Capping Machines for Screw-On Type Closures
From corks to snap on caps, ROPP closures and more, the methods available to seal containers is wide and varied. However, one popular type of closure is still seen by most people more than any other. Continuous thread caps, or screw-on type closures, like those found on most bottles of water, are popular across almost every industry for their ease of use and convenience for re-sealing after opening.
While bottled water and other beverages are arguably the most popular example of a product with a screw-on type cap, there are many variations of this cap. Those found on beverages are known as flat caps, though some may also take the form of a sports cap, allowing for liquid to be squeezed through a taller, more pointed closure. In other industries, screw-on type closures may take the form of a bottle dropper, pump, flip cap or even a trigger sprayer. Even with so many different types of screw-on type closures, there are basically two choices of capping machinery to efficiently and reliably tighten all of the different cap variations.
Spindle Capping Machines
Spindle capping machinery uses sets of spinning disks to consistently thread the closures onto the bottles. The automatic version of the spindle capper allows for continuous capping of bottles as they move down a power conveyor. This is achieved by using a cap delivery system such as a vibratory bowl or a cap elevator to deliver caps to the bottles. As the bottle enters the capping area, a cap chute delivers one cap for each bottle. Each set of spinning disks contacts the cap to thread the closure to the bottle. The speed and ease of the automatic spindle capper makes this the most popular choice for packagers with high demand and production output.
Spindle cappers are also available in semi-automatic models, which can be used with a conveyor or manufactured as a tabletop type capping machine. Any semi-automatic model would require an operator to either place caps on each bottle prior to the tightening, or manually load a cap chute as the tightening is taking place. Tabletop machines may be used for less common closures, such as trigger sprayers, where packagers have low to medium production output and speed is of lesser concern.
Chuck Capping Machines
Chuck capping machinery provides a second option for tightening screw-on type closures. These machines work by using a chuck, and possibly an insert, that descends over the cap and bottle to apply consistent torque. Automatic chuck cappers work much like spindle capping machines, in that a cap delivery system will allow each bottle to grab a cap just before the capping process. However, the process is not continuous, as the bottles must be stopped in place under the capping heads when the chuck descends. The method of tightening makes chuck cappers an ideal solution for flat caps like those found on beverages as well as similar types of screw-on type closures. However, because of the descending chuck, trigger sprayers and other less common closures may be better handled using the spindle capper. Chuck cappers may be used on monoblock type machines, for smaller bottles and caps or other projects where capping with a spindle capper may be more difficult.
Semi-automatic chuck cappers offer several different options for packagers. Simple handheld chuck cappers can be used for packagers with lower demand. Operator of this version of the machine simply place the cap on the bottle and then place the handheld capper over the bottle and cap to apply torque. Semi-automatic machines can also be manufactured as tabletop models that allow the operator to slide the bottle and cap combination into a nest, where the chuck head will descend and perform the tightening in a consistent and reliable manner.
Whether automatic or semi-automatic, spindle and chuck cappers can add efficiency to the capping process while ensuring consistent and reliable sealing. Adding capping machinery removes inconsistent capping, as well as the potential for repetitive motion injury when hand capping bottles. For more information on all of the capping machinery manufactured by Liquid Packaging Solutions, visit the Capping and Sealing section of the LPS website.