Product Range introduction
The quantity of products packed in flexible packaging is steadily increasing globally, and this together with the usage of Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP) technology. Packaging machines are now capable of automatically packaging huge quantities of products at an incredible speed. It is therefore difficult for the Quality Control Department to keep pace, particularly for the procedures that are still manual as of today, like leak testing. In addition, as manufacturing is moving more and more towards automation, the opportunity for human interaction to spot and correct errors is drastically reduced.
Leak detection is the key to ensure integrity of the food packaging, and therefore safety, taste conservation, in short, consumability. It is a great challenge to Food Manufacturers for two main reasons:
- The only credible method for testing flexible packaging is the “Flow Measurement at a Constant Pressure“ method according to DIN 55508-1 of 01/02/2018. There are very few leak detectors on the market today using this technology.
- 99% of leak detection operations for products packaged in flexible packaging is manual. The most commonly used, bubble detection, is painstakingly slow and does not deliver any data at all.
The main reason why leak detection has not been automated as of today is due to the fact that you have to manually adhere a septum to the packaging, and then manually perforate the septum with a hollow needle to perform the leak test.
A septum takes the form of a sticker that is adhered to the flexible packaging to be tested. The septum’s main function is to provide a leak-free seal to maintain the gas pressure inside the system. In other words, it helps to avoid creating an additional leak when the packaging is perforated with a needle for the leak test or the O2 measurement.
In addition, when there is little space between the product and the packing (headspace), the hollow needle could pierce the food and partially block the needle. As a consequence, the flow would become restricted, or even cease, which results in the gas test or leak test becoming compromised.
This is entirely avoided with the Astaara Range of products, due to the use of a solid thin conical stainless-steel pointer, therefore avoiding any partial or total blockages.
The Astaara Range has been developed to address these issues.
A truly innovative concept:
The Astaara perforating device (Tower) contains a solid thin conical stainless-steel pointer, which perforates the flexible packaging and then retracts. The inside of the packaging and the detector tester are communicating via the channel created, enabling leakage measurement and gas analysis. The sealing is secured thanks to a bellows, so neither a septum nor a hollow needle is needed, and it therefore cannot get clogged. This invention has been internationally patented, and has three immediate benefits:
- O2 measurement & leak detection can be automated.
- Reliable data is available in real time.
- O2 measurement & leak detection can be performed without any consumables, leading to great savings.
Another advantage of the Astaara Range of products is that our solid thin conical stainless-steel pointer is completely concealed, and that unlike the needle used in all current leak test methods, it cannot come in contact with anybody and cause harm accidentally.
There are 3 groups under the Astaara product range:
A/ First group: automatic leak detector AlphaPro and automatic O2 analyser + leak detector Gammapro.
AlphaPro & GammaPro have the same appearance but have different characteristics. They both have been designed to be installed on a dedicated inspection line.
Briefly, the AlphaPro performs a fully automatic leak test, while the GammaPro executes a fully automatic O2 measurement followed by a leak test. Particularly adapted to handle large volumes, no human intervention is required and all data is available in real time.
Lean more about the AlphaPro
Lean more about the GammaPro
B/ Second group: bench-top leak detector AlphaLab and bench-top O2 analyser and leak detector GammaLab.
AlphaLab & GammaLab are bench-top instruments, and have the same look but different features.
The AlphaLab performs a leak test, and the GammaLab executes O2 measurement followed by a leak test. Both instruments are manually operated, and are particularly adapted to be used in laboratories and R & D departments. All data is available in real time.
Lean more about the AlphaLab
Lean more about the GammaLab
C/ Third Group: perforating instrument AlphaTower and stand alone O2 analyser and perforating instrument GammaTower.
AlphaTower & GammaTower have the same appearance but have different capabilities.
If you already have a leak testing instrument or an oxygen analyser and you want to stop using consumables like septum & needles to save costs, connect the AlphaTower to your instrument, perform the test manually and read the results on your instrument. It is only possible to connect one instrument at a time.
The GammaTower is a stand-alone O2 analyser with a perforating tower. Test manually the food sample packed under MAP and read the O2 level on the OLED Display (1.5”) on the front of the GammaTower.
Lean more about the AlphaTower
Lean more about the GammaTower