The capping machine is the machine that mechanically puts the cap onto the bottle after the filling process and is placed immediately after the filler.
The capper starts its work after the hopper, which is a machine attached to the capper that positions the caps correctly so they can be picked up directly by the capping machine.
The cap must be positioned correctly to be placed the right way.
Then the bottle from the conveyor belt is picked up by an auger that takes and inserts the bottles into a rotating starwheel inside the machine.
This positions these bottles on a plate, exactly above of which there is a tool that compresses and inserts a cork or tightens the cap. All this is happening while rotating at high speeds, and the bottle is then returned through an outgoing starwheel to the conveyor belt, towards the next machine, which usually is a wire hood applicator.
Types of caps:
Generally a capping machine is able to process different types of caps, the first on this list are certainly the most used.
- Aluminum screw
- Plastic screw
- Mushroom cork
- Straight cork
- Synthetic cork
- Pressure stopper
- T Stopper
- Crown cap
- Plastic sport cap
The type of cap/cork varies according to the product that is bottled and the container where it is inserted into or that is closed with it.
In the case of wine, generally a cork is used which can be straight, i.e flush with the neck of the bottle in the case of still wine, or mushroom cork, like in the case of sparkling wine, spumante, champagne, etc. In this case it protrudes from the neck of the bottle and has also a wire cage.
This is to avoid that the pressure inside the bottle causes the cork to “explode” for any reason and consequently spill the wine.
Screw caps are placed on plastic or glass containers of water, oil, soft drinks and an infinity of other various products. The plastic screw cap is used on plastic containers or drink cartons. The aluminum screw cap is used on glass.
There are many variants and different types of caps depending also on the specific use of the drink. E.g. energy drinks focused on sports consumers or drinks for young children where for example formats of 25 and 33 cl are used.
Types of capping machine:
Depending on the production speed required, the cap can be linear or rotary.
For low production speeds in the order of hundreds of bottles, there is now a tendency to use a linear capper which takes up less space than a rotary capping machine but has a more limited production capacity.
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