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The applications laboratory of InterTech Development Co. (Skokie, IL; www.intertechdevelopment.com) has set up global response teams to enable manufacturers ramping up worldwide operations to achieve consistent test-intensive assembly and test operations. The teams “enable manufacturers to overcome the inherent challenges to quality control in test-intensive assembly posed by globally distributed manufacturing operations,” says the company’s president Jacques Hoffmann.
Specializing in leak test and functional test methods, the lab uses mass-flow leak testing, pressure-decay and differential-pressure-decay leak testing, and helium mass spectrometer leak testing. Mass-flow leak testing is recommended for applications that must measure leaks down to 0.05 cm3 and for testing large-volume parts. Differential-pressure-decay leak testing is used for small-volume parts at higher leak rates and when capital equipment costs are more important than cycle times. Helium mass spectrometer testing is employed for applications requiring the tightest tolerances.
Manufacturers with facilities in developing countries typically rely on lower costs and a less-skilled workforce than those in the developed countries. Moreover, in the developing world, engineers skilled at troubleshooting are in short supply. Striving to help manufacturers attain consistent quality control over multiple locations, the laboratory matches test processes to the skill levels of the local workforce, increasing the gauge repeatability and reproducibility of test operations.
By offering a range of leak testing and functional testing methods, the company enables FDA-regulated manufacturers to enhance cleanroom operations. Its capabilities include mass-flow leak testing of blood collection bags to a 3.5 std cm3/min limit at 10 psig and a rate of 180 pph, demand oxygen delivery system calibration and testing at a rate of 18 pph, blood collection kit leak testing to a 1.0 std cm3/min limit at 10 psig and a rate of 60 pph, sequential testing of medical tubing to within 50 sec, and balloon diameter gauging and lumen leakage testing of catheters at a rate of 310 pph.
In addition to providing leak and functional testing, the company offers installation, assistance, and training. Technical support and real-time systems monitoring assistance are available over the Internet. Metric components and standards, foreign language displays, and documentation are also available.