VAPE PRODUCTS TESTING AS A TOOL TO IMPLEMENT BETTER QUALITY INDICATORS BY VAPE MANUFACTURERS

The market for the production and sale of vape devices can rightfully be considered the fastest growing and developing sector. Let’s investigate this with the data of official statistics and research. The global e-cigarette and vape market size is expected to reach USD 67.31 billion by 2027, registering a revenue-based CAGR of 23.8% from 2020 to 2027.

First of all, e-cigarettes became a  successful alternative to classic smoking. Among all e-cigarette users, there are three main reasons for vaping, such as an aid in quitting (30%) followed by preventing relapse (20%) and reducing the number of cigarettes smoked (11%).

However, the vaping industry is young enough and emerged no so long ago. It is generally considered that the first modern e-cig was made by the Chinese firm Hon Lik in the mid-2000s. And within a short period, the popularity of the product has grown. 

Today 95% of all vaping devices are made in China and are distributed to the following regions of the global e-cigarettes (vaping) market such as Asia-Pacific, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, North America, South America, Middle East, Africa. 

Manufacturers and brands are fighting for the popularity of their products.

So, what is included in the list of competitive advantages?
First of all, it is the level of safety of vaping: e-liquid ingredients and vaping ingredients. Second of all, it is the vapor taste or flavor and its quality characteristics (such as density and vapor saturation). And last, but not least, is the parameters of the e-cigarette device: such as design, reliability, and ergonomics.

But how to control the level and quality of these parameters?

The fact is that quality assurance which is relevant for any production business has taken a significant place in the manufacturing of electronic cigarettes.

Supposably the product has a perfect design and a well-thought-out engineering approach to the vaping process. When prototyping the new device, you expect it to take first place in the market.

Seems like what could go wrong?

But many nuances can make the new product unclaimed in the market, and its launch can turn into a failure.

For example, let’s take a usual manufacturing error – liquid leakage from the tank. It’s one of the most unpleasant moments when using a vape device. It may apparently seem a minor problem, but the end consumer can get disappointed which will negatively affect the impression of the brand quality in general.

But how can one track and control the device’s vulnerability during manufacturing?
To check the device for cartridge leakage there is a specific pod/cartridge leakage test.
This test can be run at different stages: :

  • device leak testing at the prototype stage
  • development and monitoring of quality standards at the production stage
  • periodic inspection and testing of samples from each production batch

For each of these stages, different testing methods are developed depending on the degree of product readiness and production volume. With these methods, the probability of device malfunction is minimized. 

The vape manufacturers are constantly developing and many of them have their own in-house testing laboratories with quality control managers. 

But what if an external brand needs independent quality control by a third party?
This need has given rise to many independent laboratories that offer their testing services for vape devices, modern solutions, a scientific approach to the study of vape devices, ways to improve them, and much more.

Is everything limited only by the quality of the device?

No, there are also requirements for the safety of e-liquid, not only devices.

This is a separately developed area that has taken its own niche and received regulation by the state and international authorities. 

For example, e-cigarettes imported and sold in the European Union must conform to various standards and regulations.

Both manufacturers and importers must go through the product notification process for their e-cigarettes. They shall submit the product data to authorities in the relevant EU member states using the online platform – EU Common Entry Gate (EU-CEG).

Below is an overview of the required information:

  • Product ingredient list
  • Emissions
  • Nicotine dose
  • Toxicological data
  • Manufacturing process description
  • Compliance declaration

This all is needed to control the safety of vaping liquid and devices. 

The services for verification, acceptance, and compliance of the goods by the state regulation institutions are usually provided by the independent testing laboratories. 

Among such services is the collection of samples and chemical analysis of the contents of the e-liquid and the vapor itself. 

There is a specific list of ingredients and permissible standards for the substances in the liquid for electronic cigarettes, and after determining the amount of these ingredients, a decision is made on permits for the sale of e-devices in the European Union. 

All these quality control tools, starting from the prototyping period to the state regulatory compliance, improve the safety standards and quality of devices in the vaping industry.

Testing methods depend on the researched object. Here are the most essential ones:

  • vapor collection for chemical tests
  • puff count test
  • pressure drop test
  • emp test
  • e-vapor density test
  • pod/cartridge leakage test
  • pod/cartridge design and construction review
  • operational temperature of heating element test
  • internal components and design review
  • device drop test
  • button failure test
  • battery test
  • feeding signal features, power parameters analysis
  • PCB review and analysis

This is just a shortlist that is constantly evolving and supplemented depending on the needs of the vaping industry market.

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