Spindle Cappers - Troubleshooting
Spindle Cappers, whether manufactured by Liquid Packaging Solutions or other packaging machinery manufacturers, require many small tweaks and adjustments to reach their maximum capping potential. While LPS sets every Spindle Capper either at the factory or during installation, adjustments will become necessary as the capper use increases. This is especially true when multiple caps and bottles are used on the same capping machine, requiring constant changeover. Some of the most common Spindle Capper issues, along with the most common solutions, are presented below:
If bottles are entering the Spindle Capper and tipping over, a slight adjustment to either the speed or grip will usually solve the problem. First, check to ensure that the speed of the gripper belts on the capper and the speed of the conveyor are consistent. If there is an excessive difference in the two, causing a sudden change in speed upon entering the capping machine, the bottles are likely to tip. Second, make sure the gripper belts are tight enough on the bottles. Loose gripper belts will cause the bottles to rattle and eventually tip over as well. Finally, make sure that the spindle capper itself is leveled and centered with the conveyor. If the capper has been re-positioned or upset (bumped into, moved for maintenance or cleaning) it may be necessary to make adjustments to re-level and center the capper. If the bottles are not centered when entering the capping machine, they may also consistently fall over.
On occasion, the Spindle Capper may leave marks on bottles after running production for an extended period of time. Normally, this condition is caused by a combination of overly tight and worn gripper belts. As gripper belts wear away, they lose some of their grip. Naturally, most people tighten the belts when they seem to be losing their grip. As the belts become more worn, and are over-tightened, they can leave a mark on bottles traveling through the capping machine. To solve this problem, occasionally check the tightness of the gripper belts on the bottle (they should be tight enough to avoid tipping bottles but not so tight that you can hear the belts engage each time a bottle enters the capper!) and replace them when they become overly worn! A little wear and tear on the gripper belts will not harm the performance of the machine, so remember, to prolong the life of the belts, do not overtighten them at the first sight of wearing!
Many times when caps are missing from bottles, the Spindle Capper alignment with the cap placement system (usually either a vibratory bowl or sorting elevator presenting caps to a chute) needs adjustment. Commonly, the spindle capper, chute and cap placement system can be re-aligned to correct the problem. Many spindle cappers also use what are known as