Capping Machine Automation Levels

The benefits of using packaging machinery to tighten, snap, cork or otherwise seal bottles go beyond speed. While many packagers are looking for automation to produce more bottles on a daily basis, other benefits include consistency and reliability as well as relief from repetitive motion injuries that can stem from eight hours or more of twisting, turning and tightening closures. For this reason, capping machinery from Liquid Packaging Solutions comes in a variety of different automation levels.

Handheld Capping Machines

Simple handheld capping equipment can be used by packagers with smaller demand to ensure consistent and reliable capping. These tools can be mounted to a filling machine for easy capping or they can be kept mobile to allow for capping at different locations on a production floor. Handheld capping machines are typically used for screw-on type closures like those found on beverages, soaps, shampoos and a variety of other items. While this machine may speed up the process of capping bottles or other containers, the key benefits are minimizing loose and over-tightened caps as well as protecting workers from repetitive motion injury and fatigue.

Semi-Automatic Capping Machines

Many different versions of semi-automatic cappers exist. These machines can handle not only screw-on type closures, but also snap caps, ROPP caps, corks and more. Semi-automatic equipment can vary from small, simple tabletop equipment for packagers with limited space to full-frame machinery with the ability to upgrade to automatic production in the future. Generally, semi-automatic capping machines require operator assistance with every cycle of bottles sealed. For example, an operator of a semi-automatic chuck capper would place the cap on the bottle, then place the bottle and cap combination under the capping head for the tightening to be completed. This process would repeat until all bottles are finished. Semi-automatic machines, like the handheld capping machines, can only work as fast as the operator of the machine. The speed of the capping process may benefit from the semi-automatic equipment, depending on the operator, and also includes the same consistency and reliability benefits as the handheld machine.

Automatic Capping Machines

Automatic capping machines allow an operator to setup the equipment and then simply monitor the production and replenish bulk caps as needed. These machines handle a variety of caps as well, from threads to ROPP, corks, snap and more. The cap delivery system is the main difference between the automatic and semi-automatic machines. Elevators and bowls deliver caps to a chute, which then present the caps to the bottles as they move down a power conveyor system. No longer is an operator needed to place caps on each bottle. This cap delivery system adds significant speed to the process, while retaining consistent and reliable sealing that ensures caps are not loose, overtightened or damaged during the packaging process.

The different automation levels for capping machinery allow a packager to choose a solution that will fit the product, demand, space and other factors for their project. While some handheld and semi-automatic machines will have limits as to their output, other semi-automatic equipment will allow upgrades to let the machine grow with the company. To learn more about capping machinery or any other equipment manufactured by LPS, contact a Packaging Specialist today at 1-219-393-3600.