The Pioneer of Modern Leak Testing

Leak Rates of Leak Testers: Myths vs. Facts – Part I

50 years ago, Uson first developed the technology for automated leak testing for the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Later, our leak testing methods were applied to a variety of industrial applications.

Optima vT Leak Tester from UsonLeak testing innovation has continued at Uson as is evident by our recent unveiling of the Optima vT, a leak tester that is capable of performing nearly half a billion permutations of leak, flow or other NDT tests. It is by far the most advanced testing technology in a highly configurable and versatile package that can handle a wide range of applications known today as well as testing products of the future.

Despite all of the innovations in leak testing, one thing hasn’t changed – the laws of physics. Physics has always been and will continue to be the primary driver of all leak test specifications. It determines the choice of test methods and the optimal test times at specific pressures and other parameters.

To quickly identify the best leak testing method, technology and the right equipment, requires being very familiar with the relevant physics. That comes easy to us at Uson because we eat, breathe, and sleep leak testing.

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How Pressure Decay and Leak Rate are Related

Using pressure decay leak detection testing instruments is an industry norm for leak testing parts that have relatively small volumes. The component to be tested is pressurized with air and the pressure transducer in the leak tester measures pressure changes. A drop in pressure indicates a leak in the component.

Most pressure decay panels measure pressure changes in mbar, Pascal, mbar/sec or Pascal/sec. This presents a challenge because leak specifications are usually specified in volumetric units such as cc/sec or cc/min.

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Medical Device Production Line Layouts – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Uson’s medical device leak testing experts regularly visit medical device manufacturing plants around the world. One of the things we notice immediately is the wide diversity in production line layout and design.

USON Innovative Systems (UIS).Some of the production line designs are over-engineered and give rise to the related problem of excess in-process inventories. To help our customers avoid some of these pitfalls, Uson has developed a solution that combines our 50 years of leak testing knowledge with the capabilities of a long-time partner of 25 years. We call it USON Innovative Systems (UIS).

Instead of focusing on the “bad” and the “ugly” inefficient production lines, I would like to share some tips on what makes the “good” ones really good.

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Gauge Capability Studies in Leak Testing Processes

Employing an automatic leak test station is one of the fundamental steps in advanced manufacturing system. This is done not only for assuring product quality, but also for monitoring process stability.

However, it is necessary to provide a practical way to evaluate the monitoring capability of an automatic leak test station for its application. The monitoring capability usually referred to as a Gauge Capability, or a GR&R (or simply R&R). A GR&R study should be done before incorporating the test station into a production process.

What is Gauge Repeatability and Reproducibility, or GR&R?

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Medical Device Leak Testing Technology Innovations Continue

Ever since Uson first developed the leak testing technology for the US space agency NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) in 1963, the medical device industry has been using the same dry air leak testing technology. As the European Sales Manager of the company, I regularly run into manufacturing engineers and other support staff throughout Europe who do not clearly understand the basic principles of leak detection for the medical device industry. As a result, they continue to run compromised assembly lines.

I recently saw a test station using a leak tester that was ideal for leak testing a single lumen catheter but was very inefficient when it came to testing multi-lumen catheters. What was really needed for this 4-lumen application was a 4-channel concurrent tester that is capable of switching between occlusion and leak testing on all four channels at once. Such a test process is much safer as each assembly is tested to the same pre-programmed rigorous test regime without the risk of a channel being missed, and you get the benefit of a much faster test.

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