The 2 Major Types of Screw Capping Machines: Chuck & Spindle Cappers

When it comes to capping containers with screw caps, you will have two options: a chuck or a spindle capper. Screw-on closures are continuously threaded caps. They range from the simple flat caps to other variations like trigger sprayers and pumps. You can read on the different types of closures to know more about screw-on caps.

Both chuck and spindle cappers can handle all types of screw-on closures. Although there are some exceptions. Chuck cappers are best for handling standard screw-on caps such as those in bottled water. But when it comes to screw-on caps with unusual shapes and tops, spindle cappers are more suitable.

To know more about these two types of can capping machines, keep on reading. Because in this article, we will discuss what spindle and chuck capping machines are.

Spindle Screw Capping Machines

Spindle Capper Machine Designs

Fully-Automatic Spindle Cappers

These cappers cap containers continuously while they are traveling on a conveyor belt. Once the setup of this machine is done and is already running, there will only be a minimum interaction between the operator and the machine.

Fully-automatic spindle cappers use automatic delivery systems for caps. These allow an uninterrupted capping process possible. Automatic cap delivery systems typically include either a bowl or an elevator. But they can also have both.

Semi-Automatic Spindle Cappers

Some spindle cappers are also built on an automatic frame but the working method is of a semi-automatic one. They do not include a delivery system for the caps. Thus, manual labor is necessary for placing the caps.

Facilities requiring low production requirements use these types of machines. But, you can easily upgrade semi-automatic spindle cappers to work for fully-automatic productions. You only need to add a cap delivery system for your machine.

Tabletop Semi-Automatic Spindle Cappers

These machines are used by facilities with low production requirements that handle caps with odd or unusual shapes.

Working Principle of Spindle Cappers

  • For fully-automatic spindle cappers, the bowl or elevator sorts the closures to make sure that they are properly oriented before proceeding to the cap chute.
  • The cap chute directs the closures to two fingers which hold the closure in place. The fingers allow each passing container to strip the current cap for the sealing process.
  • The closure-container combination enters the capping station. A stabilizer helps in keeping the cap steady while gripper belts hold the container.
  • As the combination moves through the conveyor, spinning discs (usually consists of 4 sets) come into contact with the cap. The spinning discs provide the torque needed for tightening the closures onto the containers.

Do note that the operator of fully-automatic spindle cappers needs to replenish the caps on the cap delivery system. Moreover, he also needs to monitor the machine to make sure that it is functioning properly.

Chuck Screw Capping Machines

Unlike spindle screw cappers, chuck cappers do not provide a continuous capping process using a conveyor. Chuck cappers will use a starwheel which stops the containers from continuously moving through the conveyor. The starwheel holds the containers in position while the chuck tightens the caps onto the containers.

Chuck Capper Machine Designs

Fully-Automatic Chuck Cappers

Fully-automatic chuck capping machines are better alternatives for applications that handle smaller caps and bottles. They are also suitable for containers having rounder bottoms like tubes and vials. You cannot use spindle cappers with these types of containers because keeping them stable through a moving conveyor is hard.

Semi-Automatic Chuck Cappers

Semi-automatic chuck cappers are popularly used in lower production requirements. The operator of these machines needs to manually place the closures on each container.

Tabletop Semi-Automatic Chuck Cappers

Chuck cappers designed with tabletop designs require the operator to slide the closure and the container into the capping area. The chuck head then descends and tightens the lid onto the container.

Handheld Semi-Automatic Chuck Cappers

Aside from the tabletop designs, chuck cappers are also available in handheld machines. A handheld chuck capper can be installed in a frame for quicker and easier operation. The addition of a frame allows the provision of reliable and consistent seals without causing operator injuries. This is because there are no repetitive movements of the hands.

Handheld chuck cappers also require the operator to manually place the capping head onto the closure to start the sealing process.

Working Principle of Chuck Capping Machines

  • Like spindle cappers, fully-automatic chuck cappers use vibratory bowls or elevators and cap delivery systems to deliver caps to the containers.
  • Fully-automatic chuck cappers use a starwheel to index the containers below the capping head.
  • Once positioned, a chuck head descends over the closure that is sitting on the container. It provides the needed torque to reliably seal the container.


To end our discussion, below are the main takeaways that we are leaving for you:

  • Spindle cappers are recommended for closures with odd and uneven shapes.
  • Chuck cappers are suitable for smaller caps and bottles along with containers that have rounded bottoms.
  • Fully-automatic chuck cappers are used in high productions. They only require the operator to replenish the closures.
  • Semi-automatic chuck cappers are for lower production demands. They require more interaction with the operator.

By the way, are you looking for a screw capping machine for your application? You can try LevaPack. Levapack is a manufacturer of a complete line of packaging machines in China for 14 years. For more information, feel free to visit their website at Here are also a few considerations for choosing the right capping technology to guide you in selecting the right capping machine.

Subscribe Today





Get unlimited access to our EXCLUSIVE Content and our archive of subscriber stories.

Exclusive content

Latest article

More article