BTG Labs has released its Surface Analyst, an innovative handheld solution for inspecting flexible packaging film that reduces waste, rework and recalls that result when poorly prepared substrate surfaces lead to printing or sealing failure. In two seconds, the Surface Analyst is able to measure the surface energy level of a film surface and determine if it is properly prepared for adhesion. Developed and manufactured by BTG Labs, it is a safe, simple, accurate and non-destructive inspection instrument for manufacturers of flexible packaging, where critical film surface requirements can mean the difference between success and failure.
Ensuring the surface condition and consistency of a film is a vital component for guaranteeing success when printing or sealing a flexible package or pouch, or when printing a film label. The Surface Analyst is an alternative to conventional dyne inks.
Typical inspection points within film and flexible packaging manufacturing include:
- Monitoring incoming material from suppliers: Manufacturers need to have a baseline understanding of the condition of a film’s surface prior to it entering their production process. The measurements produced by the Surface Analyst give manufacturers the ability to monitor supplier specifications.
- Determining the effect of surface aging: Material surfaces deteriorate over time. The Analyst determines the optimal amount of time that a surface can be kept in storage before the surface is no longer fit for adhesion.
- Defining optimal surface treatment levels: The Surface Analyst gives manufacturers the ability to quantify the effectiveness of their surface treatment processes, such as flame and corona treatment. Manufacturers also use the measurements to determine the optimal level of treatment to avoid damaging the material surface from overtreatment and undertreatment.
- Monitoring daily production processes: Over time, processes slowly drift out of spec. The Surface Analyst is used to monitor production processes to ensure the line is working at its highest level of efficiency.