Semi-automatic capping machinery offers an efficient and effective solution for companies that may not produce enough product to justify purchasing automatic packaging equipment. Just like the automatic counterparts, however, the semi-automatic machines will be manufactured specifically for the packager's project, and the type of machine produced will depend in large part on the type of closures chosen by the packager.
An upgrade to semi-automatic capping will usually mean that a packager is looking to add just a little bit more speed to the process of sealing containers. However, simple handheld capping machines and tabletop equipment may be used to add consistency to the capping process while also removing the burden from laborers of continuously twisting or otherwise tightening the caps, which can lead to fatigue or even repetitive motion injuries when done for a long period of time. The simplest of the capping machines, like all others, will not get tired after a long day of tightening or sealing, meaning the last cap will be applied the same as the first.
Manual and tabletop machines exist for a wide variety of caps, including screw-on caps, snap caps, corks and more. These simple machines typically require an operator to place the closure on the container. Once the cap is in place, the operator will also activate the capping process as well. Foot and finger switches are the most common activation techniques, though some capping equipment may simply require the operator to place cap and bottle in to a positioning nest, using sensors to activate the seal. In addition to handheld and tabletop equipment, stand-alone semi-automatic cappers also exist. These capping machines can be manufactured on a smaller footprint or even on a mobile frame to allow for use in various packaging areas. Again, the stand-alone machines can handle just about any cap type, from continuous thread to snap, ROPP, cork and more.
Some packagers may be hesitant to move from hand capping product to semi-automatic equipment, assuming that if the company continues to grow the semi-automatic machinery will quickly become obsolete. But semi-automatic capping machines can be made using the same frame as the automatic cappers. Different variations of full-frame semi-automatic capping machines are available. These machines will still require operator interaction, but should demand for a product grow, most machinery will simply require the addition of a cap delivery system and/or a conveyor to automate the process.
To learn more about typical or custom semi-automatic capping machines and the ability to automate the same, contact NPACK today.