OTR Testing – Oxygen Transmission Rate Testing

OTR Testing, Oxygen Transmission Rate Testing

Oxygen transmission rate (OTR) testing is the process of measuring the amount of oxygen that can pass through a polymer package film or membrane on a square meter basis in 24 hours. Flex-Pack Engineering has the experience and highly specialized instruments which measure OTR by placing 100% pure oxygen on one side of the film and 100% pure nitrogen on the other side of the film. As the oxygen molecules pass through the film, they are caught up in the nitrogen stream and swept off to a detector that counts the oxygen molecules and determines the volume (in CC’s) per unit time.

OTR testing is important in the flexible packaging industry because it ensures that food products maintain their flavor and odor profile. This is important for products such as meats, nuts, or fruits and vegetables that can change or spoil based on the amount of oxygen ingress into the packaging.  

Flex-Pack Engineering provides OTR Testing for customers for a variety of reasons including quality control or to allow a manufacturer to provide a certificate of conformance that certifies the oxygen transmission rate value for a particular package. Additionally, we can provide OTR Testing as part of the design and development process to evaluate if a new film material has a better OTR than the previous film design. We also help customers who are having issues with the OTR of a particular film and assist in determining the problem and offering recommendations for a solution.

Flex-Pack Engineering offers very competitive OTR Testing rates and turnaround times. However, the most important element that Flex-Pack offers our customers is the interpretation of OTR test results and providing recommendations to help solve flexible packaging problems or improve a new film design. A traditional testing lab will deliver testing results but not provide the insights into what the results mean in context of a customers’ goals or issues. With our consultative approach at Flex-Pack, we always discuss OTR testing results with our customers to make sure they understand the data and how it effects the overall product design.

Flex-Pack Engineering, Your Turn-Key Provider for OTR Testing and Analysis

At Flex-Pack Engineering, we bring a nearly 30 year education in developing packaging products that help our customers not only with OTR testing results, but also to help you understand those results to help you compete in the marketplace. We offer very competitive pricing, quick turnaround times, and outstanding customer service to help you with all of your flexible packaging testing requirements.

Contact us today at 330-704-9436 or fill out our request information form and learn how Flex-Pack Engineering can help with OTR testing challenges!

MVTR Testing – Moisture Vapor Transmission Rate Testing

MVTR Testing, Moisture Vapor Transmission Rate Testing

Moisture vapor transmission rate (MVTR) also known as water vapor transmission rate is the process of measuring the amount of water that can permeate through a polymer package film or membrane on a square meter basis in 24 hours. Flex-Pack Engineering has the experience and highly specialized instruments which measure MVTR by creating a moisture gradient from one side of the film to the other that allows the moisture to pass through the material and measures the permeation value.  

MVTR testing is important in the flexible packaging industry because it ensures that food products maintain the necessary amount of moisture within their package: not too dry, not too moist, just right!

Flex-Pack Engineering provides MVTR Testing for customers for a variety of reasons including quality control or to allow a manufacturer to provide a certificate of conformance that certifies the moisture permeation value for a particular package. Additionally, we can provide MVTR Testing as part of the design and development process to evaluate if a new film material has a better MVTR than the previous film design. We also help customers who are having issues with the MVTR of a particular film and assist in tracking down the problem and offering recommendations for a solution.

Flex-Pack Engineering offers very competitive MVTR Testing rates and turnaround times. However, the most important element that Flex-Pack offers our customers is the interpretation of MVTR test results and providing recommendations to help solve flexible packaging problems or improve a new film design. A traditional testing lab will deliver testing results but not provide the insights into what the results mean in context of a customers’ goals or issues. With our consultative approach at Flex-Pack, we always discuss MVTR testing results with our customers to make sure they understand the data and how it effects the overall product design.

Flex-Pack Engineering, Your Turn-Key Provider for MVTR Testing and Analysis

At Flex-Pack Engineering, we bring our 30 year education in developing packaging products to not only bring you MVTR testing results, but to help you understand those results to improve your business. We offer very competitive pricing, quick turnaround times, and outstanding customer service to help you with all of your flexible packaging testing requirements.

Ready to have a conversation? Contact us today at 330-704-9436 or fill out our request information form and learn how Flex-Pack Engineering can help with your MVTR Testing!

Film, Compounding, and Flexible Packaging Consulting

Film, Compounding, and Flexible Packaging Consulting

Helping customers achieve their film, compounding and flexible packaging goals

At Flex-Pack Engineering, Inc. we provide flexible packaging consulting that helps our customers not only improve existing manufacturing efficiencies, but also analyze and evaluate potential new market segment opportunities. Our process begins with understanding the application and desired outcome, understanding the context of what the customer wants to achieve, and then lab testing and lab result interpretations to explain results and make recommendations on how to achieve the desired results. With our nearly 30 year education in all facets of flexible packaging, once we understand what the customer has tried and what is not working, and the context of the application, we often can identify the problem and be ready with recommendations on how to proceed for a successful outcome.

Customers often reach out to Flex-Pack Engineering for flexible packaging consulting services with the desire to enter into a new market segment that appears lucrative, one for which it appears they can participate based on their experience, equipment, and capabilities. We will meet with the customer and discuss what packaging they are doing today, and what packaging they want to be doing tomorrow to enter into that new market segment. We will review equipment, quality systems, manufacturing capabilities, raw materials selection, and supply and distribution chains. We evaluate all facets of the initiative, not just technical but also business and economic concerns to help customers determine what they can do today, and what changes or investments are needed to enter the new market segment. Do you need to buy equipment, change systems, or modify what you have to make it suitable for what you want to do? And does it make sense to pursue the initiative or do you have to change so much and invest heavily that it disrupts what you are currently producing and adversely affects the existing manufacturing product lines.

At Flex-Pack Engineering, we can help you understand these dynamics and make a sound business decision. We can evaluate your existing equipment and determine which assets can be modified to run the new product line, and which cannot be modified or are needed to maintain existing product lines. If there are capacity concerns to run both existing and newer product lines, we can review design, screw configurations, system configurations, and control systems in order to improve the capacity of existing manufacturing assets.

Flex-Pack Engineering: Beyond Consulting, We Offer Turn-Key Solutions With Extensive Capabilities

One of the unique aspects of Flex-Pack Engineering is that we are not only consultants but can offer our customers an extensive array of flexible packaging capabilities. These capabilities include such activities as lab testing, proof of concept processing, small lab lines for compounding and film making, as well as printing and laminating. Through our extensive partner network, we have access to commercial assets that can handle most any size runs for toll compounding and commercial manufacturing.

Flex-Pack Engineering is ready to help you find the answers you need to achieve your desired goals. Ready to have a conversation? Give us a call at 888-300-1492 or contact us today!

Flexible Packaging Testing Services

ASTM, ISO, Physical and Analytical Testing

Flexible Packaging Testing Services That Offer A Competitive Advantage | ASTM, ISO, OTR, MVTR and Much More

The Need For Comprehensive, Unbiased 3rd Party Flexible Packaging Testing

For nearly 30 years, Flex-Pack Engineering has been providing unbiased, 3rd party ASTM and ISO flexible packaging testing. We identified a need with our customers to analyze and validate the effectiveness and usefulness of their products in the marketplace, or to help them understand the requirements for entering a new market. For example, a customer may only sell into the potato chip industry but would like to start selling into the frozen chicken or meatball industry. Flex-Pack helps our customers understand the requirements for this new market and provide the testing services to meet the fitness for use and chain of use requirements.

Perhaps the most important element that Flex-Pack offers our customers is the ability to interpret test results and help them solve their flexible packaging problems. A normal testing lab will deliver testing results but not provide any insights into what the results mean in the context of your problem. In short, it is not the testing that is so important, it is the answers and recommendations to solve the problem and improve your flexible packaging products.

Additionally, many manufacturing facilities such as film producers, converters, printers, laminators, bag, and packaging converters may not have a packaging engineer and/or full laboratory, or the time for flexible packaging testing. Also, they may need to do testing that is outside the scope of their in-house capabilities.

Furthermore, some customers may have a good flexible packaging product that they want to make even better to help them compete in the marketplace. Flex-Pack Engineering can offer reverse engineering services including competitive analysis as well as defect analysis and production troubleshooting to help our customers understand why their competitors packaging products outperform their own and make recommendations on how to improve their flexible packaging product.

Flex-Pack Engineering is able to provide these comprehensive services and help customers gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

Analytical and Physical Flexible Packaging Testing Services We Provide

At Flex-Pack Engineering we offer a wide array of flexible packaging testing services to meet our customer’s needs. Whether it is one test or one hundred we have the capabilities to handle your requirements. We can also design and perform custom flexible packaging tests as needed.

Analytical Services:

Ash, DSC (Differential Scanning Calorimeter), TGA (Thermo Gravimetric Analysis), TMA (Thermo Mechanical Analysis), DMA (Dynamic Mechanical Analysis), FTIR Transmission and  ATR, Microscope (Fourier Transform Infrared), Solvent Extraction, GCMS (Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry), HPLC (High Pressure Liquid Chromatography), XRF (X-Ray Florescence), ICPMS (Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry Inductive Coupled Plasma), AA (Atomic Absorption), SEM (Scanning Electron Microscopy), OIT (Oxidative Induction Time), UV-VIS Spectrophotometry, Karl Fisher Titration, Moisture Analysis, and more.

Physical Testing Services:

OTR (Oxygen Transmission Rate) , MVTR (Moisture Vapor Transmission Rate) , Tensile, Elongation, Secant Modulus, COF (Coefficient of Friction), Block Re-Block, Elmendorf Tear, Dart Drop, Slow Rate Puncture, Puncture Protrusion (puncture resistance), Thickness Profile, Burst Testing, Melt Index, Density, Optical Microscopy, X-Section Analysis, Surface Analysis, Heat Seal, Heat Seal Profile, Hot Tack, Hot Tack Profile, Ink Draw Down, Ink Rub, Sheffield Smoothness, Gurley Stiffness, Gelbo Flex, Surface Tension Testing (Dyne Testing), Haze,  45 degree Gloss, 60 degree Gloss, Opacity, Lab Color Testing,  Capillary Rheometry (Rheology) and more.

Flex-Pack Engineering: Your Best Choice For Flexible Packaging Testing Services

What separates Flex-Pack Engineering is our extensive know-how in testing flexible packaging based on our nearly 30 year education in developing packaging products. We know how to do the tests correctly and correlate the results to the customer’s problem or what the rules are in making a specific package.

We have experience in all facets of flexible packaging including:

  • Blown film
  • Cast film
  • Extrusion lamination
  • Adhesive lamination
  • Printing
  • Metalizing
  • Bag making
  • Secondary processes
  • Compounding of additives
  • Resin chemistries
  • Additive chemistries
  • Combining additive chemistries and resin chemistries to achieve something special

We have done all of the above services for many years professionally which allows us to review a package and know what we are looking at immediately and when a customer describes the problem, we have a good idea of the cause of the problem and direction of the solution. We cannot say it often enough to our customers: it is not the testing that is so important, it is the answers and recommendations to solve the problem and improve your flexible packaging products.

Flex-Pack Engineering is here to help you find the answers you need to be more competitive and improve your products in the marketplace. Ready to start a conversation? Give us a call at 888-300-1492 or contact us today!

Custom Polymer Compounding That Can Help You Win Business

Solving Tough Compounding Challenges

At Flex-Pack Engineering we love digging deep into the toughest toll, custom and specialty compounding challenges. Through careful analysis of the fitness for use (FFU) and chain of use (COU) and understanding of the performance expectations for your compounded product, we can select the best raw materials, engineer the best performing screw designs, and develop the process and manufacturing control plans to ensure a smooth running and high performing result.

For example, consider a challenging application of compounding a very high viscosity, polyethylene – which is very difficult to compound on its own and you also have the need to include a difficult functional filler, such as clays, glass, or nanoparticles into the mix. It takes a tremendous amount of torque, requires a special screw design, and a great deal of expertise in process understanding to achieve a winning result. This type of technical challenge is at the center of our wheelhouse at Flex-Pack. We can analyze, design, and put in place a plan to produce the best results for these types of technically challenging applications.

Once the best design and process are created and proven we then select the best compounding line on which to run on from our network of solid, reliable, and consistent   contract/toll compounding partners who share our philosophy of taking on the toughest compounding jobs and who can produce high quality compound quickly and cost effectively.

Additionally, when working with Flex-Pack Engineering for your custom polymer compounding needs you have our entire team as your personal advocate throughout the process. Since we selected the materials and engineered the screw designs and processes, we understand what can go right and what can go wrong and are in the perfect position to troubleshoot any issues that may occur in the compounding process. We work synergistically between production and customer as a very well informed and educated bridge throughout the business relationship.  

A Winning Approach To Custom Polymer Compounding

In our experience we have worked with customers who have had a wide array of technical challenges, or who needed short runs for proof of concept. We can accept smaller jobs and are an ideal choice to get projects done quickly. By applying sound science and engineering principles to solve the toughest compounding challenges, we help our customers overcome those challenges and make a great product that can help win new business. And we can get it done quickly!

Ready to have a conversation? Contact us today at 330-704-9436 or fill out our request information form and learn how Flex-Pack Engineering can help with your difficult custom compounding challenges!

For more information, visit our Custom Polymer Compounding page. 

Blown and Cast Film Solutions That Can Save You Money

blown and cast film products

Blown and Cast Film Solutions That Can Save You Money

Flex-Pack Engineering can help your company save money on your blown and cast film products by evaluating the fitness for use (FFU) as well as the chain of use (COU) criteria of your packaging product. After a thorough analysis of these criteria, Flex-Pack Engineering can recommend not only whether you should be using a cast or blown film solution for the most efficiently produced package, but also engineer the highest performing package that will help you realize cost savings throughout your production and distribution lines.

High Performance Resins And Tailored Approach Offer Return On Investment         

In our experience at Flex-Pack Engineering, we often see raw material suppliers offering their best and most popular resins available into each application. While they do a great job, suppliers can only offer what they make and sell. Moreover, they may not have the time to really dive in and take a rigorous scientific approach to determine the best performing resins for a specific application. We evaluate the package from the perspective of what is best for our customer and consider a wide variety of resin products that will meet our performance criteria.

By analyzing fitness for use and chain of use of your packaging, we can select the best performing resins, from the entire market place for the production of your package. By tailoring the resin choices for your packaging, we can often achieve equal or better performance with lower gauge materials. The return on investment comes in buying less overall material over time and getting the most efficient and highest performing packaging.

Production Efficiencies Also Contribute To Cost Savings

By tailoring the approach of your packaging through careful analysis of fitness for use and chain of use criteria, and selecting higher performing resin materials, not only will you save money in the long term through buying less overall material, but you will also realize production efficiencies in your operations. The improved packaging materials will run through your equipment more efficiently translating into higher production rates, less downtime, and less scrap. You spend less money and increase efficiency.

Reduced Shipping Costs Are An Additional Benefit

When you use lighter packaging made from higher performing materials you not only realize all the benefits described above, but your shipping costs will also be positively affected. When you reduce the overall weight of your product, you can ship more product for the same price. By reducing the weight of your packaging, it ripples out through your operations. You will gain benefits of higher production runs, less downtime, less scrap, and the ability to ship more product. It creates efficiency throughout your system.

Flex-Pack Engineering: Your #1 Choice For Blown and Cast Film Solutions

Our team at Flex-Pack Engineering look forward to collaborating with you in finding the best possible solutions for your packaging requirements. We are not a raw material supplier, and we do not manufacturer film products. We offer unbiased scientific testing and results. We work with our customers, in conjunction with raw material suppliers and other vendors, to provide the BEST packaging solutions that meet your fitness for use and chain of use criteria, and that can be manufactured consistently and to a high quality standard. It truly is a “WIN-WIN” scenario for all parties involved and can dramatically increase your bottom line results.

Ready to have a conversation? Contact us today at 330-704-9436 or fill out our request information form and learn how Flex-Pack Engineering can help develop blown and cast film solutions that improve your bottom line.

For more information, visit our Blown & Cast Film Products page. 

Increase Sales And Profits With Engineered Packaging Solutions

Flexible Packaging Engineering and Developmental Services in Akron, Ohio, Northeast Ohio, and Surrounding Areas

Increase Sales And Profits With Engineered Packaging Solutions

What Is Engineered Flexible Packaging?

At Flex-Pack Engineering, our core business is designing the RIGHT flexible packaging products for your applications. BUT what do we mean by the term “engineered flexible packaging”? An engineered flexible package is a package that has been designed to a certain set of fitness for use (FFU) criteria through careful analysis of the product life cycle and chain of use (COU).  At the most basic level, we examine what you want the package to do, how must it perform, and what service (how the package will be used to fill or hold product) and environmental (where will the package live) conditions it must endure.

For example, consider the packaging for frozen meatballs that can be purchased in any grocery store. The package must open easily on filling equipment and be filled at high speed, with frozen food particles that may have sharp edges and that create other loads on the packaging, usually in a refrigerated environment. The package has to be strong in cold weather and be able to close (seal) quickly and easily without leaking. That is a lot to consider!

How Can Engineered Flexible Packaging Increase Your Sales and Profits

So how can the right engineered flexible packaging help your bottom line? By taking a scientific approach and analyzing the fitness for use and chain of use requirements. By determining the exact package requirements, we can design a better package that meets those criteria and SAVES MONEY on the packaging materials.

In our experience, it often seems as if customers are guessing at what their packaging requirements truly need to be.  Often times, they will employ a “let’s try this” approach. Many customers don’t truly understand the total property requirements of their packaging.  In addition, many don’t even have a written specification for their packaging! They don’t really know their fitness for use and chain of use requirements. They spend whatever amount of time and money is necessary until they find a solution and then continue to over-spend on packaging that may work BUT is NOT optimized for their requirements. We refer to this as a “non-engineered” solution. When a non-engineered solution is used, one is simply guessing until a solution that works is found. When one is guessing at packaging design, it usually leads to unhappy customers and lost accounts. If a scientific approach is not taken to understanding how the packaging needs to perform, it is not possible to be successful with that packaging long term.

Here’s an example of how Flex-Pack can help! Consider a bag that is designed to hold 5 lbs. of product, and that bag is 5 mils thick. But WHAT IF a bag could be engineered that could hold 5 lbs. of product, but be only 3 mils thick, AND perform just as well?  Think about the material cost savings alone in your production! This is what we do here at Flex-Pack Engineering. By analyzing your fitness for use and chain of use requirements, we can engineer a package that will perform as well or better than what is currently being used.  How do we do this?  By employing the use of materials and systems that are better suited to the use criteria needed for the packaging.

Flex-Pack Engineering, Your Partner In Engineered Flexible Packaging

Our team at Flex-Pack Engineering are your partners in finding the best possible solution for your packaging requirements. We are not a raw material supplier, and we do not manufacture film products. We offer unbiased, scientific testing and results.  We work with our customers, in conjunction with raw material suppliers and other vendors, to provide the BEST packaging solutions that meet your fitness for use and chain of use criteria, and that can be manufactured  consistently and to a high quality standard.  It truly is a “WIN-WIN” scenario for all parties involved and can dramatically increase your bottom line results.

Contact us today at 330-704-9436 or fill out our request information form and learn how Flex-Pack Engineering can help you to increase sales and profits with engineered flexible packaging solutions.

For more information visit our Engineered Flexible Packaging page.