With all the different products on the shelf today, capping and sealing machines have a lot of different work to do. Different types of closures serve different purposes, from ease of dispensing to resistance in opening to simple dispensing. The bottle or container, the purpose it serves and a number of other factors will determine which capping and sealing machines are ideal for any given project.
Screw-on type caps are one of the most popular closures in the packaging industry today. These caps can be found in a variety of different formats including simple flat caps, flip-top lids, pump sprayers, trigger sprayers, sports caps and many, many others. However, each type includes simple threading that allows the closure to be screwed on the bottle or other container to create a seal. One of two types of capping machine will normally be used with a screw-on type closure. The first is a spindle capping machine, which uses spinning discs to grip and tighten the lid. These machines are ideal for many automatic systems in that they allow for continuous capping and automatic cap feeding when attached to a power conveyor system. The second type of machine for screw on type caps is the chuck capping machine. Rather than discs, the chuck capper will use a capping head (or chuck), sometimes combined with a rubber insert, to lower over the cap and apply torque to create the seal. While chuck cappers and spindle cappers can both be manufactured as semi-automatic and automatic machinery, chuck cappers are more popular as semi-automatic machines and are available in a range of designs.
A less popular, but still often seen type of closure is the snap cap. These caps, just like the name implies, simply snap onto the bottle or other container holding product. The snap capping machines are also available in both automatic and semi-automatic models and will typically use either a snap on belt or some type of plunger to apply pressure to snap the cap into place. In addition, the snap capping device can often be combined with the spindle wheels to create a machine that can handle both snap and screw-on type caps. This versatility can work well for companies with a multitude of different packages or for contract packagers.
A third capping machine that is growing in popularity, in large part due to the influx of craft distilleries and wineries, is the Bottle Corking Machine. The bottle corker can also be manufactured to perform automatically or with the assistance of an operator. When performing automatically, the corks will be supplied and set in the bottles through the use of a cap elevator and chute. When performing semi-automatically, operators will have to place the corks and may need to initiate the capping cycle each time the bottles and corks are ready (usually through a foot switch or finger switch).
Additional sealing equipment may also be used with any of these or other capping machines. For instance, a distiller may cork their bottles and follow with a capsule spinner to add aesthetic value and tamper protection to the product. Other machines may include neck banders, induction sealers or even inserts for items such as brushes or eyedroppers. Of course, while the capping machines and sealing equipment described in this article will cover a large portion of packaging projects, custom machinery engineered and designed for specific capping and sealing tasks can also be built. To discuss your application with a Packaging Specialist and find the ideal capping solution for your own project, contact NPACK today.