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Why Leak Test?
Emitted Energy Posted 07/25/2016
Leak testing is an important process in the production of numerous products to ensure that a “leaky” part does not make it to the end user. The methods used are often dependent on how costly it would be if a consumer were to get a bad part. For that reason, manufacturing plastic components and parts have multiple methods available to check for leaks. For instance, more and more vehicles are being assembled with lighter weight plastic materials, which also includes more stringent requirements. Especially since the EPA has released tight specifications to reduce vehicle emissions.
Implementing any one of the many leak testing methods can be a challenge, the biggest of which is the leak rate specification. Once that is established it then must be decided where along the production line the testing will take place, what method to incorporate, how often will the testing take place, etc. The downside to many of these methods are that they are time consuming, not easily understood, take place after the product is already “failed”, and are costly.
A solution to this would be to incorporate an infrared thermal imaging machine vision system onto your joining equipment. By inputting into the system your known / optimal heat specifications for creating a hermetic seal you will be able to continuously monitor and validate your process. Should any part fall outside of the set temperature limits the system will fault the machine before the joining process can be completed. This creates a real-time quality assurance advantage.
The thermal process monitoring system largely reduces scrap costs while ensuring that the welded joint will meet performance standards. While this system does not completely replace leak testing, it can reduce the frequency in which you test or opt for less costly methods.