Common Issues: Spindle Capper Inconsistency
Though spindle capping machines are popular for their reliability and their consistency, just like any other packaging machine with contact parts, issues can and do arise. Not surprisingly, the most common issue with the spindle capper is inconsistent capping, or missed caps from time to time. Luckily, in almost all cases the fix for inconsistent capping is simple to identify and correct.
1. LEVEL MACHINERY
The bottle capper, along with the cap delivery system, should be leveled as soon as it is placed on the production floor. However, if the inconsistent capping occurs after the equipment has been relocated, it is always worth checking to ensure all equipment is level. Leveling legs on the machinery makes this fix, though rare, a quick fix.
2. CAPPING MACHINE ADJUSTMENTS
Rarely will a spindle capping machine be used exclusively with a single bottle and cap. The more common scenario includes multiple containers and closures, which means changeover adjustments will be made when moving from one container to cap to another. There are a number of adjustments which if not made, or not made correctly, can lead to inconsistent tightening of caps.
Starting with cap delivery systems, vibratory bowl speed may need to be adjusted, or cap elevator angles may need to be changed. Bottles and caps must also be stabilized throughout the capping process, which may require height and width adjustments to components such as gripper belts and cap stabilizer bars. Finally, the tightening process requires the spindle wheels to be positioned correctly on the cap as it passes through the tightening area. Though quick and easy adjustments, all must be done correctly to ensure that the machine remains reliable and consistent.
3. WEAR PARTS
As touched on above, the spindle capper uses spinning wheels to tighten down caps as they move through the machine. As with any packaging machine with contact parts, these parts will wear down and require replacement over time. If the inconsistent capping does not occur immediately after relocating or changing over the machine, the most likely culprit is worn contact parts. Again, assuming wear parts are kept in stock at the production facility, the fix is quick and easy, requiring the simple replacement of the spindle wheels. In addition to the wheels, gripper belts used to keep bottles in place during the process may also wear over time. A quick visual inspection will usually be enough to evaluate the wear parts and identify those needing replacement. Of course, if the need for replacement happens too often, LPS should be contacted as an underlying issue may exist.
Whenever inconsistent capping occurs, Liquid Packaging Solutions Technical Support is only a phone call away at 1-888-393-3693, with spare and wear parts available at the same number. In a majority of cases, a walk-through over the phone will identify and resolve capping issues, though on-site support is always available if needed!