What Type of Caps Can a Spindle Capping Machine Tighten?
Spindle cappers tighten continuous thread, or screw-on, type caps by using matched sets of disks to spin the closures over the threads until they tighten to create a reliable seal. Typically, as bottles move down a power conveyor, they will travel through multiple sets of matched spindle disks, with the last set including clutches. The clutches give the operator of the bottle capper more control over the amount of torque applied to the caps, in order to avoid over or under-tightening of the closures.
While the most popular screw-on type closure is probably the simple flat cap, found on most bottled beverages such as water and soft drinks, a wide variety of different screw-on caps exist. There are sports caps found on popular sports drinks and flip-top caps such as those on shampoos and body washes. Many cleaning items use a trigger sprayer to release product, which also screw-on to the container that holds the product. Some products, such as hand soaps and sanitizers, will even use a pump dispenser which screws on to the bottle. While different variations of closures, all screw on to the bottle or container, meaning that the spindle capping machine can seal each and every type of cap mentioned above.
Spindle capping machines can be manufactured to work either automatically or semi-automatically, with the difference being the amount of interaction necessary by the operator. On semi-automatic machines, the operator will place the cap and then move the bottle and cap in to position between the spindle disks. These machines are rare, and will usually be found in the facilities of small to medium production packagers with trigger sprayers, pumps or other unusual or oddly shaped screw on caps. Large caps, or caps with triggers or pumps, cannot be tightened with the semi-automatic chuck capper, a second alternative for screw-on caps. In these rare situations where production does not warrant an automatic machine, a semi-automatic spindle capper may be used for consistent and reliable tightening of these unique caps.
Automatic spindle capping machines only require an operator to perform initial set up and replenish bulk caps from time to time. Rather than placing a cap on every bottle, the automatic capping machine uses an automatic cap delivery system to continuously supply caps to the bottles, which in turn allows the machine to continuously tighten caps while bottles pass through on the power conveyor. Normally a cap stabilizer is used with gripper belts on the bottle to ensure that the screw-on caps are kept stabile and consistently tightened during the process. Some modification to the cap stabilizers, as well as some orientation, may be necessary once again when dealing with the unique caps like the trigger sprayers. However, the automatic machine can be manufactured to handle just about any type of continuous thread bottle and closure.
To learn more about spindle capping machines and other equipment for sealing bottles, visit the Capping and Sealing section of the Liquid Packaging Solutions website.