How Do I Know I'm Purchasing the Right Capping Machine?

How Do I Know I'm Purchasing the Right Capping Machine?

This is a question that arises quite often with a company or individual that is new to packaging a product.  It also arises occasionally with established companies that are replacing their equipment.  The simple answer is that your packaging equipment supplier will be able to tell you which capping machine will work best for your application.

Of course, this still requires some preparation on the packagers end.  Specifically, before the packaging machinery manufacturer can tell you which capping machine is best, you will need to have some type of business plan in place, including the bottle and cap types and sizes that you will be using.  The business plan should also estimate your production needs and your estimated growth to ensure that you not only purchase capping equipment for your current needs, but that will allow for growth in the future if desired.

As an example, assume that a new company is formed to produce, package and sell a natural shampoo recipe that was created by the owner.  The shampoo bottles may vary greatly in size from a 250 ml sample bottle to a value bottle holding 1000 ml of product or more.  Once the bottles are chosen, appropriate caps must also be selected.  Most shampoo bottles will use a screw on type cap, be it a flat cap, flip top or even a pump type bottle.  However, other caps may simply snap on to the bottle, again using flip tops, pumps or other types of dispensing systems.  The bottles and caps chosen for the various product sizes will go a long way toward identifying the correct capping machine for the project.  Spindle cappers and chuck capping machines will be the likely choices for screw caps, while a belt type snap capping machine will work for a number of snap on caps.  Custom capping machinery can also be manufactured for projects that use both screw and snap caps or other, unique caps.

So the bottles and caps will point a packager to the type of capping equipment that will be required.  The second part of the equation is current and future production demands.  In other words, some idea of how much product will be sold and how much growth you want for your company in the future.  The shampoo in the above example may start out in a regional market, such as the West Coast of the United States.  However, the company may aspire to reach a national or even international market.  Keeping the current goals and future goals in mind, the automation level for the capping equipment can be pinpointed.  While this company could get by with manual or tabletop capping equipment for their regional market, their future goals may suggest semi-automatic or automatic equipment is the right choice.  Semi-automatic spindle cappers, for example, can be modified and upgraded to become automatic equipment when production levels require such capping machines.  So rather than purchase completely different, and new, equipment when production levels increase, the semi-automatic capping machine allows the equipment to grow with the company.

So choosing bottles and caps, and knowing your estimated production requirements, will almost result in the automatic choice of a capping machine.  Of course, other factors may play a part in the selection as well.  Other packaging equipment, such as liquid fillers, labeling machines and conveyor systems, will also have an effect on the choice of capping machine for any given project.  If bottles are being filled and labeled by tabletop machines (perhaps one bottle at a time), then automatic capping equipment may simply be unwarranted at the current time.  

The choices to be made and the information involved, when combined with all of the other decisions and planning in packaging a product, can be overwhelming.  Liquid Packaging Solutions has extensive experience and knowledge when it comes to choosing the correct packaging machinery for almost any project.  We invite you to take advantage of our experience and knowledge by talking to one of our Packaging Specialists toll free at 1-888-393-3693.