profound impact on product quality by shortening shelf life and create the potential for food safety issues due to premature spoilage.”
A cost-effective solution
Packages can leak for a variety of reasons, including large pores in the film that result from overstretching. Hard-to-detect capillaries can also form if product residue gets trapped in the seam or if incompatible adhesives are used in packaging.
“Reliable leak detection equipment, like the Contura S400, can help food manufacturers catch compromised packages before they reach the consumer, preventing costly recalls and returns and protecting brand reputation,” Burnard said.
INFICON reports that the Contura S400 is a more cost-effective alternative to water baths and gas-based testing used in other leak detection. It’s ideal for dry foods like cheese, coffee, meat, poultry, baked goods, snack foods, confectionery, grains and cereals, prepared food and produce.
Adaptable and independent
It works by placing the packaged product “between two unique membranes that create a conformal vacuum chamber which is quickly evacuated. The gas flows through any package leaks into the chamber where it causes an increase in pressure.”
The vacuum gauges then measure this change to calculate the package’s leak rate and delivers results on a display screen. The Contura S400 is gas independent, making it easy to integrate into any manufacturing environment, the company said, adding it can be adapted to suit clients’ specific needs and acceptable leak rate range.
“The Contura S400 relies on a proprietary differential pressure method to identify leaks – both large and small. This unique, non-destructive approach allows dry food manufacturers to efficiently and accurately determine if hermetically sealed packages are airtight before they ever reach the market,” Burnard said.