An Overview of Capping Machinery
It is no secret that different cappers exist for different closure types. The machine that will work for a screw-on type cap will not normally work for corks, ROPP caps or other closure types. Thus, choosing the right capper depends in large part on the types of closure being used, though other factors, including space and speed, will also help determine the ideal piece of equipment for any given project.
CAPPING MACHINE TYPES
As noted above, different types of cappers exist for different closures. For screw-on type caps, both spindle capping machines and chuck cappers may be used to tighten down the lid. If you are using a Roll On Pilfer Proof closure, like those seen on many wine and olive oil bottles, the ROPP capper will be the machine given preference. Lids that snap into place will be matched to bottle cappers that use a belt or stomper to seal and secure the closure. However, for some projects - those with multiple cap types - equipment may be blended to achieve a machine that can handle more than a single closure. Examples include a spindle & snap capping machine as well as an ROPP capper that allows the head to be replaced with a chuck for sealing screw-on lids. Though custom machinery is always available and exceptions do exist, the type of closure being employed will go a long way toward identifying the correct capping machine for any given project.
AUTOMATION LEVELS - DEMAND AND SPEED
In addition to cap type, the level of automation desired will help to choose the right machine for a project. Automation levels, in turn, will often depend on the demand for the product and the capping speed necessary to meet that demand. For companies that are only sealing a few hundred bottles a week or month, either manual, tabletop or semi-automatic capping machines may provide the best solution. In some situations, these machines may not add a lot of speed to the capping process, but do offer other benefits. Using the manual or semi-automatic machines can prevent repetitive injuries that workers may acquire from constantly tightening closures. These machines also provide a consistency and reliability from the first hour of production to the last.
For high production facilities, automatic inline capping equipment may simply be a necessity. Sealing eighty or a hundred bottles a minute would require quite a workforce with high endurance. Automatic capping machines do all the work by supplying closures as bottles or other containers move into the capping area, leaving the operator of the machinery to simply resupply bulk caps from time to time. Spindle cappers use disks to tighten down a cap, while chuck cappers use a chuck and insert to apply torque. Snap cappers use the pressure from a belt or stomper to snap the cap into place. Other custom capping machines may use unique components to keep product sealed and safe.
If you have a capping project you would like to discuss with a Packaging Specialist, give LPS a call toll free at 1-888-393-3693 or browse the capping section of our website for more information!