Success Story – Custom Testing Needs Realized


A pharmaceutical company in need of an accurate, flexible, and consistent method to measure the seal strength of foil sealed single-dose medicine cups. Their current method was to peel the foil seal by hand and rely on an operator to determine if the seal strength was adequate. A test routine to remove operator influence and provide objective analysis was required to determine the optimum sealing parameters for their dosing cups.

The customer required a solution that would seamlessly integrate with their current quality control protocols while also offering enhanced configurability and data analysis. The existing method relied on an operator to peel the foil seal by hand and subjectively determine if the seal strength was adequate. This led to inconsistent seal strength and costly adjustment to the production lines.
Working closely with the manufacturer Thwing-Albert evaluated the product. A proposal was presented to provide a vacuum-operated fixture that would securely hold the cup while a pneumatic pincer grip was used to clamp the peel tab. This fixture would also allow the user to vary the angle of peel to better simulate how end users would open the cup. One final key detail for this design allowed for the entire foil seal to be removed from the medicine cup thus eliminating the shortcomings of other fixtures that only peeled part of the seal.
The fixture becomes more valuable when coupled with the VantageNX Materials Tester and MAP4 software. This complete system provided an accurate, repeatable, and flexible test platform that removed the subjectivity of the operator. Quantifiable data could then be collected to archive and compared among current and future tests. Automatic data analysis and graphing identified the maximum force, along with the average force, for the entire sealed area. 
Custom and unique test protocols can be enhanced and simplified through close cooperation and a thorough understanding of client needs. Clients that have struggled with outdated testing methodology have come to rely on Thwing-Albert, through our experience and engineering capabilities, to provide solutions based on their unique requirements to enhance and facilitate their quality control and R&D