Gas-related equipment manufacturer WITT-Gasetechnik manufacturers the LEAK-MASTER® EASY, a compact system for water-based leak detection – for packaging, components and anything that needs to be leak-tight.
In an interview with WITT, Application Specialist Michael Kallweit (left) explained how quality inspectors can reliably test sensible products and packaging with simple technology.
Why is leak detection required?
Anyone who packages sensitive products, such as food and medicine, or manufactures watertight or sealed products knows the benefits of leak detection. Even the smallest leaks can jeopardize the quality or functionality of products. A failure to conduct tests could likely result in the shipment of defective products. All it takes is one such delivery to entail massive costs and damage to your reputation. In that respect, there’s no way around leak detection. Moreover, it can be used to your competitive advantage. Whoever tests correctly offers their customers greater certainty.
What can quality inspectors do?
Manufacturers like WITT have developed devices that reliably test products for leak-tightness with a high level of reliability. These devices should be in place at the end of every quality production process. They are available for flexible and rigid products, for individual items or bulk, for inline and offline applications. If you’re worried about complex technology and high costs, even entry-level systems, such as the LEAK-MASTER® EASY, are technologically effective, easy to operate and provide reliable results.
How is this possible?
The test specimen is placed in the device’s water-filled chamber. The device evacuates the air space at the top of the chamber so that a vacuum results. If the product is leaking, air or filling gas will bubble out in a visible stream. Simple but effective. This method is not only extremely reliable, but also offers a valuable additional benefit: The leak can be localized precisely, thereby enabling a selective product improvement.
Intact test specimens can, therefore, be reused?
Correct. That’s one of the special features of “soft” testing in the water basin. Other test methods work with puncture needles, and the product would be practically destroyed after such a test. In this case, the packaging is merely wet afterward, and certain tests are even possible in a dry chamber.
That makes the test cost effective?
Very much so: The system not only leaves the product untouched, but it’s also economical in use. Installation and commissioning are easy, without any need for calibration, and there’s no special training required. The LEAK-MASTER® EASY works with just water and compressed air – without any need for separate trace gas or a vacuum pump as we utilize the Venturi effect. Not even an electrical connection is required.
Which kinds of products are tested for leaks?
A leak detection test is always carried out when a leak can put the product quality at risk. Packaging, typically for food or products in the pharmaceutical sector or biotechnology, frequently undergoes testing. However, it’s often a matter of testing the leak-tightness of products themselves. For example, electronic components and lights in the automotive industry, floats in level gauges, camera systems or air cushions are tested with the EASY.
What are the limits?
This test method is suitable for all watertight products or those packaged as waterproof. Even vacuum packaging can be tested with a special set. Only the size of the test chamber poses a limitation. We, therefore, provide our systems with various chamber sizes up to 76 x 50 x 34 cm. This allows countless product variants to be covered, and the test result is available in less than 30 seconds.
Can the tests also be documented?
Yes, an electronic control unit is available for faster and standardized test procedures as an option. Then the results are documented automatically. In this context, it’s worth mentioning that altitude simulations are also possible. That means anyone dispatching by air freight can determine the suitability of their products for this in advance and verify the result to customers.
Others offer similar systems…
Certainly. The LEAK-MASTER® EASY is above all distinguished by rapid testing, its sophisticated design with power-free Venturi nozzle, the choice of several chamber sizes and its sturdy, yet user-friendly construction. Sometimes it’s the little things that make a difference. Our customers typically appreciate details like gas-pressure springs, which make it easier to open the lid, or the blow-off device allowing the water to be replaced quickly.