Packaging Line Placement - Capping Machines

Packaging Line Placement - Capping Machines

In putting together an automatic or semi-automatic packaging line, there will normally exist a logical sequence of packaging machinery.  Rinsing machines will be placed at the beginning of the system to provide a clean bottle for the packaging process.  Liquid fillers are normally found right after the container cleaning machines.  Capping equipment, in almost all cases, will immediately follow the filling machines.

As always, each packaging line will be unique to the company and the product being packaged.  However, Capping equipment will almost always follow the liquid fillers in order to protect the product from contamination and provide a quick seal on the package.  Even if using container cleaning equipment, allowing a bottle to stand open over an extended period of time can allow oxygen, dust and debris to enter the container while moving through the packaging system.  Any foreign matter may assist in the breakdown of certain products or make others, such as food, beverage and pharmaceutical products, unfit for consumption.  Similarly, moving unsealed packages of certain products over long distances via conveyor on a packaging system can invite product splashing, dripping and spilling.  Running bottles through a capping machine immediately after the filling equipment is finished can eliminate these issues.

While the normal sequence will move from a filling machine directly into a capping machine, there are exceptions.  For example, many products may take advantage of a nitrogen purge system.  The nitrogen purge system eliminates oxygen from either the entire container or the container headspace after product has been introduced.  When using a nitrogen purge system on the container headspace, the purge will occur in between the liquid filler and the capping machine.  However, introducing the nitrogen purge system on the conveyor system between the filling and capping equipment adds very little time and space between the other two packaging machines.  The nitrogen purge equipment actually assists the capping equipment by eliminating oxygen prior to the sealing of the container, which can extend product shelf life while preserving product flavor, color and texture.  When the nitrogen purge system is placed in service on a packaging line, the capping will always take place shortly after the purge.

Another example of an extended gap of time between the filling and capping on a packaging line occurs when hot product, such as wax, is being run on the line.  Immediately capping a heated product can lead to problems with both the container and the product.  Quick capping of a hot product may lead to rapid expansion of the product that could damage the container.  In these cases, there may not be additional packaging equipment between the liquid filler and the bottle capper, but rather an extended conveyor system section known as a cooling conveyor.  The cooling conveyor simply allows additional time for a product to lose heat and set.  These conveyors may use a fan cooling system to expedite the cooling process, or they may simply allow an extended time on the conveyor system for cooling.  Depending on the product, cooling conveyors may be enclosed or a clean room may be utilized to protect the product from contamination during this process.

Capping machines, like almost all other packaging equipment, will be placed into the packaging line in a manner that allows the equipment to achieve not only the goal of placing and tightening the cap, but also protecting the product being packaged.  Spindle cappers, chuck cappers, ROPP cappers and custom capping machinery are all available from Liquid Packaging Solutions in levels of automation ranging from manual to completely automatic capping machines.  If you have questions about capping machinery or the capping process, contact a Representative at Liquid Packaging Solutions, Inc., toll free at 1-888-393-3693.