Few companies test their modified atmosphere packaged products for leaks as consistently as Dr. SchÃ¤r, the largest manufacturer of gluten-free food in Europe.
The company produces over 80 products, many of which are packaged in modified atmosphere packaging. The annual production totals 2500 tonnes. $quot;We got to the point where the quality tests just could not keep up$quot; recalls Josef Unterhofer, technical project manager at Dr. SchÃ¤r in Burgstall by Meran. $quot;It was only possible to test individual packaging units for leaks by means of an offline random sampling process.$quot;
Whilst looking for optimisation possibilities, the company came across the German manufacturer Witt, who manufacture a wide range of leak detection devices. The company was in the process of launching the model $quot;Leak-MasterÂ® Inline$quot; onto the market, a new generation of high-performance leak detection systems that were capable of testing both individual packages and also shipping cases fully automatically and non-destructively.
After some fine-tuning, the device now works in a three-shift system. On average, 220 shipping cases containing around 1400 individual packages pass through the testing chamber. $quot;The Leak-MasterÂ® is currently the fastest testing system of its kind on the marketplace$quot;, said the application specialist Markus Mertens from the manufacturer in Witten, who helped during the start-up phase. $quot;Up to 15 cycles every minute allow automatic quality controls to be performed on the whole production output.$quot;
During testing, the device generates a vacuum in the measuring chamber. If there is a leak, the protective gas (CO2, carbon dioxide) will leak from the packaging. If the sensor is triggered, one of the packages must have a leak. An alarm is then sounded and the nonconforming goods are automatically sorted out via a pusher.