Cappers and Closures: The Right Solution for Your Project

As we previously discussed, filling machines will be chosen based on the project, the product, viscosity, filling principle and a number of other factors. Capping machines will also be chosen based on different factors, but more than any other factor, that choice will be determined by the type of closure being used. Capping machines are manufactured for a specific cap, though some closures will give packagers more than one option. While unique closures exist, for a majority of projects the closures used will fall into one of four categories: screw-on, snap, ROPP, cork.

Screw-on type caps, also known as continuous thread caps, are probably the most popular closures seen on the shelf, sealing a range of product from foods and beverages to cleaners, chemicals, shampoo and more. These closure types can also take many different forms, from flat caps seen on bottled water and other beverages to trigger sprayers or pump sprayers popular on household cleaning products and soaps. Both spindle capping machines and chuck cappers can be used for these type of closures, and the type of screw-on closure used will help determine the best choice. Spindle cappers use spinning disks to securely screw the cap onto the bottle while chuck cappers use a chuck head that descends to apply torque and consistently tighten the caps.

Snap caps are simple press on lids that can be found on a variety of jars, bottles and other containers. Snap capping machines will use a press head or belt to apply pressure to the closure and snap it into place on the container being run. Both the head or the belt must be adjusted to apply enough pressure to secure the cap without damage to the container or the cap. These machines allow for easy adjustment to ensure reliable and consistent capping.

ROPP cappers typically thread aluminum blanks to a bottle, in order to provide a secure seal and tamper evidence. While ROPP caps were historically seen in the wine and spirits industry, the closures are becoming more popular across other industries as well. Once a blank is placed on the bottle, the ROPP capping head descends and "creates" the threads on the bottle. The creation of threads not only provides tamper evidence and a reliable seal, but helps protect against cross-threading during the capping process as well.

Bottle corking machines are used for various types of cork-like closures. Again, wines and distilled spirits are good examples of products that incorporate corks into their packaging, though other products such as perfumes and olive oil may also use cork closures. Bottle corking machines will simply press the cork, T-cork or similar closure into place in the bottle.

All of the capping machines above can be built to work automatically or semi-automatically. Automatic capping machines include a cap delivery system that allows bottles or other containers to be sealed as they move down a power conveyor system. Semi-automatic machines may take many different forms but typically require the operator to interact with each bottle or container being sealed, by placing the cap and activating the sealing process. Custom and unique capping machines such as pail lid pressers, fitment combiners and others are available for special projects. To learn more about capping machinery from Liquid Packaging Solutions, browse the capping machinery section of the LPS website or contact the LPS offices today.