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Capping and canning machines 

Capping machines are a type of equipment that is in heavy demand throughout the food industry. The main function of a capper is to quickly and securely close containers by means of a lid, cap, cork, or other closure, which will ensure that the packaging is sealed as tightly as possible. Modern capping machines are employed to make production processes run more optimally, as well as to ensure that the finished product is safe and reliably protected from environmental factors.

What this equipment provides

The task of capping machines within the production process is to provide hermetic sealing by means of various caps and lids for bottles, cans, tubes, vials, and other containers after they have been filled with a wide variety of products, and thus make the containers ready for their further transportation. These high-tech devices allow you to quickly and securely put caps (lids) on a wide variety of containers made of tin, glass or plastic, and they are also used to seal containers for canned food.

With the help of this equipment, you can apply caps and lids to containers of different volumes and sizes using just one machine. Automating the capping process will ensure that your bottling and packaging line is running at high performance. 

Synonyms: capping, capping machines, capping equipment, jar sealer, bottle capper, caps, filling and sealing machines, machine for capping bottles, canning machines, can seamers.

Types of capping machines

Modern capping machines come in many different forms depending on their main purpose, their principle of operation, their design and features, their performance, and also in their degree of automation.

Capping machines can be divided into categories as follows:

By degree of automation

Manual

Semiautomatic

Fully automatic

By plant type

Line

Carousel

By type of cover

Crimping

           - mechanical

          - electromagnetic

Press-crimping

Rod-pressed

Twisting

Rolling

Press-on

 

According to features of their design

Single-position

Multi-position

According to how they move

With a movable capping chuck

With a stationary capping chuck

According to how they apply the sealing material

With compression around the lower container neck

Along the upper container neck

Mixed sealing type

 

 

In the simplest types of machines, the container is manually placed under the bottle capper and, after the process is done, manually removed from it.

Design elements for manually driven bottle capping machines:

  • mechanism to feed containers;
  • an electric drive;
  • a bin feeder;
  • a side table;
  • additional devices — a blocker, a compressor;
  • a capping chuck.

Manual capper for bottles and jars

This capper is designed for manual capping of cans and all kinds of bottles with lids, corks, and caps that are not threaded.

A different category is represented by cappers for bottles and cans with threaded screw-off caps. These types of containers and caps can hold a wide variety of products, from juices to jams or stews.

Semiautomatic (with manual feeding and unloading of containers) and fully automatic capping machines, which differ in their throughput, are used in various enterprises both separately and as part of a production line.

Carousel-type capping machines are often combined with bottling plants for pouring various products into their respective containers, as well as with sterilizing, washing, and labeling machines in the production of canned meat, fish, and vegetables.

Increasingly found on the food-industry machinery market are universal closure designs that allow you to quickly switch out different nozzles for various types of containers or products.

According to the capping method, machines are divided into the following types:

crimping – this type of machine crimps an aluminum cap around the rim of a bottle’s neck. Such carousel-type machines may work via magnetic-pulse action: the cap in such devices is crimped under the power of an electrodynamic force between the cap and an inductor. This approach is used to cap bottles containing liquor as well as various canned-food tins.

Crimping-type machines can in turn be divided into mechanical and electromagnetic types.

press-crimping – for capping bottles with crown caps and for containers with metal caps, machines are used that pass the cork through a conical inlet. This method is mainly relevant for carbonated drinks that must retain their effervescence and their taste (e.g. beer, soft drinks, sparkling mineral water).

press-type (rod-based) - these multiposition carousel-type models are used to seal containers with corks. They are mainly used to seal bottles containing champagne, sparking, and still wines, and cognac. The closure is forced into the system by means of air pressure. As the carousel moves, the mechanism covers the bottle and centers it. The cork, which has been compacted to the size of the container neck, moves over the opening and is pushed in by a rod. The carousel then moves on and the rod returns to its original position.

twisting-type - The capping process occurs when the container, with the lid in place, is moved in the seaming chuck between seaming rollers. Cam mechanisms protect containers from falling or being scratched. These machines are suitable for twisting caps of various types and materials, and they can also be supplemented with auxiliary modes such as heat shrink and pneumatic. They can work with bottles of almost any type and shape, including PET, PVC, PP, and glass. This is why they are widely used in the production of various alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks such as beer, lemonade, and juice, as well as syrups, vegetable oil, and vinegar.

Rolling type – These machines are intended for capping containers by means of the rolling method. This is a simple form of carousel-type equipment. While rolling, the roller of the capping machine bends the edges of the lid around the rim. The rubber ring is fixed in place and ensures that the container is hermetically sealed. This capping method is a very simple one, though it can be difficult to subsequently open the jars, which might contain e.g. jam or tomato sauce.

Press camping machine – This kind of machine comes in either linear or carousel forms. Most often it is the industrial enterprise itself which produces such equipment. Such a machine is necessary for pressing corks onto a surface, for example, for fixing polyethylene cork devices.

These machines come in single-position or multiposition designs. The performance of single-position machines is significantly lower than multiposition models, which are mainly of the carousel type.

In terms of the way they move, the machines feature either a moving or stationary capping chuck.

These machines fall into different categories depending on how they apply the sealing material:

  • With compression around the lower container neck,
  • along the upper container neck,
  • mixed sealing type.

Specialized capping machines.

Some types of capping machines are designed to close certain types of containers. Among these specially dedicated machines are ones for: 

Capping jars with twist-off lids

How the device works:

A container with a lid is placed into the machine.

When the doors close, a vacuum pump is activated.

Instruments monitor the atmosphere inside the chamber.

Once underpressure has been created, the worker moves a handle and thus closes the containers.

Canning machines

Seamer machines for canned food hermetically seal metal containers that have been filled with whatever product.

Some models can even be used to manufacture metal containers by hermetically joining the bottoms and bodies of food cans together.

Vacuum seamers

This machine is used for vacuum capping of cans, glass jars, and polyethelene bags. Cappers for glass jars come in either automatic or semi-automatic forms, which determines the technological approach and how fast processing runs.

Spindle capping machines

A rotary capping machine with a spindle is a high-speed unit whose universal grippers are compatible with any type of closure.

Induction sealing

This method is used to cap plastic containers made from PET and polyethelene by using special induction liners. This method guarantees a hermetic seal on the packaging, and it also indicates when tubes and jars made from any plastic have been opened.

Enercon induction sealer

A continuous induction sealer is used for gluing a protective foil to the neck of a can.

Beer canning machines

These are designed for pouring beer into prepared containers and sealing them. This equipment is widely used for all types of beer, as well as for cider, champagne, and soft drinks.

Closure types

The specific features of your production process determine the set of closures to be used.

The closure depends on the type of the bottle’s rim.

For capping bottles with various products inside, the following are used:

Corks.

This is the most suitable type of closure for cognac, wine, and champagne, It ensures that not only are the taste and quality preserved, but it also lets the product age naturally.

Corks can be divided into various categories:

  • Corks for still wine;
  • Corks for sparkling wine;
  • Cognac corks.
  • For sparkling wines, corks with a muselet,  i.e. a wire cage, are used.
  • Plastic corks.

These closures which come in various shapes, as well as different caps, are made by injection molding. They are suitable for closing champagne and sparkling wine bottles.

Metal caps.

Aluminum foil caps are mainly used to seal alcohol and soft drinks. During the production process a sealing gasket is placed into the lids. Also common are caps with a perforated tear-off ring and crown caps made of varnished or unvarnished metal.

Crown caps.

These are divided into two categories depending on how they can be removed, whether by twisting off or only with a bottle opener. This type of cap is most often used for closing bottles with beer and carbonated alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages such as soft drinks and water.

Capped corks.

These are made from a mix of materials: the lower part is plastic while the upper part consists of a safe polymer. They are used in the making of liquors such as rum, whiskey, and gin. There are also versions that feature cork wood, such as for closing cognac bottles.

Guala closures with spout.

These closures with a dispensing spout feature a built-in valve, which ensures that the alcoholic contents of the bottle cannot be diluted or replaced. These closures are used in the manufacture of premium liquors, as well as frequently-counterfeited popular drinks such as aged cognac, whiskey, etc.

Threaded aluminum cap.

These closures are used by food-industry enterprises working with threaded containers. They are suitable for capping juices, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, mineral water, and syrups.

Plastic caps for PET bottles.

The scope of this capping method’s application is all types of plastic containers, e.g. beer and soft drinks, juice drinks, soda, oil, and vinegar. They have a characteristic threaded neck and do not require any special tools to open.

Swing-top caps.

These closures have a high degree of hermetic sealing and assume that the container will be opened and closed multiple times. The material from which they are made is generally food-grade plastic with chrome. Due to their resistance to extremes of temperature, these closures are popular with makers of oil, wine, and various expensive tinctures. They are also found in some high-end alcohol such as aged cognac and whiskey, as well as for liquors used in cocktails.

 

One can also list some original solutions like figured caps, as well as closures with aerators, dispensers, filling devices, and other features. To enhance the protection that the closure provides, heat-shrink caps can be used above the starting layer of the closure.

These items can be produced with or without a seal. An internal sealing ring prevents the bottle from being opened before it is sold.

Closures come in many varieties, but gradually plastics and innovative polymers have become predominant in the manufacturing sector. This is because of the characteristics of the material itself: it offers wear resistance, a tighter seal, strength, and it is harmless, and these closures also allow designs to be printed on them.

A fundamentally new type of closure, which is increasingly used by winemakers, is produced by means of the PlantCorc technology, which is based on renewable plant-based polymers made from sugar cane. The indisputable advantage of this closure type is that there is no corking effect on the contents of the bottle and the amount of oxygen entering the bottle is kept controlled.

In the food industry a variety of containers can serve for consumer packaging: bottles (wine, champagne, cognac, vodka), bottles, cans, glasses, vials, or tubes.

The most common materials from which they are made are:

  • natural materials;
  • polyethylene;
  • glass;
  • aluminum;
  • polymer.

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