Corking Machinery for Large and Small Projects

The second decade of the 21st century has provided growth for bottle corking machinery. This is due in large part to the deregulation of the distilled spirits industry and the emergence of a number of craft distillers, a trend which continues today. But corks and cork-like seals are not exclusive to the distilled spirits industry and the use of these closures has grown in other industries as well.

Generally speaking, bottle corking machines securely press corks, T-corks and similar closures into bottles of different shapes and sizes. Automatic versions of these packaging machines also deliver the closures allowing for quick and easy sealing of bottles without much interaction from an operator. Semi-automatic versions of corkers will require an operator to interact with every, or almost every, bottle and cork, but can still provide additional speed over hand corking containers and helps to ensure consistent and reliable sealing.

Automatic bottle corking machines will typically be seen as a part of a complete packaging system. In other words, they will be connected to rinsing machines, liquid fillers and other equipment via a power conveyor system. Once bottles are filled, they will move down the conveyor system and through the corking area. Corks are delivered to the bottles via a cap sorting device that delivers the corks to a chute. As they travel down the chute, the corks will be held in position until a bottle is available under the corking head. The corks will then be pressed down into the container before moving down the conveyor to the next packaging phase, such as labeling.

With automatic corkers, an indexing system will be used to position and keep bottles in place to receive the cork. Gate indexing can be used to position bottles on a conveyor, as can a screw indexing set up. Starwheel indexing may also be used on an automatic machine, depending on the needs of the individual packager. The indexing system ensures stability and consistency during the corking process. These machines will normally be used by packagers that have a rather high product demand to meet on a daily basis.

For smaller craft distilleries and other products with lower production demand, semi-automatic bottle corkers provide an economical and efficient solution for reliably sealing bottles. Tabletop bottle corkers also use a chute to deliver corks to the containers, but the operator of the machine will need to replenish the corks when the chute runs out. In addition to replenishing corks, the operator will place each bottle under the corking head to allow the machine to press the cork into place. In between this tabletop version and the automatic bottle corker, other semi-automatic solutions can be custom designed for different projects, including bottle corkers on a full-size frame but without the cap delivery system.

Liquid Packaging Solutions will work with each packager individually to create a bottle corking solution that will add efficiency to the corking process while meeting the production needs of the product or products being prepared. The engineering of the bottle corking machines will depend not only on the speed needed, but also on the space available, the bottle or bottles being used, the type of corks being used, and a number of other factors that may be unique from packager to packager. Contact LPS today for a consultation to discuss your own project and take advantage of the LPS Packaging Specialists experience to find the best solution for your own project.