Capping Machine Upgrades - Semi-automatic to Automatic

Capping Machine Upgrades - Semi-Automatic to Automatic

On several different capping machines, the frame and components of semi-automatic and automatic models are almost identical.  Such a design allows these semi-automatic machines to be easily upgraded to automatic capping equipment when production demands require.  Custom capping machinery can also be designed for unique projects with future upgrades in mind.
Semi-automatic capping machines are available as chuck cappers, spindle cappers, snap cappers, combination capping machines, ROPP cappers and as custom designed machines for unique capping projects.  While not all of these machines can easily make the switch from semi-automatic to automatic, a majority of the capping equipment - and the most popular capping machines - simply require a few new components to take on higher production demands and relieve the manual labor necessary for semi-automatic runs.  Spindle capping machines, for example, are manufactured with the same stainless steel C-Frame design whether being produced for a semi-automatic packaging line or an automatic packaging system. As a semi-automatic machine, the capper can be used as a stand alone capping station or it can be placed along a conveyor in a semi-automatic system.  However, either way the operator of the machine will have to place the cap on each indiviudal bottle before sending it through the capping area.  This system works well for facilities that have small to medium production demands and the labor available to meet those demands.
But suppose a company doubles or triples their production output in a short period of time, not only reaching their growth goals, but far surpassing them.  In this situation, a capping solution is necessary in a short span of time.  In the case of the spindle capper, the solution may come in the form of a cap delivery system.  The cap delivery system is the main difference between semi-automatic and automatic spindle capping machines.  Rather than having an operator place a cap on every bottle before passing through the sealing area, the cap delivery system only requires an operator to replenish bulk caps on occasion.  Once the operator places bulk caps in the hopper or bowl, the cap delivery system sorts, orients and delivers the caps to the bottles to allow for continuous sealing.  This obviously speeds up the capping process, but also provides more reliability and consistency as well.  The switch from semi-automatic to automatic may also require some adjustments or additions to the capper control box, but in the end the process of moving from one to another is fairly simple.  Snap cappers and combination spindle/snap cappers are manufacured in the same manner, also allowing for easy upgrades.
Chuck capping machines and ROPP cappers work in a slightly different manner.  These capping machines, if semi-automatic, require the operator to not only place the cap on the bottle or container, but also to place the bottle in a positioning nest to ensure consistent capping.  The automatic versions of these capping machines will consist of an entirely different frame in most situations.  The advantage of the semi-automatic machines, however, is that they are somewhat more portable than the spindle cappers and like machines discussed above.  These machines are ideal for facilities that may cap product in more than one location, have small to medium production demands or have special run products that may have lower demands than the day to day products.
Of course, for unique situations due to the cap, container or expected production demands, custom capping equipment can always be manufactured.  While screw and snap caps are probably used more than any other closure type, even these two caps have many different variations.  Screw caps may be simple flat top caps.  They may be pop up sports type caps or even a flip top cap.  Trigger sprayers and pump type caps can also be screw on type caps.  When these unique situations arise, manufacturing may take on more of a research and development look for an individual project, combining components of several capping machines or creating a whole new capping principle to get the job done.  As with choosing between spindle cappers and chuck cappers, the ability to upgrade for increased production should always be taken into account when designing or developing custom capping machinery.
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