Packages and closures for packaging

Relentless testing of our products for Clients’ complete satisfaction!

The Quality Control Department is one of the most important places in our company. Thanks to the processes, examinations and tests that take place there, our clients get efficient, failure-free, pretty and clean products.
What must happen, however, for them to be deemed such?

Manufacturing isn’t everything

Our closures are, despite appearances, quite complex products. Each of their components needs to be precisely manufactured, so that later, after assembly, they can work flawlessly.  
A quality controller is always present on the production line during the manufacturing process. It's thanks to the work of this person that perfect products end up in our hands. At fixed time intervals, samples are taken and checked at each production stage – from the injection of individual components, through the stage when only a few elements are assembled, and finally for ready-made products. Each part of the product is monitored for correctness and accuracy of its manufacturing. It's the first stage of the quality control that we perform on our goods, and items made not in accordance with the specifications are rejected there.
What happens between manufacturing and shipment of the goods to the client?
Our products from the factory are always sent to the warehouse in Warsaw, where our female colleagues from the Quality Control Department take samples. The international PN-ISO 2859-1+ACI:1996 standard, which is binding for us, regulates the number of the randomly selected products, and then the number of any acceptable and disqualifying defects. The types of defects, deviations and requirements for the individual product groups from our offer have been described in detail in Polpak’s WTO (Technical Acceptance Conditions).
But what do these terms mean, why is it so important that a buffer for quality testing is always added to the order execution time? Each product group has precise requirements for the elements and functionalities that must be tested. Different construction and intended use determine the aspects which require particular attention.
Below we will focus on trigger sprayers and foam trigger sprayers, which are very popular on the market and almost everyone has used them, so it’s worth taking a closer look at this example.
Samples are taken from each delivery that the client is waiting for, according to algorithms – the size of the batch determines the number of the samples taken, and then they end up in a truly unforgiving place – the quality control office. There, one of our five usually nice and tolerant female colleagues conducts, step by step, rigorous tests and strict assessments.

Product visual assessment
First of all, the product must comply with the client’s order in terms of its model and color. No visible scratches, discoloration or dents, no matter how artistic they may be...there is no room for spontaneity in quality control. The color is compared with Pantone book of colors, if it was ordered on its basis. The visual assessment also includes the purity and precision of manufacturing.
Then the new product is compared with the original technical drawing and its measurements are taken, as everything must be in order and within the tolerance limits. The length of the tube from the seal and its “dovetail” end (which we have written about here) also need to be ticked off in the list of the parameters checked. The individual samples are weighed, and they can't lose or put on weight as compared to the prototype.
Not only does every component have to be in place, but it has to be precisely manufactured – no sharp edges or protruding elements.
Our closures are usually made up of about a dozen or so small components, none of which can be missing. Some of the closure components have to move, whereas other do not, and this is also checked. For example, the trigger in a trigger sprayer should not only be easy to press, but also easily return to its original position. What is important in the case of a foam trigger sprayer is that the nozzle is correctly constructed and installed.  
If the technical factors are in order, we can proceed to the test of the products’ functionalities.

Does it work?
The closure tested is screwed onto a bottle with water, and more measurements are taken.
In the case of a trigger sprayer, the following parameters are checked: after how many presses of the trigger the dosing begins, each closure has the “first time” limit. What amount is dosed and does it comply with the specification? Is the application even? Is the closure tight in the “off” position, or does it adhere to the end of the neck when screwed onto the bottle, as even this is precisely set out in the internal guidelines. It should be quite easy to turn the nozzle from the “off” to “on” position, but also slight resistance should be felt. If this is a trigger sprayer with the foaming function, the transition between the spray and foam needs to be hassle-free.

Is the foam pretty?

The last point, which is probably the most charming, is whether the spray or foam are pretty?
What we don't forget about during all these complicated tests is that our products will end up in esthetes’ hands! Handing a trigger sprayer for use is a big responsibility! If someone likes cleaning, they should have an efficient and powerful piece of equipment in their hands. However, if someone is not fond of it, our closure mustn’t make it extra difficult for them!
We, therefore, know that by putting even the smallest elements into the consumers’ hands, every detail contributes to their good mood.
All the functions described in the product's specification must be reliable. If a product has a CRC feature - i.e. the element protecting against uncontrolled opening by children – it is tested. Some of our products have additional components that are also checked for correct operation, so if there is a trigger lock, nozzle lock, protective clip or safety cap, each of them is strictly dealt with by our Quality Control Department.

Everything’s ok, so it’s time to go!
If the tests results are successful, the goods can be shipped to the client. But that moment, unfortunately, also has to be delayed. First, the warehouse employees check if each carton is labeled in detail, bears index and batch numbers as well as the full name of the product. If also here everything is ok, our products begin another stage – they are shipped to the client.
Prediction and being a few steps ahead is our passion. If, at an early stage, we can eliminate problems that would appear at later stages of using our products, we are keen to devote time to that.

We do even more at a special request!
Some clients ask us about additional tests. We are happy to conduct them, provided that our knowledge and equipment are sufficient to take reliable measurements. One of the most interesting ones is to determine torque, while the closure is being screwed onto the bottle. This value is important for the manufacturing process and setup of the machine that finally closes the product in the client's factory.
Another interesting test is the use of the dynamometer to test the force required to press the head of, for example, the lotion pump. Extended tightness tests can be performed upon special request. Special conditions (pressure, temperature, etc.) are arranged in which closures undergo strict tests.
Should a client ask us for even more complicated tests that we cannot conduct, we will recommend one of the external laboratories we cooperate with.

Client's role

Our two-stage quality control process should be supplemented with client’s actions.
We always recommend tests on the medium for which the closure has been selected. Density and viscosity are factors that can affect the proper functioning of the entire packaging. Even the best frothers need an additive in the foaming agent medium, in order to create foam.
It is important to conduct tests again after making even the smallest change to the medium ingredients, as, unfortunately, you never know how this will affect the smooth operation of the whole product.
In this case, not only do we offer our expertise and advice, but we will also gladly conduct such tests.

What's all that for?

The extensive Quality Control Department and the number of the tests conducted serve, first of all, our clients, but also us. They receive top quality goods from us, which, in turn, should reliably serve their clients, together with the product.
We are aware of the fact that opinions about our clients' products are based, among other things, on our quality,
These days, the consumer reviews the product online, and our Quality Control Department makes sure - obviously, not by monitoring the internet – that such comments as: “everything's ok, but the pump doesn’t work” are not posted.
Consequently, our responsibility is huge, and we make every effort not to fall short of it.