Spindle vs. Chuck - Which is Better for My Project?

While a variety of closures exist for the many different bottles and containers used to package liquid products, a good majority are capped using a continuous thread screw-on type closure. This type of cap can be found on botted water, sports drinks and other beverages as a flat cap, but the screw-on type closure could also be a flip-top cap, sports cap or even a pump or trigger spray type closure. For screw-on caps, there are generally two machines that will be used to secure the closures, either a spindle capping machine or a chuck capper.

So how does a packager know which machine is a better fit for the project at hand? In some cases, either machine may function just fine, but analyzing the different aspects of a project, from bottles and caps to production demand and budget, may favor one machine over another for a number of different reasons. For instance, spindle capping machines are both a cost efficient solution and versatile, in that they normally allow a number of different caps to be run without change parts. These machines use sets of spindle disks to spin the closure down as the cap and bottle move through the capping area. Spindle cappers can be manufactured to run automatically, with a cap delivery system, or semi-automatically with the operator assisting in placing the cap on the bottle. For projects with a limited budget, or projects with a wide variety of screw-on type caps, the spindle capper may be the better choice.

Chuck capping machines actually provide for simple set up, as very little adjustment is needed from cap to cap. Automatic chuck cappers will also use starwheel indexing, which can help with stability when it comes to unique containers, tubes or vials. Chuck cappers use a chuck and insert, descending onto the cap to apply torque once in position. Like spindle cappers, chuck capping machines can be manufactured to work automatically and semi-automatically. However, for low production facilities, handheld chuck cappers can also be built to add reliability and consistency to the capping project, while also saving employees wrists from excessive turning and tightening.

Each packaging project, and each capping machine used in the project, will have different goals to meet as well as different components with which to meet them. Picking the right packaging machine will always require these goals and components to be analyzed to reach the best solution. To learn more about spindle and chuck cappers, visit the Capping and Sealing section of the Liquid Packaging Solutions' website.