While many different types of capping machines exist, it's fair to say that a number of different industries will be dominated by a single type of bottle capper. For this reason, we can look at a few different industries and get a feel for the different types of capping equipment available to packagers. Below is a short discussion on several different industries and the most popular pieces of equipment found in those industries.
Bottled Water and Other Beverages
Bottled water, soft drinks, teas, sports drinks and other beverages normally use the same type of closure. Almost all of these beverages will use a screw-on type cap to seal and protect the product. The closures may vary from simple flat caps to sports caps or even flip-top type closures, but each variation will still screw on to the bottle being used for the given project. For beverages, the spindle capping machine is the most popular automatic capper. This machine uses sets of spinning disks to grab and tighten the screw-on cap as it moves through the capping machine, allowing continuous capping using a power conveyor and cap delivery system. Chuck cappers may also be seen in the industry where lower production demands exist, as these types of capping machines work efficiently for semi-automatic applications while also being cost effective.
While another type of beverage, distilled spirits are unique in the closure types that are used in the industry. Rather than screw-on type closures, distilled spirits will often use corks, T-corks or even ROPP caps to seal the bottles. These types of closures require special capping machines to add consistency and reliability to the sealing process. ROPP cappers use knives to thread aluminum caps onto galss bottles often used in the distilled spirits industry. Bartop corkers are used to secure T-corks and similar closures into place on either automatic or semi-automatic systems. Unlike normal beverages, both ROPP cappers and bartop corkers are likely to be used for either automation level, but will simply have other designs. Products in this industry may also use a capsule spinner to add some aesthetic value to the presentation of the product while also providing some tamper resistance.
While some medicines will use screw-on type caps similar to those described in the Bottled Water and Other Beverages Industry above, this industry will see a little more variety than that of drinks. Pharmaceutical packagers may also use a snap on type cap, which can be similar to screw-on closures except rather than having threads, the bottle or other container will have a lip or ledge that the closure will snap over to secure the product. Many products in the pharmaceutical industry may also use inserts in bottles, such as eyedroppers, to allow consumers to correctly use the product. Both inserting machines and snap capping machines are available in automatic and semi-automatic versions. Where screw-on type closures are used, chuck cappers may be slightly more popular due to the smaller sizes of containers often encountered in the industry.
Cosmetics are very similar to the pharmaceutical industry in that both screw-on and snap on closures may be found among the industry products. In addtion, cosmetics will also use inserts from time to time, including the agitator bead found in many nail polishes as well as brushes for lipstick and other cosmetic items. Both spindle cappers and chuck cappers are common in the industry, again with chuck cappers more popular for semi-automatic processes.
Personal Care & Household Items
These items include shampoos, window cleaners, liquid soaps and hundreds of other products! More often than not, screw-on type closures will be found in this industry. However, the types of screw-on closures may differ slightly from those discussed above! For example, window cleaners will often use a trigger sprayer for application, soaps can be found with pumps and shampoos and conditioners often use flip-top type screw-on lids. Spindle cappers and chuck cappers will win the day in this industry, but may require modification or adjustment to handle unique caps!
Of course, many other industries exist in the packaging world! Each of these industries will likely have a typical closure or closures that are used on many of the products that make up the industry. But as packagers try to stand out from the crowd, exceptions will always exist and the different capping machines will be seen across almost all industries. For more information on all of the different bottle cappers manufactured by NPACK, feel free to browse the capping and sealing section of our website, or call our offices to discuss custom applications.