A number of packages come into our homes and offices, and for consumers who are keen about the products they are ordering, packaging is the first thing they notice. So if they can find even a tiny hole or a small tear that put a frown on their face, the integrity of the company producing it is already compromised.
Sometimes, packaging can be overlooked until it becomes a subject matter that is being consulted to them. That is why prior to distributing the product out in the market, it should undergo a series of tests and evaluation to avoid unwanted packaging pitfalls after its distribution.
To have the right packaging, it must meet the requirements of form, fit, and function. For manufacturers who do not follow the standards or who do not focus on the critical elements of a good package during the design phase may found out later on that their package is not suitable after sustaining several lapses during validation testing. If packaging is ineffective, it can provide a negative impact on the quality, and it will surely cost the manufacturer millions of wasted expenditures.
So companies must adhere to the design requirements to get the right packaging that suits the needs of the market. They should also undergo preliminary testing and other packaging engineering studies.
Before starting off with package testing, consider the factors such as sample size, test methods, acceptance criteria, material, control use, thermal conditioning, transportation simulation test, cost, etc. Risks that are being exposed to your packaging during the test should be immediately identified.
If manufacturers encounter a packaging test failure, it does not mean that their packaging is not adequate, but it demands further evaluation. The failures can be overcome by doing adjustments to the packaging and the processes involved in it. The four common points why packaging fails in validation testing are:
- Seal Defects – This can be detected during the sealing process, so if the equipment used is not making a good seal, then check the sealing machine’s gauges if they are well calibrated and its tooling capabilities if they are in good working condition.
- Tears/Pinholes – These are usually the result of sharp objects penetrating the protective carton and colliding with the package’s sterile barrier during transport in warehouses or stockrooms. Pinholes can be taken from various sources, but there are primary tests to check it as well as size limits for detecting holes.
- Oversealing – Oversealing can cause tearing and delamination, and sometimes, it can make a material thinner as a result of too much heat and pressure. Although some manufacturers provide tight sealing for the purpose of having a clean and clear appearance, examinations show that heat migrate outside of the seal that can cause damage to a package. To avoid oversealing, they can lower the sealing temperature and reevaluate the sealing guidelines.
- Undersealing – This can produce light or weak seals, so when determining the minimum seal strength conditions for a package, it is important to verify that the distribution and sterilization environments can be endured.
- Packaging Configuration – Businesses must choose the type of carton or container to use, the quantity of product inside a sterilizable bag, and other protective measures that secure the contents during product shipping.