The Semi-automatic Capping Machine - Variations
The Semi-Automatic Capping Machine - Variations
Not every packaging project or facility requires automatic packaging machinery. Some companies may be starting up with a new product, packaging only a few hundred products a week. Others may have special projects, such as holiday packaging, that will include additional short runs along with normal production demand. For lower production or short runs, automatic packaging equipment may be overkill, but machinery does exist that will allow a packager to add efficiency and consistency to the packaging process without overspending on unnecessary equipment. As an example, we will look at the semi-automatic capping machine options available for a variety of cap and bottle combinations.
Chuck capping machines come in a variety of semi-automatic designs, with the common factor being the need for the operator of the machine to place the cap on the bottle or other container before the machine provides the torque necessary to tighten the lid. These bottle cappers are used for screw type caps, and mostly flat caps, though other types can be accommodated. Some semi-automatic chuck cappers are manufactured on a portable frame that will allow the machine to move from one area of the production floor to another. This option is ideal when a facility is running multiple short run products. The operator simply places the bottle and cap under the capping head when ready and the machine does the rest. Chuck cappers may also be built as tabletop machines using the same premise, but rather than rolling the machine to the necessary area, the tabletop machine would be built for a smaller, permanent location in a facility (though it can be moved from tabletop to tabletop.) Finally, simple handheld chuck capping tools do little to add speed to the capping process, but the consistency of the tool helps to avoid loose caps, over-tightened caps or cross-threads.
ROPP capping machines work with pilfer proof caps of the type found on many wine bottles and a good number of olive oils. Semi-automatic ROPP cappers will normally work as stand alone machines though they are also manufactured on a portable frame. The ROPP capping equipment can roll up to a power conveyor or roller conveyor, or even a simple table, to allow the operator to place the cap on the bottle, then place the bottle into the capping area. The unique head of the ROPP capper, made up of custom knives, then descends to seal the cap to the bottle.
Snap capping machines may be manufactured as tabletop capping equipment, but will normally take the form of a portable packaging machine. These machines work with lids on containers that snap into place, and the tabletop version of the capper will usually consist of a plunger. Once the lid is placed on the container, the operator will place the combination under the plunger and activate the machine via a foot or finger switch. Snap cappers built on a portable frame will use either the same type of plunger/stomper or a declined belt that will snap the lid into place as it moves through the capping area, applying just a little more pressure as the lid and container move along the conveyor. The main advantage of the portable frame is that the machine can easily be upgraded to a fully automatic machine if demand increases for any given project in the future.
Spindle capping machines, like the chuck cappers, work with screw on type caps. A tabletop spindle capper can be used for tricky screw on caps, like trigger sprayers or pump sprayers, to ensure consistency and reliability in the tightening process. However, semi-automatic spindle cappers can also be manufactured on a fully portable frame. This frame allows the machine, like the snap capper, to be modified to become automatic equipment should the need arise by adding a cap delivery system and possibly making modifications to the control box.
Though not every packager may realize it, bottle cappers, and other packaging machines, do exist to make the process easier and more efficient even for those facilities that are less than fully automated in their processes. Some of these machines add efficiency through speed, others through the reliability of the seal. For more information on semi-automatic bottle cappers, contact Liquid Packaging Solutions today!