Packaging Machinery: Spindle and Snap Capping Machines

Packaging Machinery: Spindle and Snap Capping Machines

Capping machines come in many different shapes and sizes, with various techniques to seal bottles and other containers.  Spindle cappers use sets of rubber disks to tighten caps.  Snap capping machines use a belt, stabilizer or stomper to pop caps into place.  But what happens when a facility - a contract packager for example - needs to tighten more than one type of cap?  In the case of the two capping machines noted above, it can be possible to combine both a spindle capper and a snap capper to allow one machine to complete all of the work.

This combination is possible in part due to the fact that both the spindle capping machine and the snap capper are manufactured using the same frame.  In addition, in most cases both of these packaging machines will use gripper belts to guide and stabilize the bottle or other container.  The differences between the two pieces of capping equipment exist in the capping area, those components that perform the actual tightening or sealing.  

A snap capping machine will normally include a slightly declining belt or bar that applies pressure to the cap as the cap and container move through the packaging machine.  As the product reaches the end of the decline, enough pressure is applied to snap the cap securely in place.  Some other snap capping machines may use a stomper that will descend as the cap and container pass beneath it, also snapping the cap into place.  These techniques share a common theme in that the pressure is applied to the top of the cap, pressing down until the seal is completed.

Spindle cappers, on the other hand, work with the sides of a cap to spin or screw the cap to the desired tightness.  As the bottle and cap pass through multiple sets of the disks, the cap is eventually secured and the repeatable process provides consistency and reliability.  Since the snap capper works with the top of the cap and the spindle capper focuses on the sides of the cap, the two can be combined into a single machine.  In fact, with some unique caps, both techniques may be required to achieve the desired seal.

The combination of these two capping machines, as noted above, can sometimes be a requirement for reaching consistent tightening for some unique cap and container combinations.  However, these machines can also be of great benefit to facilities packaging numerous different products, using both screw type and snap on caps.  Contract packagers with multiple projects may find that the spindle snap capper combination allows a majority of sealing to be done with a single capping machine.  

Depending on the specific packaging or capping project, the changeover from using one capping technique to another may be incredibly simple, requiring only hand knob or control panel adjustments to the spindles, belt or stomper.  In some cases, the snap capping assembly may actually need to be removed and replaced with a stabilizer bar when using the spindles.  However, in most of these cases the changeover will simply require the loosening and tightening of a few bolts.  For more information on spindle cappers, snap cappers and combination capping machines, visit the capping and sealing section of the LPS website.