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Capping machines and closures, various types, major manufacturers

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Life could have been a piece of cake, if only I knew how to ‘close’ everything as easily as my water bottle.

All of us know that closures are essential to beverage and food packaging and for the consumer the closure is the gateway to the product experience. Most rigid containers and packages require a means of closing. It can be a separate device or seal or sometimes an integral latch or lock. Depending on the contents and container, closures have several functions.

Closures help in securing the product, improving shelf life, provide a barrier to dirt, oxygen, moisture, etc. Caps and closures also help in re-closing or reusing the container and assist in dispensing and measured consumption of the product.

The metal and plastic closures have been used to protect products since long, but over time, these closures have evolved and have become part of the brand.

Types of closures:-

Closures need to be attached to the container with sufficient security. Threads, lugs, hinges, locks, adhesives, etc. are used. In terms of possible options, thousands of different closure designs exist, although only some of the closures are commercially successful and widespread. Most of the closures need to accommodate slight manufacturing variation in the container and the closure structure.

Container closing process can be broadly divided into three phases.

• Closure orientation and feeding

• Closure placement OR Application

• Sealing

Depending upon the machine, closure and container type and user requirements, various methods to execute the above processes are followed.

Screw Caps:-

Screw caps are threaded caps and require torque to be tightened onto various containers. However, there are many variations of the screw caps, simple flat caps, sports caps, flip top caps, press top caps & trigger sprayers etc.

Spindle capping machines and chuck cappers will normally handle screw caps, with a few exceptions. Many screw type caps require special chucks or chuck inserts for the extended / shaped tops. The choice of capping machines will depend on your cap, your container and your production requirements.

Crown cap:-

Glass beverage bottles are frequently closed with crown caps. These are shallow metal caps that are crimped into locking position around the head of the bottle. These are one of the oldest commercially used caps in the beverage industry.

Snap on:-

Snap on capping machine usually works by pressing the caps on the container. Caps lock on to the container by engaging male and female locking rings. Snap on caps can be applied either by the overhead belt or by the press-on head.

STOPPERS/CORKS:-

Wine bottles, vials, perfume and many other products may use a cork or bottle stopper to seal the product. Bottle stoppers may be plastic, glass, rubber or a number of other materials. These closures / plugs are applied inside the neck of the container. Capping machines used to create a seal with these caps will also depend on the cap, container and production requirements. Many corks and bottle stoppers can be securely sealed with a snap capping machine. The snap capper will normally use either a snap belt with a gradual decline to push the cap into place or a press on head that “stomps” the closure into place as the cap and container pass under it. The cap and container material will help determine whether a belt or press on head should be used. A snap capper can also be combined with a spindle capping machine for some unique caps.

ROPP CAPS:-

ROPP stands for roll-on pilfer proof, and ROPP caps are unique caps in the packaging industry. In ROPP capping machines, bottles closure is usually applied with four rollers.
Two rollers properly skirt, spin and seal the aluminum cap and another two rollers carve threads into the aluminum blank according to bottle neck diameter.

These caps are widely used on wine and spirit bottles. ROPP caps allow for tamper evidence and a consistent, secure seal. Normally, a capping head can be obtained for a ROPP capper that will allow plastic screw caps to be run on the same machine as well, thus offering a versatile capping machine.

Search various capping machine manufacturers and their machines features here

There is some good information regarding glass bottles and closures history on http://www.sha.org/bottle/closures.htm

Search various food and beverage packaging machine manufacturers and their machines on http://www.triplemexpo.com/

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