What is a Thermoform Multi-Card and Why Do I Need One?
Thermoform multi-cards are an important part of our x-ray inspection test piece product line. We first came out with the cards in June of 2016, and since then have sold nearly 2,000 thermoform cards.
Thermoform is a clear plastic that is virtually invisible under x-ray, but it hardens like any of our other acetal test pieces, which gives it great durability, even in a wet environment so it has advantages over a typical laminate card. In fact, our thermoform is one of the same kinds of plastics used in the packaging industry to house all kinds of products, like toys, batteries, face shields, bottles and more. It’s also used for 3-D printing. And it will safely encase nearly any size test contaminant you might need. The beauty of thermoform is exactly what its name implies – using a vacuum process, it forms itself to whatever you put inside. So we can use it to house contaminants of any size, and multiple contaminants (we’ve made cards with up to 100 seeds). And it meets the requirements of the FDA for food grade use of adhesives. For testing purposes, we encased a 91mm Christmas ornament ball (see photo), and you can see how tight the forming process can be.
The need for multi-cards has increased exponentially as customers are looking for better ways to discover what they can accomplish in product testing and safety. Using a multi-card, you can easily determine the best possible settings and setup for your product. For example, in one instance, a customer is utilizing an 8”x8” thermoform multi-card with a 10×10 grid of 1.2mm Stainless Steel 316 seeds. The card is used to determine what locations and size metal can be seen under x-ray examination. Laying beneath the chicken, the card allows the operator to exam and set the best focus point for the inspection process. Using a card with a single seed would require a great deal of time to setup and to meet the demands of a HACCP plan. That means downtime for production and potentially an oversight in the testing process.
Several of our customers are using a 4” x 4” card with 24 seeds, 6 each of Stainless Steel 316, Soda-Lime Glass, Ceramic and Rubber. Of course, the combination of types and sizes is your choice, whether it’s a single seed (available on the website), multiple seeds of the same type (see photo with SLG) or a card with multiple types and a variety of sizes. This card helps the customer work quickly to see what sizes can be achieved with any variety of settings on the x-ray inspection system. The testing time can be reduced by as 50% or more. In this illustration, once the testing was done, the customer purchased 4 individual cards that represent the sizes achieved. Overall, that represents a savings of 54% on test cards in product, not including the savings in testing time and production down-time.
Another customer purchased separate multi-cards, each of its own contaminant type and several sizes. The cards were so unique and worked so well for their purposes, they purchased 80 cards including contaminant types: Ferrous, Non-Ferrous, Stainless Steel 316, Aluminum, Rubber, Soda-Lime Glass, Ceramic and Teflon. But it’s not just large companies that find this product useful. When it comes to food safety, it doesn’t really matter if you’re a mom ‘n pop store or a Fortune 500 company.
At Regal Packaging Services (Testrods.com), we’re always looking for ways to create better, easier methods of testing on the production line. If we can save you time, money and effort in your manufacturing time and help you get the best, safest quality product out to the marketplace,
we believe we are an integral part of the food and pharmaceutical industries. There isn’t any challenge we haven’t met yet. Customized test pieces represent more than 10% of our sales. We’re the only company offering this kind of thermoform product. It doesn’t matter if it’s a single seed card 1” square or the 100 seed card mentioned earlier at 8” x 8.” It’s because we’re not just selling a product, we’re supporting our customers. We’re ISO 9001:2015 approved and have the experience and knowledge to provide you with the test pieces that will meet the demands of your HACCP plans, FSMA, BRC and the GFSI. Give us a call to see how we can customize a solution for you.