Packaging System Phases - Capping and Sealing Machines

Packaging System Phases - Capping and Sealing Machines

Once a product has been through the filling phase of a packaging system, the next step is to secure the product in the container.  Capping machines and sealing equipment serve this function, protecting against spilling, contamination and spoilage.  Certain caps and seals go one step further, providing evidence of tampering with a product prior to the product reaching the end user.  Regardless of the type of cap or seal desired or required, there are likely a number of different packaging machines that will get the job done.


Spindle Cappers and Chuck Capping machines are probably the two most popular pieces of capping equipment manufactured in the packaging industry, in part because the screw cap is one of the most popular caps in the packaging industry.  Spindle cappers and chuck cappers apply torque to caps in order to tighten the caps to containers, though the machines do so in different ways.  Spindle cappers use sets of spinning discs to contact the sides of the caps as they move through the capping machine.  These spinning discs tighten the cap to the container.  Chuck cappers use a metal chuck and a rubber chuck insert fabricated for specific caps.  Bottles line up under the chuck, which then descends.  The rubber insert grips the cap and the chuck and insert spin the cap onto the container.  Both of these capping machines can be manufactured to automatically cap bottles by using cap delivery systems such as cap elevators and vibratory bowls.  Spindle cappers and chuck cappers are also available in semi-automatic models for facilities with lower production requirements.
Snap capping machines are normally designed in the same fashion as spindle cappers.  However, instead of sets of discs to spin caps down, the snap capper uses a conveyor type belt on a slight decline to snap caps or lids into place.  In some cases, the snap capper may use a plunger to "stomp" caps down, depending on the type of caps being used.  Snap cappers can be manufactured as automatic or semi-automatic capping machines, though the cap shape and size will sometimes make the use of cap delivery systems difficult.
ROPP (Roll On Pilfer Proof) Cappers are used to thread aluminum caps onto certain bottle types.  The most common use for an ROPP Capper is probably sealing wine bottles.  Special knives are used on the ROPP Capper for the bottles to be run.  The knives create a unique seal that provides evidence of tampering while also preserving the wine or other product in the bottle.  
Other capping machines may be manufactured for caps unique in size or shape.  Custom machinery, such as spindle and snap combination cappers can be designed for facilities that run a wide range of caps.  The spindle and snap combination cappers use both the sets of spindles and the snap belt on the same capper frame.  


Different types of sealing equipment can also be used to provide protection to products and consumers as well.  Induction sealers are used to place a foil seal over a bottle opening for added protection against contamination and to provide evidence of product tampering.  Induction seals are normally included with caps.  As the container, cap and seal pass under an electromagnetic coil, the foil becomes hot, releases a wax type substance and seals to the rim of the bottle or container opening.  Shrink wrap and heat tunnels may also be used to provide a seal over cap and container that ensures consumers that a product has not been tampered with prior to purchase.  Neck bands or entire shrink wrap sleeves can be placed around the product before it is sent through the heat tunnel.  The neck band or sleeve shrinks once the heat is applied, providing a tight and secure wrap around the cap and neck of a bottle or the whole product depending on the wrap used.
Whether simply using a cap or a cap and other sealing procedure, capping machines and sealing equipment can make the capping and sealing phase of a packaging system perform effectively and efficiently.  For more information on capping and sealing equipment, browse our website or call a Packaging Specialist toll free at 1-888-393-3693.