You may have heard the term used before, but what exactly is analytical testing? Analytical testing is a branch of chemistry that is used to identify materials and analyze the interactions of chemicals.
Analytical testing has many applications in the business world, especially for product manufacturers. Analytical testing can be used to answer questions like “what is that?” and “why did my product do that?” Analytical chemistry can be used to identify unknown materials and chemicals, or explain why a product is malfunctioning. Continue reading to learn about ten manufacturing situations that require analytical testing.
- Analyze a Competitor’s Products Have you ever wanted to know what your competitor’s products are made of? Analytical testing can help you find out. For example, reverse engineering analyzes the components of a product in order to identify what they are made of. It can also help you understand how a product was designed. Analytical testing can provide you with detailed insights into your competitors’ products.
- Learn More about Third Party Components The components that you purchase from third party providers must integrate perfectly into your product. You may want to know everything about the component in order to ensure that it will not negatively affect the finished product. Analytical testing can be used to analyze the material composition of your components, bringing to light any pertinent details, like if the component has unexpected additives in it.
- Meet GMP Compliance Standards Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) are a set of mandates set by regulatory bodies, including the FDA and similar government organizations around the world, to ensure safety in products that are consumed and used in direct contact with people. GMP certification is a great way to show your customers that your products are safe and ethically manufactured. GMP certified manufacturers should undergo rigorous analytical testing in order to ensure that their products are free of potentially harmful substances.
- Identify Mysterious Contaminants Have you ever had a product fail a quality check because it was contaminated? When the composition of the contaminant is unknown, analytical testing can identify what the contaminant is, so that you can identify and resolve the source of contamination.
- Identify Residual Solvents Many companies use solvents in their manufacturing process. Solvents can be used to clean electronics, dissolve greases or oils, or thin pigments. Solvents are also play an important role in the pharmaceutical manufacturing process, where they are used to create active ingredients or chemical reactions. As versatile as solvents may be, they can cause complications if not removed properly in the final stages of production. Solvents may cause unexpected chemical reactions, or appear as a stain or residue on a finished product. Analytical testing can reveal if a solvent is still present. Manufacturing processes can then be updated to more effectively remove solvents.
- Identify Toxic Chemicals in your Products or Components What you don’t know can certainly hurt you – and your customers! Consumers are becoming more aware of the composition of the products that they buy. Your customers are concerned about toxins in plastic like BPA. How can you be sure that there are no harmful toxins in your products, especially if you’re not 100% sure what the components are made of? Scientists can use an analytical testing technique like GC/MS analysis to identify toxins, contaminants, and trace elements in your products.
- Identify Harmful Gasses or Odors If your product is putting off a noxious or unexpected smell, it may be time to conduct analytical testing. Odd odors can result from process errors involving material ingredients or mechanical faults. Tests such as GC/MS analysis are helpful in finding a root cause of the problem because they evaluate gaseous emissions in contained environments. An extension of this technique is called headspace analysis. This method tests volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds given off by samples during heating or over time.
- Verify Passivation of Implantable Surfaces If your company manufactures products designed to be use in or on the human body, confirming compatibility is essential. It’s especially important to verify the passivation of implantable medical devices in order to avoid health issues and lawsuits. One way that this is done is by testing the outer layer of the device to ensure that it is a) benign in the human body and b) thick enough to avoid corrosion and wear. Analyzing thin passivation layers can be achieved using analytical testing techniques like ESCA analysis.
- Cleanliness Testing Cleanliness is especially important in the hard drive and electronics industry, as microscopic particles can create product failures. Cleanliness testing services are a type of analytical testing that can identify microcontamination in electronic products before or after product failures occur.
- Failure Analysis When a product fails unexpectedly, failure analysis can be used to look for the root cause of the failure. If you are unsure of the cause of the failure, a sample of the product can be sent in for analytical testing. Analytical testing is especially helpful if there is a material fault in questions, and human factors are not at fault. This may indicate that there is something wrong with the materials used to create the product, or that there is a contaminant on the product.
Analytical testing has so many useful applications. However, it must be conducted by highly trained scientists. If analytical testing would be helpful to your business, don’t hesitate to call Innovatech Labs. We conduct all the types of analytical testing mentioned in this article, and much more! Our turn-around time is also one of the fastest in the industry, so contact us today!