2020 Product Review: Spindle Capping Machine

Many different products use a threaded cap or closure to create a seal and protect product until it reaches the end user. Bottled water uses a simple flat threaded cap. Some cleaning products use a threaded trigger sprayer. Items such as soap and hand sanitizer use threaded pump type caps. The piece of equipment most often used to tighten these caps on an automatic packaging line is the spindle capping machine.

Automatic spindle cappers use sets of spinning disks contacting the cap on two sides to spin the cap tightly on to the container. As the bottles travel down a power conveyor, each set of disks works to spin the cap down the threads. The last set of spindles will typically include an adjustable clutch to help control torque and ensure consistent and reliable seals on each and every bottle.

The automatic capping machine can, of course, only be efficient if a continuous supply of caps is also made available to the bottles. Depending on the closure type, either a cap elevator or a vibratory bowl will usually be employed to deliver caps. Caps are delivered from the elevator or the bowl, properly oriented, to a chute on the capping machine. The end of the chute sits at the start of the capping area on the machine, allowing bottles and other containers to strip a cap as they pass by on the conveyor.

Once the cap is on the container, a stabilizer bar will help to keep the cap in place and avoid cross-threading or the dropping of the cap. At the same time, gripper belts steady the bottle and allow the spindles and disks to spin the cap down as the container continues down the conveyor, creating a secure seal.

Automatic spindle capping machines can be seen in a wide variety of industries, given the popularity of screw-on type closures. Semi-automatic and tabletop spindle cappers are also available for packagers with lower production demands, but will typically be used when unique caps like trigger sprayers or pumps are used, as the chuck capping machine will often offer a better alternative for lower demand projects. To learn more about these packaging machines, visit the Spindle Capper page of the LPS website or contact a Packaging Specialist at the LPS office today.