Automatic Corking Machine Helps Distillers Seal Bottles
While corks are not the most popular closure put to use in the packaging industry, the explosion of craft distillers has led to an increase in the use of corks, T-corks and other plug type seals. While not every distilled spirit producer will use cork type closures, try asking someone to describe a bottle of spirits and the description will often include a cork type seal. To help efficiently and reliably seal bottles that use corks or other plugs, LPS manufactures an automatic corking machine.
The automatic corking machine bears some resemblance to other capping machinery, such as the spindle or snap capping equipment. For example, the corker will use a cap delivery system to get the corks to the bottles as they move down the power conveyor system of an automatic packaging line. The delivery system typically consists of an elevator that carries corks to a chute, the chute in turn delivering corks to the bottles. Operators of an automatic corking machine simply need to supply the elevator hopper with bulk caps from time to time.
The elevator is manufactured with a conveyor belt to carry corks to the chute. The conveyor belt will include flights that ensure the corks are properly oriented for presentation to the bottles. Those corks that rise up the belt in an improper fashion will fall back to the hopper before reaching the chute. Once in the chute, corks are placed one by one under a plunger assembly that pushes the cork into the bottle, creating the seal. So the main difference between the corker and other capping machinery is the method employed to create the seal (plunger versus spindle wheels or a snap on belt). Additional sealing equipment, such as neck banders or capsule spinners may accompany the corker to complete the seal, simply depending on the preferences or desires of the individual packager.
Automatic corking machines can roll up to power conveyors on existing packaging lines or even work as stand alone capping stations for those packagers that combine automatic and semi-automatic processes. In addition, corking machines can be manufactured to work semi-automatically as well, simply requiring more operator interaction for the sealing process. Semi-automatic machines can take many different forms, but will generally need the operator of the machine to place the cork onto the bottle before cycling the plunger assembly to seal the container, or placing the cork and setting the bottle on a power conveyor to be sealed. Both automatic and semi-automatic corkers can be modified to handle different containers, closures and/or combinations.
Of course, the automatic corker will not be used only in the distilled spirits industry. The machine can be used with any product that uses a cork to create a seal, such as wines, olive oils, spices and other items. To see an automatic corking machine in action, visit Liquid Packaging Solutions on YouTube. For more information on corking machines and other packaging machinery from LPS, browse the website or call a Packaging Specialist toll free at 1-888-393-3693.