The Difference Between Hand Capping and Automated Capping Machines

Hand capping can be a tedious job, but for smaller packagers and start-up companies, it may seem like the most cost-efficient and best solution available. However, capping machines come in different levels of automation for different types of closures. It is possible to save money, time and even wear and tear to the wrists by using semi-automatic or automatic capping machines.

First and foremost, any packager spending an entire day, or even a good portion of a day, tightening caps or closures on bottles, will become fatigued, likely both mentally and physically. Fatigue can lead to inconsistency in tightening or otherwise sealing containers. After a few hours of twisting, pressing or otherwise performing a capping task by hand, the manual labor simply becomes less reliable. Both semi-automatic and automatic capping machines can offer consistent and reliable sealing whether production is in the first hour or the tenth hour of the day.

In most cases, there is nothing difficult about tightening caps by hand, outside of the fatigue factor mentioned above. The simplicity of hand capping, however, can be matched by just about any capping machine. Tabletop and semi-automatic cappers typically require the operator to place the cap on the bottle and then place that combination into a designated space to be sealed. Automatic capping machines will require some pre-production set up, but once running will require little to no operator interaction throughout the production day.

Of course, when talking about automatic capping machines, and even most semi-automatic equipment, a packager can seal a greater number of containers using equipment versus hand tightening or sealing. While hand capping could arguably achieve the same results as even automatic machinery, the cost of labor to keep up with such production speeds would far outweigh any benefit to the packager. And again, while some manual capping machines may not increase the bottles per minute that are sealed, they still offer more consistent and reliable capping than manual labor.

Finally, hand capping can be performed for just about any packaging project, assuming that the space is available to accumulate and cap containers. The same is true of capping machinery. Regardless of the current process, both semi-automatic and automatic capping machines can be integrated into an existing project. Whether this entails clearing a space on a table near the filling process or rolling up an automatic machine to an already existing power conveyor, capping machines are versatile enough to integrate into almost any packaging line.

To learn more about the different capping machines manufactured by Liquid Packaging Solutions, or which machine will work best for your own packaging project, browse the capping and sealing section of the LPS website. For questions or additional information, contact LPS to speak with a Packaging Specialist.