“Cold Chain” refers to the distribution of temperature-sensitive products along a supply chain involving insulated and refrigerated packaging systems and the logistics required to protect the integrity of the product to customer delivery.
Whether it’s an active or passive Cold Chain package system, a properly executed evaluation is not a simple task.
A passive system consists typically of thermal masses (i.e., gel packs, dry ice) and a thermal barrier, all protected by an exterior package. The product is pre-conditioned to the required temperature before placement inside the thermal pack.
Much less common are active systems, which can include a power source, a refrigeration or heating unit, plus control systems.
It must be emphasized that both the thermal performance of the package as well as its mechanical integrity must be evaluated and confirmed to ensure product integrity remains uncompromised.
Westpak has the tools and expertise needed for a thorough assessment of thermal and physical characteristics of all Cold Chain package systems.
Environmental testing is a process of subjecting a test specimen to various temperature and humidity conditions to determine the effect of these conditions on the specimen. Testing is performed in an environmental chamber designed to maintain tight controls over both temperature and humidity, as well as the rates at which these may be changed.
(65) Temperature and Humidity Chambers
(12) Temperature Data Loggers
(1) Thermal Shock Chamber
(3) Temperature and Altitude Chambers
Custom Cold Chain packaging systems and their applications often require non-standard test protocols and methods. Westpak's engineering team can partner with yours to develop and implement the unique solutions required.
Westpak Customized Test Story
A producer of high-quality ice cream noticed that they were having difficulty shipping new flavors of ice cream over high altitude passes. This producer approached Westpak to determine what shipping parameters may be affecting the ice cream and how they could test for those hazards.
Through experimentation and R&D work, Westpak determined that the three parameters that affect ice cream during transit are temperature, vibration, and atmospheric pressure.
After further experimentation, Westpak finalized a test setup that could control all three parameters within the ranges necessary for the ice cream shipment.
By carefully studying the distribution environment for this product, Westpak was able to determine the correct level for each parameter and incorporate this into a test protocol. The client reported the successful shipment of all new flavors of ice cream in environments that previously had caused substantial problems.