The Surface Analyst from BTG Labs, Bernard, Ohio, is an innovative handheld solution for inspecting flexible packaging film and detecting poorly prepared substrate surfaces.

In two seconds, the Surface Analyst measures the surface energy level of a film surface and determines if it is properly prepared for adhesion.

With a push of a button, the instrument quantifies the quality of the film surface. To acquire the measurement, the Surface Analyst uses patented ballistic deposition technology to deposit a highly purified drop of water on the surface of the film and measures the contact angle—a direct correlation to surface energy.          

Typical inspection points within film and flexible packaging manufacturing include:

Monitoring incoming material from suppliers. Manufacturers need to have a baseline understanding of the condition of a film’s surface prior to it entering their production process.

Determining the effect of surface aging. Material surfaces deteriorate over time. The Surface Analyst determines the optimal amount of time that a surface can be kept in storage before the surface is no longer fit for adhesion.

Defining optimal surface treatment levels. The Surface Analyst gives manufacturers the ability to quantify the effectiveness of their surface treatment processes, such as flame and corona treatment. Manufacturers also use the measurements to determine the optimal level of treatment to avoid damaging the material surface from overtreatment and undertreatment.

Monitoring daily production processes. Over time, processes slowly drift out of spec. The Surface Analyst monitors production processes to ensure the line is working at its highest level of efficiency.

BTG Labs (formerly Brighton Technologies, LLC)