Vacuum Clamping Solutions for Unique Packaging Testing

Vaccum Fixture holding food packaging. Materials testing serves an important purpose when it comes to how the package performs in the hands of your consumer.

Will the medicine pouch open safely without the pills falling to the floor? Does the yogurt cup make a mess at the lunch table? What if the drink cup collapses when it is passed to the back seat? These can be some messy or frustrating experiences for the end user. These applications are some of the real-life examples of your quality testing at work behind the scenes.

The design of packages continues to evolve to meet a wide range of packaging requirements including functionality and esthetics. These new and sometimes complex designs create challenges for quality control departments on how to effectively hold the package during testing. Traditional mechanical clamping fixtures can be expensive, time consuming to make and may not offer a repeatable hold on the sample. 

Key Advantages to Vacuum Clamping Solutions 

Vacuum holding fixtures offer several benefits when it comes to package and seal strength testing.

  • Secure and Precise Holding
    Vacuum fixtures provide a secure and reliable method of holding common and unique shaped specimens during tests. The vacuum force hold the object firmly, preventing movement and slippage.
  • Versatility
    Vacuum fixtures can be customized to accommodate a wide range of shapes, size, and materials. They can be adapted and used with different types samples including flat, curved, irregular, or delicate objects.
  • Increased Productivity
    Vacuum fixtures allow sample to be inserted and removed quickly which increased overall testing efficiency.
  • Enhanced Accuracy and Repeatability
    Vacuum holding fixtures provide excellent positional accuracy, ensuring consistent and repeatable results. The vacuum fixture holds the sample securely in place without distorting or deforming it as is common with mechanical clamping fixtures.
  • Surface Protection
    The use of vacuum to hold a specimen will not leave behind any marks or imperfections on the sample as the fixture will exert even pressure of the surface area.
  • Increased Access
    Vacuum fixtures can be designed to hold a sample from either the top or sides which leaves the top surface completely accessible. This is ideal when attempting to measure the strength to pull a lid off of a container or pull an induction seal from a cup or bottle.
  • Improved Safety
    Vacuum holding fixtures generally provide a greater level of operator safety as they eliminate potential pinch points commonly found with mechanical clamping systems.

Common Packaging Types that Benefit from a Vacuum Powered Test Clamp for Quality Testing

Vacuum holding fixtures can be used with various types of packages, depending on their design, size, and material properties. Some common type of packages that are suitable for vacuum holding fixtures include:

  • Rigid Packages
    Packages, such as boxes, containers or cartons, made from rigid material such as paperboard, plastic, corrugated and metal can be securely held during testing given their defined shape and flat surfaces.
  • Flexible Packages
    Vacuum holding fixtures can accommodate flexible packages including pouches, bags, or films. While flexible packages may have irregular shapes and varying dimensions, the vacuum force can conform to their surface and hold them securely.
  • Flat Folding Cartons
    The use of vacuum holding fixtures are ideal to secure a flat folding carton to accurately measure the force to open it. This methodology more accurately replicates the process found during the production process.
  • Blister Packs
    Vacuum fixtures can be designed to hold a blister pack from the backing card side which allows full access to the blister side for easy access during testing.
  • Clamshell Packages
    Vacuum holding fixtures can be designed to secure a clamshell package from underneath while allowing accessibility to the top portion for testing.
  • Cups and Bottles
    Cups and bottles incorporating an induction seal can be secured using a specifically designed vacuum holder. The holder is provided with various inserts to accommodate cups or bottles with varying diameters and heights.
  • Tray Packages
    Vacuum holders for tray packages allow for the complete seal strength testing of the lidding material as there is no mechanical clamp to interfere with the peel area.
  • Fragile Packages
    Packages made from fragile materials such as glass or ceramic are ideal for vacuum holding fixtures as the vacuum force distributes pressure evenly over the package surface. This will minimize the risk of breakage or damage during testing.

It is important to note that the design and customization of vacuum holding fixtures should match the specific requirements of the package being tested. By tailoring the fixture to the package’s shape, size, and material properties, optimal holding and testing conditions can be achieved.

We welcome you to contact us to discuss your unique package holding and testing needs to see how effective and efficient a properly designed vacuum holding fixture can improve your testing accuracy and efficiency.

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