Packaging Machinery 2021: Bottle Capping Machines
As has been mentioned previously in the LPS News section, the type of bottle capping machine used for any packaging project will depend on the type of closure that the packager will use for their project. The popular types of closures in the packaging industry simply have not changed much in recent years, and in turn the most popular capping machines have remained the same, though the technology may be updated or modified. Once a closure is chosen for a project, the ideal capping machine or machines for that project will be significantly narrowed. Below are brief descriptions of the capping machines that LPS expects to remain popular on our own production floor in 2021.
SPINDLE CAPPING MACHINES
Screw-on, or continuous thread, type closures remain the most popular type of closure used by companies that work with LPS. These are the caps found on typical bottles of water and most other beverage bottles that are simply twisted off to open the container. Spindle capping machines utilize matched sets of spinning disks to contact the closure on each side of the cap as it passes through the tightening area on a power conveyor. These machines allow for continuous capping by offering a cap delivery system as well. Operators of automatic capping machinery can simply set the machine up, supply bulk caps to the delivery system and let the machine do the rest!
However, simple flat caps found on beverage bottles are not the only type of screw-on type closures. Some soaps and other products may use pump style screw-on caps. Popular cleaning products may use a trigger sprayer closure that twists on and off. The screw-on type closure can take many different forms, which is one reason it is by far the most popular closure type. When inserts such as pumps or trigger sprayers are used, some modification may be necessary for cap delivery. In some cases, a tabletop or semi-automatic spindle capper can be used as well. The semi-automatic cappers allow an operator to place the pump or trigger into the bottle before the machine handles the tightening of the closure.
CHUCK CAPPING MACHINES
A second option for screw-on type caps also remains a popular piece of capping equipment in the packaging industry. Rather than contact the sides of the cap to tighten these closures, these machines allow a chuck to descend over the cap and bottle and apply torque to spin the cap into place. Chuck cappers allow many different options for smaller packagers using semi-automatic machinery, including a simple handheld option that allows the operator to place the cap and apply torque in a small area.
Automatic chuck cappers, however, will work better than the spindle capper in certain situations. The automatic chuck capper typically uses starwheel indexing to move bottles under the capping heads. For bottles that are somewhat unstable, the starwheel indexing allows for more accurate torque and tightening by providing some support during the process. In addition, smaller bottles and caps may be easier to tighten with chuck cappers and can lead to a more efficient process in some situations. The decision to use a spindle capper or a chuck capper will depend on several different factors that will be unique to each packaging project.
BOTTLE CORKING MACHINES
Capping machines can fluctuate in popularity based on the demand or growth of certain industries or products. The recent deregulation surrounding the distilled spirits industry, and a surge in craft distilleries, has resulted in increased production of bottle corking machinery. Similar to the spindle capper, the automatic bottle corker will utilize a cork delivery system, but bottles will be indexed to be kept in place while the cork, T-cork or other cork-like closure is pressed into place. Semi-automatic machinery for corking tasks is also available, which typically allow an operator to place a cork into the bottle and slide the combination into place to allow for the sealing. Of course, products outside of distilled spirits, such as wine, olive oil and some dressings, also use cork-like closures helping to make the machines an annual sight on the LPS production floor.
Other capping machines are also available from LPS, though seen less frequently than those mentioned above. Snap capping machines are used to press down snap-on type caps. ROPP cappers thread blank aluminum caps for a number of different products. Custom machines, such as those that allow for screw-on or snap capping, can also be manufactured for unique packaging projects. For more information on any of the capping machines mentioned above, or for assistance is identifying the best capper for your own needs, contact Liquid Packaging Solutions today.