2024 Equipment Overview - Capping Machines
As in previous years, the manufacture of capping machines will be driven by the popularity of closures. As capping machines are built to work with a specific cap type, it only makes sense that more equipment is built for those popular caps. While some caps are seeing an uptick in use, for the most part the same types of closures will be seen in 2024 as last year and many years previous. Below we look at the most popular capping machines and the closures that they handle.
SPINDLE CAPPING MACHINE
Spindle cappers are used on a wide variety of caps that screw on to a threaded bottle. These caps can take many different forms, from regular flat caps to tall sports caps, trigger sprayers and pumps, to name a few. These capping machines use paired spinning disks attached to spindles in the capping area to tighten the cap onto the bottle. Each set of disks will contact the cap to spin it onto the threads, with the last set usually employing a clutch to allow for more torque control. Spindle cappers continuously tighten caps as they move through the tightening zone on a power conveyor. From popular beverages and bottled water to soaps, household cleaners and many other liquid products, spindle capping machines are likely to remain the most manufactured bottle capper at Liquid Packaging Solutions in 2024.
CHUCK CAPPING MACHINE
Chuck capping machines provide an alternative to the spindle capper for tightening screw on type closures. Rather than spinning disks, this machine dives a chuck over the cap and bottle and applies torque to tighten the closure using the threads. Rather than run continuously like the spindle capper, the chuck capper will stop bottles under the chuck head, using a timing screw, starwheel or some other indexing system, to allow the head to dive and tighten the closure. The best capper for screw on type closures will always depend on the different factors of each project, including but not limited to bottle type, cap type and speeds desired. Chuck capping equipment offer a larger variety of semi-automatic options than the spindle capper, meaning that for smaller projects with screw on closures in 2024, the LPS chuck capper is likely to be the go to machine.
ROPP CAPPING MACHINE
Moving on from screw-on type closures, one type of capping machine that has been gaining in popularity recently is the ROPP capper. ROPP (Roll On Pilfer Proof) caps are typically blank aluminum sleeves. The caps will be shaped to the threads found on the bottles using rollers or knives. A number of these closures may also include a perforated section around the bottom to provide even more tamper evidence for products like wine, pharmaceuticals and distilled spirits. Though many products in these industries have historically used ROPP caps to seal their bottles, the simple blank aluminum sleeves are becoming popular in more and more industries.
Similar industries, especially wine and distilled spirits, along with perfumes and other cosmetics, will use a corking machine to protect their products. Using a cork, T-cork or similar closure, these machines will tamp or press the cork into the bottle. Like a chuck capper, corking machines will require accurate placement of the container to consistently and reliably place the corks. While not running continuously like the spindle capper, the bottle corkers provide a significant speed boost over trying to hand cork each container. Corking machines may often be combined with capsule spinners or neck banders to add tamper evidence as well.
SNAP CAPPING MACHINE
Finally, snap capping machines perform similar to spindle cappers, but, as the name suggests, snap closures onto bottles and other containers rather than help to apply a screw on type cap. Rather than the spinning disks, a snap capper will include a belt that will press the closure down as it moves down a power conveyor. Depending on the application, these cappers may also use a type of tamping head to complete the seal. As both support continuous capping of containers, the spindle and snap cappers can often be combined into a single machine with quick changeover from one application to another. This combination can help contract packagers and larger companies that may be running a variety of products and closures.
As the new year kicks off, Liquid Packaging Solutions expects to manufacture each of the capping machines mentioned above, in both automatic and semi-automatic models. Just as in previous years, LPS builds for packagers both large and small, for production of all sizes. To learn more about all of the different capping machines and options, browse the Capping Machinery section of the LPS website.