A Capping Machinery Primer For New Packagers
Just like filling machines, many different capping machines exist to create a seal on a bottle or other container. However, identifying the best capping machine is a bit easier once a closure has been chosen for a project. For instance, a producer of distilled spirits can typically fill bottles with both either a gravity or an overflow filling machine. But if the bottle is sealed with a T-cork, the packager will use a bartop corker, with spindle cappers, snap cappers and other capping machinery not even being an option. Below we briefly describe the most common capping machines and the closures used on each.
Bartop Corking Machines
As noted above, the bartop corker can be used for distilled spirits, wine or any other product that uses a cork type closure. These machines will consistently press corks, T-corks and similar closures into bottles to create a seal, many times passing the cork on to a bander or capsule spinner.
Spindle Capping Machines
Spindle capping machines are one of two popular types of equipment for continuous thread, screw-on type caps, similar to what you see on a bottle of water. However, spindle cappers can handle a range of screw-on closures, including flip tops, sports caps, pumps and trigger sprayers. These machines use spinning disks to tighten the caps.
Chuck Capping Machines
The second type of bottle capper that may be used for screw-on type caps is the chuck capping machine. This machine uses a descending head with a chuck and insert to apply torque to the cap and achieve a consistent and reliable seal. While a majority of screw-on type caps can be tightened using either a spindle or snap capper, factors such as the cap shape, cap size and the range of both can render one type of machine more efficient than the other.
Snap Capping Machines
Snap cappers assist packagers with simple snap on caps to achieve reliable seals on their bottles or containers. Many pharmaceuticals may use snap-on type caps with tamper evident seals as well. These capping machines normally use a declined belt to apply pressure and finish the seal, though some may also use a press-on head that descends to apply pressure as well.
ROPP Capping Machines
ROPP capping machines will most typically be seen on a wine bottling or olive oil line, though other products can use this type of closure. ROPP cappers are unique in that the capping head will actually descend, thread and seal aluminum caps to a number of different size and shape bottles.
Custom Capping Equipment
For unusual packaging projects where the most popular capping machines highlighted above may not provide an ideal solution, LPS custom manufactures capping and sealing equipment. From pail lid pressers to fitment combiners and more, each project will be analyzed to find a solution that matches the needs of the specific cap and container combination at hand.
All of the capping machines mentioned above, including the custom capping equipment, can be manufactured to work semi-automatically with the assistance of an operator or automatically on a complete turnkey packaging system. To learn more about the differences between cappers, visit the Capping and Sealing section of the LPS website.