Beauty may be more than skin deep, however brand reputation and loyalty in this market can very much depend on the outer packaging - failure to open, inform, dispense or re-seal with the expected qualities, may discourage the customer from experiencing the product within. For such a design-led industry, guaranteeing optimum functionality and form requires quantifiable test methods to measure these attributes.
In addition, due to the manner of use and application of products of this nature, cosmetics packaging must adhere to strict regulatory standards.
Reliable sealing and ease of opening needs regular testing
Mecmesin specialises in test equipment and solutions which enable packaging manufacturers and suppliers to perform their own quality assurance testing right from the R&D stage through to point of production. Testers range from simple, manually operated instruments up to computer-controlled, automated and customised systems. Whether the requirement is to compress, push, pull, squeeze, bend, snap or twist a raw material or a final component, there is an appropriate tester to simulate the action and record the result.
Raw materials used for packaging must have the right strength and flexibility
The OmniTest™ Universal Testing Machine (UTM) is able to perform stress and strain analysis of material specimens to measure their ultimate strength for suitability under the demands of protection and containment. Performing crush testing of primary, secondary and tertiary packaging is used to check that the manufactured design will enable the product to arrive at the customer and remain intact when subjected to regular usage.
As with most packaging systems, testing requirements also focus on the joints and connections - elements designed to access the contents. Closures must open with ease and re-seal if required, whilst remaining leak-free. In order to most accurately and repeatedly measure the removal torque on a screw lid which may deform when grasped, Mecmesin recommends a custom mandrel to the exact dimensions of the closure. Security considerations may be incorporated via tamper evident designs and testers are available which can record the specific effort needed to breach this element of the closure, in addition to the torque to initially release the lid. Mecmesin offers the CAPTEST specifically for cleanroom conditions – an off-the-shelf solution for cosmetics and pharma screw top closure container systems.
A digital cap removal torque tester to cleanroom standards is ideal in the beauty closure QC lab
Single-use sachets can be tested to tear predictably along a crease or perforation propagating from a cut-out notch, and the same machine is often suitable to perform peel testing - to verify low efforts to open a pouch or a tamper evident induction seal, or higher peel resistance loads in the case of labelling.
Testing pull-out resistance and ease of peel with the same force tester
Beauty packaging frequently incorporates a means of dispensing and application - propelling barrels, retracting brushes, pumps, sprays, and rollers - often this feature being part of the closure.
Measuring dispenser actuation force and cap twist-off / disassembly resistance torque
The challenge here is combining attractive and innovative style with a broad spectrum of functionality objectives: light handling for precise application, as in mascara tubes and brushes; attractively-curved lotion containers which fit the hand ergonomically, lipsticks requiring very light rotational torque and others where the emphasis is on maximum strength in a lightweight package, for daily use.
A lipstick barrel should operate under delicate rotational forces, whatever the supplier - or colour
With appropriate fixtures to securely locate the sample and grip the moving part of the assembly, any of these performance criteria can be measured and compared to internal best practice benchmarks, to maintain a competitive advantage, or international standards to assure compliance…beautifully.