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The nine most frequently asked questions about the Oxipack leak detection method

No, it just is not possible. There will always be tiny leaks and it is hard to predict where and why they occur.

  • It could be a random event, when the product just happens to come into contact with the edge of the seal.
  • Other leaks develop systematically. Then every twelfth package has a leak, a whole pallet or a certain corner of a seal. There could be a small pip on a roller that the foil runs over. Or perhaps one of the twelve sealing jaws in the vacuum applyers does not heat properly.
This percentage can only be reduced if the exact figures are known. When trying to optimise efficiency a proper analysis of the actual percentage of leaks is vital. Actually finding out how many leaking packages are being produced is difficult to do.
Closer, critical investigation shows that the percentage of leaks is always greater than expected. All kinds of factors play a part and views on leak detection vary. Nobody wants to stop a production line, but the consequence further down the line, is that large numbers of packed products will need to be destroyed.
Attack the problem at source: the packaging machine. If you know exactly how many leaking packages are being produced then you will very quickly have the packaging machine under control and the percentage of leaks as well. Systematic leaks can be traced using systematic sample testing. Random leaks can only be detected using 100% leak detection.
The Oxipack leak test equipment detects extremely small holes in vacuum packaging and soft packs right down to 10 micron (µm). This means hundredths of a millimetre. This makes our equipment one of the most accurate non-destructive micro leak test equipment in the packaging industry. In this way you are able to test packaging during production to ensure it is as leak-free as possible thus preventing complaints and quality issues.
The leak test equipment measures pressure differences in the area immediately around the packaging. The equipment is capable of very accurately detecting whether a leak greater than a set value is present, right down to 10 µm. If different people carry out the test they will all arrive at the same result.
Oxipack leak testers are not affected by the climate in the factory. Humidity, air pressure or drafts in the test area have no effect at all on the test results. Neither do vibration, approaching bad weather or dust affect the test results.
The full leak test of a packaged item is completed in 30 seconds. Testing smaller packaging takes a few seconds less than testing a relatively larger packaged item.
Flexible packaging that is completely full of fluid, like fruit drink pouches or flexible lemonade packaging cannot be tested in their entirety. In these applications there is no air or not enough air present. It is this air that is needed to measure pressure differences produced by leaks. Sometimes it is possible to test just the cap or seal.
Leaking packaging always causes losses in the whole production chain. Which might even damage your brand reputation. Leak detection however is a tool that results in savings.
Savings of one to two tonnes in euro’s for each packaging line per year are possible in the food products sector. The calculations vary according to circumstances and depend on the product and raw materials used. Is the current packaging destructively tested for leaks? If so the savings are even greater.
Yes. If you just require precise leak detection for the short term then you can rent the equipment from Oxipack. Our Mobile Leak Tester is ideally suited for this purpose. This rugged and robust model is easy to transport. The mobile leak tester is fitted with wheels so it is ideally suited for carrying out quality tests on packaging at different sites.
Operating the equipment is very easy. Connect the equipment to a power source and compressed air, open the carry case, put the packaging inside and the equipment will indicate whether the packaging is airtight within 30 seconds. In this way you will know very quickly what the quality of a certain packaging machine is like.
The equipment developed by Oxipack measures pressure differences. This way of testing means the packaging is not damaged and remains dry. The Oxipack leak detection equipment can trace major leaks but most importantly it can also detect micro leaks. This can be done immediately after food products or medicines have been packaged. This allows you to optimise the packaging process and prevent any complaints regarding quality.


More questions about leak detection? We have the answers.

Almost all kinds of packaging that has to be vacuum packed or be airtight can be tested:

  • vacuum packaging;
  • cans;
  • glass jars with tops;
  • atmospherically packed food products or MAPs;
  • airtight sealed packaging;
  • foil or plastic packaging;
  • aerosol cans.

In principle, all types of product packaging can be tested for leaks if a small or extremely small amount of air or inert gas is present within the packaging.

Flexible packaging that is completely full of fluid, like fruit drink pouches or flexible lemonade packaging cannot be tested in their entirety. In these applications there is no air or not enough air present. It is this air that is needed to measure pressure differences produced by leaks. Sometimes it is possible to test just the cap or seal.
The leak test equipment measures pressure differences in the area immediately around the packaging. The equipment is capable of very accurately detecting whether a leak greater than a set value is present, right down to 10 µm. If different people carry out the test they will all arrive at the same result.
Oxipack leak testers are not affected by the climate in the factory. Humidity, air pressure or drafts in the test area have no effect at all on the test results. Neither do vibration, approaching bad weather or dust affect the test results.
Yes. If you just require precise leak detection for the short term then you can rent the equipment from Oxipack. Our Mobile Leak Tester is ideally suited for this purpose. This rugged and robust model is easy to transport. The mobile leak tester is fitted with wheels so it is ideally suited for carrying out quality tests on packaging at different sites.
Operating the equipment is very easy. Connect the equipment to a power source and compressed air, open the carry case, put the packaging inside and the equipment will indicate whether the packaging is airtight within 30 seconds. In this way you will know very quickly what the quality of a certain packaging machine is like.
Sometimes R&D only wants to determine how airtight a prototype of a new form of packaging is. For example it could be a new type of foil packaging. Or perhaps it could be to test the first run of a production of 30,000 packages on a new packaging machine.
In these sort of cases the ultra-precise Oxipack equipment can be rented for a short period. We would then assist you in setting it up. We would also advise you about improving the chances of success with regard to quality control.

This percentage can only be reduced if the exact figures are known. When trying to optimise efficiency a proper analysis of the actual percentage of leaks is vital. Actually finding out how many leaking packages are being produced is difficult to do.
Closer, critical investigation shows that the percentage of leaks is always greater than expected. All kinds of factors play a part and views on leak detection vary. Nobody wants to stop a production line, but the consequence further down the line, is that large numbers of packed products will need to be destroyed.
Attack the problem at source: the packaging machine. If you know exactly how many leaking packages are being produced then you will very quickly have the packaging machine under control and the percentage of leaks as well. Systematic leaks can be traced using systematic sample testing. Random leaks can only be detected using 100% leak detection.
Leaking packaging always causes losses in the whole production chain. Which might even damage your brand reputation. Leak detection however is a tool that results in savings.
Savings of one to two tonnes in euro’s for each packaging line per year are possible in the food products sector. The calculations vary according to circumstances and depend on the product and raw materials used. Is the current packaging destructively tested for leaks? If so the savings are even greater.
When using 100% leak detection less people are needed for final checks. The operator spends less time on checking and has time to deal with other tasks. The leak detection equipment results in no additional stoppages due to maintenance.
In the first few weeks the equipment will regularly detect leaking packaging. It will look like more packages are being found with leaks than before. The cause of the leak will have to be traced in order to solve the problem with the packaging machine. The Production Manager should take this into account. After a couple of weeks the packaging process will have improved so much that leaking packaging will only be detected once in a while. And that is why you chose for in-line leak detection.
No, it just is not possible. There will always be tiny leaks and it is hard to predict where and why they occur.

  • It could be a random event, when the product just happens to come into contact with the edge of the seal.
  • Other leaks develop systematically. Then every twelfth package has a leak, a whole pallet or a certain corner of a seal. There could be a small pip on a roller that the foil runs over. Or perhaps one of the twelve sealing jaws in the vacuum applyers does not heat properly.
The “lean” production methods in the food processing sector seem to increase the number of leaks. Stocks are kept to a minimum. In the past, the same product would roll off the production line continuously for a whole week, now the same packaging production line will switch between all sorts of flavours and umbrella brands. Due to this change the production line does not run continuously. After a few shifts the packaging machine is converted to produce packaging using other paper covers or a single foil wrapper. This could be for another country or subsidiary brand.
As a result of lean production methods the machine has to be restarted a few times every week. And the start up process normally entails a run with a series of leaking packages. As the packaging production line has to get up to speed, the sealing process takes longer. This means the product material is exposed to high temperatures for a longer period. This results in a higher percentage of leaks.
The answer depends on another question: what does leaking packaging cost the company?
Is this difficult to find out? Just ask yourself this:

  • What does it cost if a production run of 12 hours has leaks?
  • And what is the cost of four hours production for repackaging?

The investment in stand alone leak detection can be recouped in a few months.
In-line leak detection equipment pays for itself in one to two years.
It can sometimes be hard to present a business case if you do not have the exact figures relating to down-time or leak percentages. We can help you with the calculations.

The Oxipack leak test equipment works by measuring pressure. Water is not used in this process and no detection gases are used. It is a clean, dry and extremely precise test method. This applies to both the stand alone leak testers and in-line leak detection systems. This form of testing allows you to get rid of the not so hygenic water immersion tank from the production area.
Need to check large quantities of packaging at a high speed? The Oxipack testing equipment is ideally suited to this purpose. The Stationary Leak tester can be deployed for offline testing in a lab situation or for random sample testing during production. Where necessary, it can run continuously.
Introducing 100% leak detection demands some extra work from the operator initially. The first weeks will be more demanding; the system will detect leaking packaging more often than expected. That means the operator will have to trace what is causing the leaks. The operator will also have to handle the rejected packaging. Once the packaging machine has been set up for optimum performance, the number of leaks in the packaging will drop sharply and things will be easier for the operator.
Quite the opposite, operating is simplicity itself. Open the cover, put the packaging in, close the cover and press the green button. The equipment does the rest. If the green light comes on, that means the packaging has no leaks. If the red light is on then the packaging has a leak. A simple but a reliable test method.
Almost never. The Stationary Leak Tester is a robust device that can handle 500 to 1000 leak tests a day. Breaks downs are very rare. Most importantly the leak tester needs very little maintenance. An occasional clean with a damp cloth is all that is needed. An annual service is sufficient to check the condition of the membranes and filters.
What do operators think about working with the Stationary Leak Tester?
Operators can carry out their work to an optimum level with the Stationary Leak Tester. The fact that this is a “dry” test method is greatly appreciated. This is certainly true if the operator works in a chilled environment. We often hear operators say:

“it’s ideal, I no longer have to put my hands in the immersion tank, this equipment is excellent”.

Because people like using the equipment, the method for taking measurements is made use of in the agreed way.

The Oxipack leak test equipment detects extremely small holes in vacuum packaging and soft packs right down to 10 micron (µm). This means hundredths of a millimetre. This makes our equipment one of the most accurate non-destructive micro leak test equipment in the packaging industry. In this way you are able to test packaging during production to ensure it is as leak-free as possible thus preventing complaints and quality issues.
The full leak test of a packaged item is completed in 30 seconds. Testing smaller packaging takes a few seconds less than testing a relatively larger packaged item.
Certainly, as every manufacturer has his own requirements. The degree of accuracy of the leak tester depends on the shelf life of the product and the volume of the packaging. A far greater degree of accuracy may be needed for one product compared to another. Oxipack will set up the leak tester according to the requirements of the quality control department. The best set up for your type of product will be installed after discussions with you.
If after some time you would like to change the accuracy of the equipment, for example to test a new form of packaging, then please get in touch with us. Oxipack can change the settings in the programme after discussing it with you.
Operating the equipment is very easy. Open the cover, put the packaging in, close the cover, press the green button. The equipment does the rest. It creates a vacuum between the two membranes, automatically measures the pressure twice and compares the readings with one another. If the green light comes on, that means the packaging has no leaks. If the red light comes on then the packaging has a leak. A fast and simple method of measuring but very reliable. Accuracy is not dependant on the attentiveness of the operator.
The measurements are stored in the equipment itself, 2,500 to 5,000 readings, depending on the client’s preference. The test equipment can also be connected with internal measuring, storage and maintenance systems using a data cable. This option is a standard feature on the Oxipack Stationary Leak Tester.

The measurements are continuously and automatically transmitted, wherein the test results being stored in the system. The quality manager is able to look at and interpret the result on the computer screen at any time. Also it is possible to search for a certain production date and time. The quality manager is not dependent on a manual check list with ticked boxes. It is clearly demonstrated and plain to see that tests have been carried out and what the results of the tests were.

Is there no internal direct data connection available? In that case the measurements for the last 5,000 readings can be viewed on the display of the leak tester. It is actually easier to use the download option. Using the software included you can download the data to a USB stick on site and then view and interpret that data at your leisure.
When we set up the equipment we will go through how to interpret the readings with you. If you have any questions later, please get in touch with us. Just email the readings you have questions about to us. Then we will be able to go through it with you.
The standard settings for calibrating the Oxipack leak tester are built into the equipment itself. This can be tested as follows:

  • Turn the equipment on, open the cover and close it again without putting any product in. Then push the start button. This way you are testing the empty equipment.
  • Does the green light come on? The equipment has confirmed there is no leak in the whole measuring system and has thus tested itself.
  • Is the red light on? In this unlikely event something is wrong, there may be an internal leak: get in touch with Oxipack immediately.

The second way of testing the precise settings of the leak tester is by using one of our leak test dummies. These are dummy packages with calibrated micro leaks that have been laser-cut into stainless steel. These are available in 50, 25 and 10 mu sizes and are of course packed in dust free protective cases. These can be used to check that the leak tester is able to detect the calibrated leak.

Need to check large quantities of packaging at a high speed? The Oxipack testing equipment is ideally suited to this purpose. The stationary leak tester can be deployed for offline testing in a lab situation or for sample testing during production. Where necessary, it can run continuously.
The quality aspect is not dependant on the accuracy or attentiveness of the operator. The operator does not have to be constantly looking for bubbles, as is the case when using the bubble test method in an immersion tank. Nor does the operator have to squeeze a set number of packages.
The Stationary Leak Tester has only two possible outcomes: a green light (okay) or a red light (leak). So there is only one interpretation: good or bad. It does not matter if ten different operators use the Oxipack leak detection system, they will all arrive at the same result. Thus the results do not depend on the person.
The Oxipack leak detection equipment will be able to provide years of trouble free pressure measurements and thus detect micro leaks. All that is needed is regular and careful cleaning and maintenance. It is a precision measuring instrument and needs to be treated as such.

Precisely how often the leak test equipment needs to be cleaned will depend on the conditions in the testing area. In a coffee factory, where a lot of coffee powder is swirling round, both the inner and outer surfaces need to be cleaned more often with a damp cloth than in a clean, cool production area where cheese is being packaged. Please refer to the instructions for the precise cleaning routine. Should the equipment unexpectedly have a fault, please consult the instructions for an explanation of the code displayed. If necessary please contact Oxipack.

Oxipack recommends an annual service of the stationary leak test equipment based on a maintenance and service contract. When used intensively the membranes will be subjected to wear. If the profile is worn in any way the membranes need to be replaced. It may also be necessary to replace the internal dust filters, especially in dusty environments. A blocked filter can result in an error message.
During the annual service the engineer will check the profiles of the membranes, he will also replace the internal dust filters and he will check the measurement settings with calibrated leak test dummies. He will also answer any questions you might have.
The details of readings are stored in the equipment itself. In addition, the details can be linked with existing monitoring systems using a data cable. In this way the person responsible for quality control can view the recorded measurements. A third option is to download the data onto a laptop using a USB stick provided with the software.
Has there been an interruption of the data transfer? When required the stand alone leak detection equipment on site at the factory can be fitted with a warning device to indicate when a cable is not properly connected. Testing can only be resumed once the data cable has been properly connected again.
Operators can carry out their work to an optimum level with the stationary leak tester. The fact that this is a “dry” test method is greatly appreciated. This is certainly true if the operator works in a chilled environment. We often hear operators say “it’s ideal, I no longer have to put my hands in the immersion tank, this equipment is excellent”. Because people like using the equipment, the method for taking measurements is made use of in the agreed way.

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