Inline Cappers for the
Inline Filling Systems designs and manufactures world class Filling Machine Equipment, Capping Machines, Labeling Machines, Turntables, Conveyors and other equipment for fully integrated liquid packaging lines.
information is presented as an applications guide for the selection of
capping machines that operate at speeds of under 200 containers per
minute. The Capping machines discussed here are used only in the
application of plastic and metal threaded caps as well as plastic snap
caps, some fitments and some types of corks. The information covers both
manual/handheld cappers, semiautomatic and cappers and fully automatic
Please note that aluminum Roll-on-Pilfer-Proof (ROPP)
caps and corks used in the corking of wine bottles are not applicable to
this range of machinery. Rather, the focus of this guide is for
the capping of rigid containers with pre-made threaded caps as they are
applied to most plastic and glass bottles and jars throughout the food,
beverage, chemical and pharma industries.
This is the most popularly used
capping machine as it will work for most bottles and caps at
speeds up to 200 cpm depending on cap size and container
configuration. It will handle flat caps, sport caps, yorker
caps, metal lids and any other caps that can be placed or
"picked off" at a 30 to 40 degree angle without any special cap
or bottle handling change parts.
This capping machine can handle a cap size range up to 120 mm
including child resistant caps. However, some caps with
diameters greater than 60mm do not work well in this type of
machine due to problems with the thread design, the height of
the cap, and because the planar surface of the top of the cap is
not true. (See the vertical cap placer below as a solution to
This machine can handle container sizes ranging in: (height)
1-1/2" to 15" (width) 1/2" to 7" in plastic, metal, or glass.
As long as the bottles are fairly rigid and can be gripped by
the belts that draw the bottle through the tightening area,
they will work fine in this machine.
Torque control is achieved by either spring loaded clutches or
air clutches that cause the tightening surface against the cap
to release once the target torque has been reached.
Click here for more information about this Automatic Inline Capping Machine.
Automatic Chuck Capping Machine
These chuck style capping machines are
extremely reliable and repeatable but are more costly than the
inline type capping machine described above because they require
specific bottle handling change parts for each container as well
as a specific chuck for each different cap size. Even without
the additional cost of changeparts, the hardware cost of this
type of machine is also significantly higher than the inline
There are some capping applications where this is the ONLY type
of capping machine that will do the job. For example, very small
or unstable containers that would otherwise topple over are
stabilized in this machine by the specific change parts.
Also, there are capping applications where the cap MUST be
vertically placed onto the mouth of the container and cannot be
"picked off" at an angle as described above. The use of a
chuck tightening device also avoids the particulation of
tightening surfaces and therefore makes it the capping machine
of choice in the biomedical and pharma industries.
Click here for more information about this
Automatic Chuck Capping Machine.
Snap Capping Machine
This type of
capping machine is quite specialized to the application of
NEPCO or similar type of snap caps. The cap is "picked off" or
placed onto the container in the same fashion as the inline type
capping machine, but the cap is then merely forced into its
seated position by downward pressure of rollers as the bottle is
drawn through the machine. Because there are fewer moving parts
on this machine, it is significantly less expensive than other
types of automatic capping machines.
There are closures in the
industry called "snap screw" caps which are a hybrid of the snap
cap and threaded screw caps. They require both the
torquing action of a threaded cap as well as the downward rolled
force of a snap cap. For this special application, a
inline capping machine as described above, along with a snap cap
roller attachment, will do the job.
Click here for more information about this Automatic Snap Capping Machine.
As mentioned above, there are
limitations to the use of "inline" type or spindle type capping
machines especially when it comes to large caps with diameters
greater than 80mm. Many bulk foods are commonly packaged
with 110mm closures. These closures hardly ever work on an
inline type of machine because the cap must be placed vertically
in order to prevent cross threading. Once the cap is
placed vertically and the cap started on the threads, the
cap can then be tightened to the target torque with a cap
tightener downtream from the placer.
This placer in combination with cap tightener can also be used
as an economical substitute for a chuck capper described above
especially where the caps and container sizes are quite large.
Click here for more information about this
Automatic Cap Placer Machine.
Automatic Cap Tightener
As described above, the cap tightener
does not place the caps on the container; rather it is used only
for tightening or retightening. In the case of use with a
vertical placer, it provides the target torque for the cap after
it is vertically placed.
However, the most common use of a cap tightening machine is for
retorquing of caps after
an induction sealing event. The heat produced by an upstream
induction sealer can cause a cap to loosen itself from the
container from dissimilar expansion rates. The cap tightener
solves this problem by re tightening the cap to the target
Click here for more information about this Automatic Cap Tightener Machine.
Handheld Capping Machine
This capping machine is Lowest cost alternative
for capping with the highest
degree of labor. These units are typically pneumatic but are
also offered in electric configurations. The pneumatic units
provide a smoother and more comfortable torque control than the
The simple operation is as follows: the unit is suspended above
the bottle by a spring loaded reel that relieves the operator
from having to hold the (heavy) unit up. The operator places and
starts caps on bottles manually; after pressing the unit down on
the cap the operator activates the unit while holding down the
container. The unit will stall or disengage its clutch when the
target torque is reached. However, the repeatability of torque
with this simple device does depend on how consistent the
operator applies downward pressure on the cap.
Handheld capper provides relief from blisters, fatigue and
potential carpal tunnel damage associated with overworking the
hands and wrists
Click here for more information about this Handheld Capping Machine.
This capping machine works nearly the
same way as the handheld device described above but with much higher
torque repeatability and much less fatigue to the operator.
The difference is that the operator does not hold and press down
on the cap. The tightener is fixtured to an air cylinder that
when activated by footswitch, it always presses down on the cap
in the same direction with the same amount of downward force.
This action ensures a very high degree repeatable torque with
very little labor involvement other than to manage the bottles
Click here for more information about this Benchtop Capping Machine
Benchtop Capping Machine
This capping machine is one more step
above the benchtop capping machine described above. The
operator does not manage the containers. The operator only places caps onto
container. The benchtop capping machine does the rest: a
photoeye detects the container which then grabs and holds it
securely. The tightening head then comes down to torque on the
cap to the target torque in the same fashion described above.
Other than repeatable torque, the other great advantage of
this capping machine is its ability to deliver up to 40 capped
bottles per minute with only one operator.
Click here for more information about this Semi Automatic Benchtop Capping Machine.
Semi Automatic Snap
This capping machine is similar to the
benchtop models described above with the differnce being that
the cap is not torqued; it is only pressed on by a pneumatic
cylinder. The operator places snap caps onto container and
presses the footswitch in the case of the more manual version or
in the case of the semi automatic version, the container
is grabbed and held automatically while the cap is pressed on.
Click here for more information about this Semi Automatic Snap Capping Machine.
Hazardous materials such as solvents
and other flammable and combustable products require capping
too. However, static generation and possible autoignition
from electrical systems pose a real hazard to capping operations
in a bottling operation. These "explosion proof" capping
machines are specifically constructed with intrinsically safe
electrical enclosures to insulate the electrical systems from
the packaging atmosphere.
Click here for more information about this Hazardous Location Capping Equipment.