Automatic Capping Machines and Power Conveyors
For any automatic packaging machine to work correctly, the power conveyors delivering the containers must also be consistent and reliable. Power conveyor systems play a different role for automatic capping machines depending on which type of machine is being used on a packaging line. Below are a few of the most common automatic bottle cappers as well as a short description of how they interact with the conveyor system.
Spindle & Snap Cappers
Both Spindle Capping Machines and Snap Cappers will run continuously when manufactured as automatic packaging machinery. With both of these machines, the conveyor will be used to deliver and guide the bottle into the capping area. The conveyor system stabilizes the bottle using railing as the containers move into and out of the capping area. However, the machines will take over these duties through the use of gripper belts and stabilizer bars while the sealing takes place. This allows for greater control during the process and makes for easy adjustments for different container types and sizes. Quite simply, the main function for a power conveyor used with a spindle or snap capping machine is the continuous transfer of the bottle at a set speed.
Chuck & ROPP Cappers
Both automatic chuck cappers and ROPP cappers will typically use a starwheel to complete the capping process. But even with the starwheel, the power conveyors will work to transfer the bottles in and out of the indexing device. As containers move down the main conveyor system, they will move into slots on the starwheel, one container per slot. The containers then move around the starwheel, pausing under one or multiple capping heads. Once the heads descend and complete the sealing process, the containers continue around the starwheel and will be released back to the main power conveyor, moving to a labeler, coding equipment or other packaging machinery. Much like above, the function of the main conveyor is delivery to the starwheel, which will provide added stability during the capping process. The pause of the starwheel also ensures consistent and reliable sealing of bottles and other containers.
Bartop corkers have become more popular with the rise of distilled spirits, but may be used with any packaging system that seals containers with a cork or other plug type closure. Unlike the machines above, the power conveyor will start and stop to allow corking machines to complete their seal. The intermittent action of the conveyor will allow a certain number of containers to move under the corking mechanism before the system pauses. Once the containers are paused, the corks will be pushed into the containers. The conveyor system will then start once again to move bottles to the next packaging phase, such as a capsule spinner, labeler or packing station.
In all cases, the power conveyor system will play a crucial part in delivering containers to the capping machine. But as shown above, the conveyor may also work to deliver to an indexing system or as an indexing system itself depending on the specific capping principle. While many people think of conveyors as simple transfer machines, they can also be used to load, accumulate, cool and otherwise assist in packaging. For more information on the different types of power conveyors or capping machines available from LPS, contact a Packaging Specialist today.