The Beginners Guide To Leak Testing - Part 1: Why Leak Test?


If you're a Research Manager, Production Manager or System Integrator that's new to the subject of leak testing, or someone who just wants a general understanding, you're in the right place! In this multi-part blog series, we will delve into the importance of leak testing, the benefits it can bring to your business, the fundamental science behind various test techniques, when to apply them, and finally, how to select the right leak measurement equipment. Welcome to Part 1: Why Leak Test?

Part 1: Why Leak Test?

There are numerous reasons to consider leak testing, all ultimately leading to the fact that if you manufacture a product that has the potential to leak when it shouldn't, implementing leak testing becomes a valuable business practice that positively impacts your overall profitability. After all, who would continue to purchase transmission cases, faucets, food and pharmaceutical containers, critical medical devices, and various other products if they are not up to par?

If you're a Manufacturing Manager or Production Manager focused on quality, efficiency, and continuous improvement, you probably already include leak testing as an essential part of your production and quality testing process. Your company prioritizes shipping high-quality products, recognizing that it gives you a competitive advantage and higher profits. Depending on your industry, leak testing may be required by regulatory bodies like the FDA for public safety or may be part of industry practices like good manufacturing practice (GMP) in the medical device and pharmaceutical industries.

There are also valid reasons why a manufacturer chooses not to leak test their products and cases where it just doesn't make economic sense. Some companies may opt for minimal testing, using basic methods and equipment, and only testing a portion of their production. For example, they may choose to test the products intended for a specific customer while shipping identical products to others without testing. The decision ultimately depends on factors such as the product type, production costs, and sale price.

Less-Obvious Benefits of Leak Testing: Identify the Problem Before It Impacts Your Bottom Line.

Another significant benefit of leak testing is that it can highlight other problems in the manufacturing process. It’s easy to see that if a product is designed not to leak and it does, then something, somewhere, has gone wrong. This is where your Process Engineer becomes the “leak detective” and analysis of the defect will reveal its source. For example, the reason for the leak could be a missing part, incorrect torque setting, poor material handling or defective incoming material (even metal castings leak). If your company employs sophisticated statistical process control (SPC) systems that identify when a process goes outside of its control limits, the leak measurement data can play an important part in these systems and help you get to the root of the problem more quickly.

Leak Testing Provides a Wide Range of Benefits

Leak testers have undergone significant advancements, offering unparalleled levels of sensitivity, repeatability, and reliability. Additionally, they now possess sophisticated data handling capabilities and part identification features, empowering users with greater control over their manufacturing processes. 

To summarize, below is a list of reasons to consider adding leak testing to your manufacturing process:

  • Increased Profits
  • Customer Satisfaction
  • Legal Requirements
  • Safety Issues
  • Quality Assurance
  • Process Control
  • GMP
  • Scrap Reduction
  • Functional Testing

We've only just scratched the surface on the subject of leak testing.  Stay tuned for upcoming posts in our The Beginners Guide to Leak Testing series:

Want more leak testing basics?  You can find a plethora of resources right here at  Check out our Blog and Resources section for educational articles, test method library, videos and more.

Uson can help!

If you're a beginner at leak testing (or know just enough to be dangerous) and need expert help identifying the right test method, process and leak tester for your application, the experts at Uson can help.  Uson has helped thousands of product manufacturers around the world with their toughest application challenges for 60 years. We can help you too.  Contact us today!

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