Chuck Cappers - Automation Levels for All Packagers
Chuck cappers, as the name suggests, use a chuck head to apply torque to a continuous thread, or screw-on, type closure to seal bottles. Depending on the cap and bottle being sealed, some of these machines may use a chuck insert to complete the tightening. Chuck cappers can be manufactured to handle thousands of bottles and caps a day as an automatic capping machine, or can be built as a simple hand-held capping machine that allows an operator to tighten a single bottle and cap at a time. Regardless of the automation level, chuck cappers can add both consistency and reliability to the capping process.
Both handheld and semi-automatic models of the chuck capper will require an operator to interact with the cap and bottle for each cycle run. Handheld chuck cappers may be added to the frame of a tabletop or semi-automatic filler to create a fill and cap station for smaller packagers, or they may be attached to a frame to allow for mobility in the capping process. Tabletop chuck cappers allow a bottle and cap to be placed into a positioning nest before the chuck head descends to apply torque. All of the different semi-automatic models, however, will require the operator to place the cap and initiate the tightening in some manner. Depending on the project, handheld and semi-automatic cappers can add speed to the process, but the main benefit of these machines stems from the consistency of the tightening, avoiding loose and over-tightened caps and removing the stress of repetitively tightening the closures.
Automatic chuck capping machines use a cap delivery system to remove the need for an operator to interact with each and every bottle and cap. Depending on the project, and especially the bottles being sealed, automatic chuck cappers may use starwheel or screw indexing to complete the threading of caps. Each indexing system correctly aligns bottles under one or more chuck heads, which descend to apply the torque before moving the bottles out of the capping area. These automatic machines are normally a part of a complete packaging system, meaning the sealed bottles will exist the capping machine to move down a conveyor to a labeler or other packaging machine. A PLC allows the operator to set up all capping times for the machine prior to running production, meaning the operator will only need to ensure bulk caps are available for the cap delivery system once the machine begins production.
Automatic chuck cappers add speed to the capping process while also offering the same benefits of consistent and reliable tightening seen in the handheld and semi-automatic machines. The range of automation levels available with chuck cappers makes them a practical option for any size packager using certain varieties of continuous thread caps. To learn more about chuck cappers or other capping machine options offered by Liquid Packaging Solutions, contact a Capping Specialist at LPS today.