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Fully integrated monitoring of oxygen content and leakage

GEA LeakCheck & OxyCheck

Save time and make sure all MAP packs you produce are 100% perfect with the automatic oxygen measuring and leakage detection systems for thermoformers. The magic? A sensor-sensitive spot that allows testing without damaging the package.

GEA OxyCheck MAP packaging

Zero waste oxygen and leakage testing for form-fill-seal systems

Up to now, an incorrect O2 content and leakages in food packages were identified by random inspection. Defective products were thrown away, since detection systems used to be invasive. The GEA LeakCheck and OxyCheck units help producers save all the food, packaging material and time wasted by analyzing a sensor-sensitive, fluorescent spot inside the MAP pack lids. Packages with wrong oxygen measures or leakages can then be automatically rejected using a GEA CombiPick package sorting and converging system.

Main applications

The GEA LeakCheck and OxyCheck is an inline quality-control system that can be integrated into any thermoformer to verify the oxygen (O2) content of all MAP packages and identify leakages after the form-fill-seal process thereby ensuring the shelf-life of the product. 

Oxygen content testing and leakages detection of all MAP packs without losses

  • Non-invasive technique based on the printing of a fluorescent, sensor-sensitive spot on the inner surface of a package lid film
  • MAP pack seals and films remain unaffected saving large quantities of film and food product

Significant time savings due to automated oxygen/leakage inspection process

  • No more measurement of oxygen content or leakage-detection of MAP packs by hand or visual inspection
  • Automatic rejection of defective packages
  • No more downtimes due to the labor-intensive tracing back to when the first out-of-specification packs were produced

No negative impact on production capacity

  • Throughput of the oxygen- and leakage-testing process just as fast as that of powerful thermoformers like the GEA PowerPak

Increased food safety of each and every food package throughout the whole production volume

  • All MAP packs are tested instead of randomly picked out samples only (usually < 1%)
  • 100% process monitoring 
  • Absolutely precise system with no human error possible

Advanced technology

Verification of oxygen content and package integrity of MAP packs

The first measurement of O2 content is taken by a GEA OxyCheck sensor installed right after the food packages leave the sealing station of the thermoformer.  Further on, the GEA LeakCheck unit performs a stress test by applying pressure on all packs. After this, a second oxygen test unit re-checks the O2 content. A difference in results points to a leak in the respective package.

Automated sorting

Packages that don’t meet the specifications are automatically rejected and sorted out by a single pack selector like the GEA CombiPick. The automation of the detection and sorting processes keeps the form-fill-seal machine running even when there are defective food packages in the line.

Unique sensor spot technology

GEA LeakCheck

The GEA OxyCheck uses the fluorescent properties of a special material, which is applied in the shape of spots to the inside of the lid film used. The GEA OxyCheck optical sensors installed on the thermoformer project a light onto these sensor-sensitive spots and measure the wavelength of the light that fluoresces from the material to accurately determine the O2 content.

World's first non-invasive quality assurance system for MAP

The GEA LeakCheck and OxyCheck system parts as installed on the thermoformer

Working principle GEA LeakCheck

The inspection system consists of four elements: the OxyCheck sensor spots on the internal side of the lid film, two oxygen measurement units, a stress unit and an interface to the thermoformer’s controls.

Top web for lids with pre-applied OxyCheck sensor spots

When the top film is put on the GEA PowerPak PLUS or PowerPak, it already carries the OxyCheck sensor spots printed on the film’s inner side as part of each package lid segment.

First GEA OxyCheck oxygen measurement unit

The first GEA OxyCheck light sensor is installed right after the sealing is done. It crosses over the lines of food packages to analyze the waves reflected from the fluorescent OxyCheck sensor spots inside the sealed package lids. The data is transferred to the thermoformer’s central control panel.

GEA stress unit

Stress unit for GEA LeackCheck

After the first O2 measurement is done, all packs are transferred into a stress unit, where different pressures are applied to the packages. In case of leakages, the oxygen content in the inside of the pack will change. 

GEA LeakCheck leakages detection unit

The second GEA OxyCheck light sensor unit is installed immediately after the stress unit to enable a comparison of oxygen content levels. Again, the data is transferred to the thermoformer’s controls.

Control panel

Should the second series of measurements not match the first, this is reflected in the side-by-side presentation of the control panel. The packages showing a differing oxygen content or a leakage are automatically identified and processed, so a connected pick-and-place system can sort them out.

The automatic single pack selector and converger GEA CombiPick

Being a powerful combination of a reliable pick-and-place system and a converger merging six tracks to one, the GEA CombiPick is a powerful end-of-line application processing up to 120 packs per minute. Empty or defective food packages simply drop into a bin below the conveyor belt while the “good” products come out in a neat line on the other end of the space-saving module

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