Spindle Capping Machines - Spindle Wheel Refresher

For those that are using a spindle capping machine, or who have seen photos of the LPS spindle capper, you may have noticed that the wheels on different machines may be different colors. For those who have had to troubleshoot spindle cappers after the introduction of new bottles or caps to the packaging process, you may already know the reason for the various wheel colors. For everyone else, we offer this quick refresher on the spindle wheel colors and how they can affect your production.

Spindle capping machines use multiple sets of spindle wheels to spin screw-on type closures on to a bottle. The wheels and other components of the machinery must be set in a precise manner to allow for consistent, reliable and repeatable seals on each bottle moving through the machine. The spindle wheels are the component on the capping machine that will actually come into contact with the cap during the tightening process (along with some stabilizing features such as gripper belts and stabilizing tongues).

For a majority of projects, the spindle capper design will use one of four different spindle wheel colors. The common colors are red, yellow, clear and gray. But rather than simple aesthetic value, these different colors play a functional role in the performance of the bottle capper. Each color spindle wheel represents a different durometer, or hardness, of material. As an example, red spindle wheels are a 45 durometer disk, or typically the lowest hardness used by LPS. Softer spindle wheels can offer an advantage by allowing more give and a lower likelihood of marring fragile or soft caps. From here, yellow disks are a 55 durometer, clear a 60 and gray move up to a 70 durometer. Generally speaking, gray disks will be put to use when rigid bottles or caps are a part of the packaging process, but would do too much damage to the softer, flexible bottles and caps mentioned above.

So when building a spindle capping machine, receiving bottle and cap samples that will be used by a packager in their own production becomes a very important part of the manufacturing process. This would include every bottle and cap to be run by a packager to ensure that, among other things, the spindle wheel chosen for the project will work for the entire range of components used to package the product. Choosing the right spindle wheel allows for non-stop consistent capping without visible scarring or marking on the caps while also ensuring that the life of the wheels is optimized to avoid repeated replacement. For more information on spindle wheels, spindle capping machines or any of the equipment manufactured by LPS, browse our website or send us a quick connect with questions today!