How Capping Machines Work

You may have seen an automatic capping machine as part of the bottling line at a factory some time. These pieces of equipment can be quite mesmerizing to watch, but they are often moving so fast that it’s hard to understand exactly what is happening. To break it down, we have created this post on how capping machines work. This process takes place just after the bottle, jar or jug has been filled. Uncapped containers will go into the capper machine, and they will come out fully capped and sealed on the other side.

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How capping machines work : cap delivery

There are two basic types of systems used to place the caps onto the containers. The first is the pick-off method. In this setup, a precision cap chute dispenses the caps, which are “picked off” by the bottle as it passes under the chute. This system is compatible with mostly aluminum caps and skirted caps, and can be found in our rotary pick-off capping machine for large production volumes, or our inline pick-off capper for smaller productions.

The second cap delivery is called pick and place. This method is somewhat self-explanatory; a robotic arm picks up each cap and places it on top of the container. Pick and place is very versatile in the types of caps and closures it can accommodate. It is used on our rotary pick-and-place capper as well as our inline pick-and-place capping machine.

How capping machines work : sealing the cap

Once the cap has been placed on the bottle, jar or jug, the capping head must come down to seal it onto the container. The exact mechanism needed to do this will depend on the type of closure used. For example, in skirted aluminum caps, the capping head applies downward pressure while a set of rollers molds the aluminum into the threads of the bottle neck. In the case of a pre-threaded plastic cap, the capping head would need to exert the right combination of downward pressure and torque to create a hermetic seal.

You can see this process occurring in this video of how capping machines work to apply screw caps:


One of the best ways to understand how capping machines work is by seeing them working in many situations, which is why we recommend visiting our YouTube channel and watching several videos of our TEDELTA automated cappers in action.

For additional information on how capping machines work, or on any specific model from TEDELTA, you can write us using the contact form on our website.