Originally published in European Medical Device Technology:
Remember the last time you did your homework in order to purchase a new computer?
You read consumer reviews online and found all the third-party ratings that you could. My wager is that your research project found a glitch when you ran up against different laptop manufacturers presenting varying model options with verbiage that made an apples to apples comparison difficult.
Sad to say, you’ll run into the same thing if and when you are trying to source the best leak testers for medical device manufacturing. Indeed, globalization has turned many a product into a commodity as specifications merge to compete; often you ARE looking at two leak testers from two different manufacturers that are identical feature by feature.
If that sounds like blasphemy from a representative of a leak detector manufacturer it is absolutely not. Because even when you can match up leak tester A to more or less be the same as leak tester B, there is a worm hidden in one of those apples.
The worm—for any NDT instrument—is “Customer Support”—good, bad or absent.
Customer support will not appear on a “spec sheet”, yet it is crucial to the success of any leak tester application, from drawing board concepts and specifications to rolling out a high speed fully validated production lines you will need your supplier on hand, and often onsite, to guide and consult on the best techniques and cycle times.
Best advice for apples to apples comparisons for leak detectors? Find out who is on the support team that will be there to guide you or provide you with the turnkey single source leak test solution you need.
When you are talking to technology specialists with decades of experience—and many such specialists on your vendors’ technology team—you are in good hands.
---Dave Selin, USON European Medical Device Technology Specialist