Capping Machines from Manual to Automatic
Capping Machines From Manual To Automatic
In most cases, a packager moving from a hand-capping process to a capping machine will do so for speed. The key phrase in that sentence, however, is "in most cases". Hand capping can lead to inconsistent tightening, loose caps, cross-threaded caps and other issues due to human error or fatigue, among other things. Some manual and semi-automatic capping machines will be used to simply make the process more consistent and reliable, while automatic machinery will almost always speed up the sealing process.
Manual and Semi-Automatic Capping Machines
Manual and semi-automatic cappers will require some substantial interaction from the operator of the machine. For example, a manual chuck capper will require the operator to first place the cap on the bottle, then position the chuck over the cap and bottle and activate the tightening of the cap. This manual machine will not necessarily increase the speed at which closures are placed or secured on the bottles or other containers. However, as noted above, using a manual machine will increase the reliability and consistency of the seals, avoiding loose caps, spills and other issues.
Semi-automatic capping equipment can take on many different forms. Of course, the type of cap being used will go a long way toward deciding which type of machine will provide the best solution. Many semi-automatic designs will take on the form of tabletop machinery, requiring the operator to again place the cap, but then simply slide the bottle and cap combination into place to allow the spindles, chuck, ROPP head or other component to complete the seal. Other semi-automatic machines may be built on the same frame as automatic capping machinery. While still requiring the operator to place the cap on the bottle, these machines will often then require placement on a power conveyor system, which will transfer the bottles through the capping area to be sealed. The main advantage of building a semi-automatic machine on the automatic frame is the ability to upgrade the equipment to automatic performance as the company, and product demand, grow. Semi-automatic machinery will also offer added consistency and reliability, but will often times increase the rate at which bottles are capped as well.
Automatic Capping Machines
While the operator of an automatic packaging line will still have to interact with the capping machine, the interaction is significantly reduced from that necessary with the manual and semi-automatic equipment. Automatic cappers will normally include a cap delivery system, such as an elevator or vibratory bowl, that presents one cap to each bottle or container, allowing for a continuous process. The operator, rather than placing a cap on every bottle, will simply need to replenish bulk caps from time to time for the delivery system. Consistency and reliability are still a big draw with the automatic cappers, but complete automation also means greater speed. Again, the type of closure used will go a long way toward determining which machine will be used, as well as secondary considerations such as bottle size, shape and desired speed. However, automatic cappers can also handle screw on type caps, snap caps, ROPP caps and any other type of closure that can be handled by the manual and semi-automatic machines.
To view some of the more popular capping equipment, feel free to browse the Capping Machines and Sealing Equipment section of the Liquid Packaging Solutions website.